The Comma is Coming, Interview with D1 and D2’s Lead Designer, Feedback Needed for a Ladder-Like System, Clarifications on the Console Version

Arena Deck Building Contest, Daily Blue Wrap-up - EU Beta Access, Turn Timer, Pyroblast Buff

Item Level Squish Feedback
Demonstrating why we warn you about taking translated interviews as fact, Ghostcrawler mentioned today that he did not confirm an upcoming item squish, along with answering a few common concerns. You can take part in the ongoing discussion here.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
mmo-champion says item squish soon confirmed. Please do not regress my character. I worked hard to get him to where he is.
I didn't confirm it. Still we think there are a lot of good reasons to get numbers down to more parsable levels. (Source)
100m, 100k, and 100 are all equally 'parsable'. It's all about formatting.
We describe automobile speed in miles / kilometers per hour and not inches / cms, because big numbers are awkard. (Source)
Exactly. We use KILOmeters per hour. What's the problem with using KILOdamage per second?
That's the mega damage solution, and we're just worried it will look a little silly. You crit for 200 MEGADAMAGE! (Source)

I now have to find 24 other people to do BT/DS/BWL/ICC and follow mechanics just for pets and mog gear? no ty!
I have said several times that item squish would not affect the ability to solo old content. That's not the intent. (Source)

But can you nerf every player without in anyway effecting soloing low level content? Keep everything the same but the numbers?
"If player enters old instance, then buff all their stats." (Source)

Patch 5.4 - Kor'kron Dark Shaman Preview
The Kor'kron Dark Shaman is the 7th encounter in the Siege of Orgrimmar Raid.

Name Points Category
Heroic: Kor'kron Dark Shaman Defeat the Kor'kron Dark Shaman in Siege of Orgrimmar on Heroic difficulty.
10Pandaria Raid
Rescue Raiders Rescue a set of caged prisoners, a group of unwilling combat participants, and Ji Firepaw before defeating the Kor'kron Dark Shaman in Siege of Org...
10Pandaria Raid

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Spirit Link - Damage dealt is shared between Earthbreaker Haromm and Wavebinder Kardris.
  • Bloodlust - When the Dark Shaman reach 25% health remaining, they will go into a blood frenzy, increasing all damage dealt by 25% and haste by 25%.
  • Darkfang and Bloodclaw - The riding wolves of the Dark Shaman, Darkfang and Bloodclaw will viciously defend their masters.
    • Swipe - Inflicts 300,000 Physical damage to targets in a 8-yard cone in front of the caster.
    • Rend - Viciously rends a player, causing them to bleed for 16,000 Physical damage every 1 sec. for 15 sec. This effect stacks.
  • Totems - The Dark Shaman will drop Totems during the fight that grant them new abilities.
    • Poisonmist Totem - Poisonmist Totem grants Earthbreaker Haromm the Toxic Mist ability, and grants Wavebinder Kardris the Toxic Storm ability. The Dark Shaman drop Poisonmist Totems upon reaching 85% health.
    • Foulstream Totem - Foulstream Totem grants Earthbreaker Haromm the Foul Stream ability, and grants Wavebinder Kardris the Foul Geyser ability. The Dark Shaman drop Foulstream Totems upon reaching 65% health.
    • Ashflare Totem - Ashflare Totem grants Earthbreaker Haromm the Ashen Wall ability, and grants Wavebinder Kardris the Falling Ash ability. The Dark Shaman drop Ashflare Totems upon reaching 45% health.
    • Rusted Iron Totem - Rusted Iron Totem grants Earthbreaker Haromm the Iron Tomb ability, and grants Wavebinder Kardris the Iron Prison ability. The Dark Shaman drop Rusted Iron Totems upon reaching 95% health.
  • Earthbreaker Haromm
    • Froststorm Strike - Strikes a player with frost-lined weapons, inflicting 325,000 Frost damage and causing the player to take 25% additional damage from Froststorm Strike for 30 sec. This effect stacks.
    • Toxic Mist - Injects several players with a toxic mist, inflicting 50,000 Nature damage every 3 sec. for 30 sec and causing growing Toxicity. Due to the internal nature of the corruption, Toxic Mist pierces all immunities. This ability is granted by Poisonmist Totem.
      • Toxicity - Increases Nature damage taken by 10% per stack.
    • Foul Stream - A stream of foul liquid inflicts 220,000 Nature damage to all enemies on a line. This ability is granted by Foulstream Totem.
    • Ashen Wall - Summons a line of stationary Ash Elementals that will attack any nearby enemies. This ability is granted by Ashflare Totem.
    • Iron Tomb - Inflicts 500,000 Physical damage to players within 3 yards and creates an Iron Tomb. This ability is granted by Rusted Iron Totem.
  • Wavebinder Kardris
    • Froststorm Bolt - Fires a bolt of bitter frost, inflicting 450,000 Frost damage.
    • Toxic Storm - Summons a powerful toxic storm that inflicts 300,000 Nature damage to players within 9 yards every 2 sec. and periodically creates Toxic Tornadoes. The storm will move around and lasts for 60 sec. This ability is granted by Poisonmist Totem.
      • Toxic Tornado - Toxic winds inflict 300,000 Nature damage to players within 5 yards every 1 sec. and knock them up.
    • Foul Geyser - Conjure foul water that inflicts 450,000 Nature damage to players within 4 yards every 0.5 sec. for 8 sec. Each splash creates a Foul Slime. This ability is granted by Foulstream Totem.
      • Foul Slime - Foul Slimes are coated in Foulness.
        • Foulness - Inflicts 150,000 Nature damage to players within 3 yards every 1 sec.
    • Falling Ash - Summons a core of smouldering ash that will fall over 30 sec. Inflicts 999,999 Fire damage to players within 17 yards and 160,000 Fire damage to all players on impact. This ability is granted by Ashflare Totem.
    • Iron Prison - Encases the player in a prison of iron that slowly asphyxiates them, inflicting 100% of maximum health as Physical damage after 60 sec. This ability is granted by Rusted Iron Totem.

Raid Testing Schedule - July 31-Aug 1
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
On Wednesday and Thursday, July 31 and August 1, we will continue testing raid encounters in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid. We're moving on to 10-player Heroic testing at this time and finishing up 10-player Normal, and will then move on to Heroic and then 25-player mode as the PTR cycle progresses.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below for all Public Test Realms.

Wednesday, July 31
Galakras - 10 Player Normal - 10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)
Garrosh Hellscream - 10 Player Normal - 16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

Thursday, August 1
Kor'kron Dark Shaman - 10 Player Heroic - 13:30 PDT (16:30 EDT, 22:30 CEST)
General Nazgrim - 10 Player Heroic - 16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

Patch 5.4 - Change to RPPM Mechanics
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We think the cooldown lineup at the start of PvE encounters has gotten out of hand, and it’s having some rather negative effects on gameplay. Particularly with the number of RPPM procs most raiders have these days, the pull has just become way too important. It’s affecting gearing, it’s punishing classes that can’t capitalize on it as well as others, and it’s not how we’d like raiding to work.

To that end, we’re going to make another change to how RPPM mechanics work on the pull. Starting a raid encounter will set every RPPM proc’s “time since last proc” to 90 seconds. That means the more frequent procs will still be more or less guaranteed to go off, but the rarer (and more powerful) procs will just have a high chance. This should hopefully chill things out a little bit, without changing how you play too dramatically.

Can we clarify what 'rarer' RPPM procs are? We talking the meta-gem here?
We're not changing the actual RPPM proc rates at all, just how much time is "banked" before the pull. The underlying math that determines what the actual chances are isn't changing.

So, here's a couple hypothetical examples using very rough napkin math. I don't remember RPPMs for actual trinkets off the top of my head (and they're not particularly necessary for illustration purposes):

Trinket A has an RPPM that allows it to reach a 100% proc chance if it hasn't fired after 60 seconds. This trinket will have a guaranteed proc on the pull.

Trinket B has an RPPM that allows it to reach a 100% proc chance if it hasn't fired after 100 seconds. It will not be guaranteed to proc immediately, but will proc within the first 10 seconds.

Trinket C has an RPPM that allows it to reach a 100% proc chance after 2 minutes. It will not be guaranteed to proc immediately (regardless of how much time you've spent out of combat), but will proc within the first 30 seconds.

Make sense?

My 502 UVLS doesn't have a guaranteed proc chance 2 minutes in though. Lore's example needs a trinket D, which is only guaranteed in excess of 6 minutes of no procs.
This is true -- some trinkets will now be unlikely to proc immediately (which is the point of the change). However, it should be noted that it's extremely unlikely for any RPPM proc to take until it hits a 100% chance to activate anyway.

Guilds are still going to wait. This change is good, but it's not good enough.
Aside from the fact that most groups wouldn't be ready for another pull within 90 seconds anyway, waiting has no effect whatsoever. As soon as a raid encounter is pulled, the time since last proc for all RPPM mechanics in the raid will be set to exactly 90 seconds. Doesn't matter if it's been 10 seconds or 10 minutes since the last pull.

I do want to say, this is distinctly a nerf to fun. It WAS A LOT of fun to open up full force pot, cloak, enchant, 2xtrinkets, meta, stormlash, + elemental + lava burst. I was hitting 75,000 spellpower
I feel like the "nerf to fun" argument gets overstated quite a bit. We're not nerfing it because it was fun, we're nerfing it because it was breaking the game.

I'm sure a lot of players would find it fun to be able to take down Heroic Lei Shen with a single spell. That doesn't make it good gameplay.

I'm skeptical to the idea that not getting a proc in the initial burst will somehow make these trinkets not worth using. After that first proc on the pull, the time since last proc is 0 anyway. It'll tone back the initial burst, definitely, but I'm not convinced that the entire value of a trinket like Unerring Vision of Lei Shen depends on that first proc.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Patch 5.4 Arena Changes
Yeah, i miss the teamnames but the patch is still going to be really good.
We understand that there are some players that will miss the customization and comradeship that came with arena teams. We're looking into ways in which we will be able to retain these particular feelings in arena after these changes occur, but at this time we don't have anything to share in this regard.

I wonder how the ladders will look now. Players with highest ratings etc? I hope they thought this through thoroughly.
The ladders will show individual players and their rankings will be based off of their personal rating. End of season rewards will still be awarded in the same manner as they are now, to the top "X"% of competitors, the percentage of course being different depending on the reward.

So it's all 100% individual? If I play with a team to 2600 and one of my teammates ends on 2560 and cutoff is 2570 he wont get a reward?
Well, while you may play with a few specific players and you consider yourselves a team, you're not actually in a set team. But this is also the case as if he also got the title just for playing with you, because there are no teams in 5.4 you could also feed the title to anyone that you wanted who was just under the cutoff.

Don't encourage wintrading...
I feel that I need to clarify on my last post as there was some misunderstanding of what I meant. I was not promoting win trading, nor was I saying that you will be able to feed your end of season rewards to others. I wanted to point out that if the system worked as Easydragon questioned, then you could feed your rewards to others if they were just under the cut-off because there are no set teams. Don't worry as you won't be able to feed the title to others by playing with them, the rewards are based off of your own personal ratings alone.

I apologize for any confusion my post may have caused, I have now rephrased it to clarify the above points. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Utility and Hunters
So, this isn't solely specific to Hunters, but since it's an issue I see you guys bring up a lot, I want to talk briefly about "utility."

From a top-down perspective, our design philosophy regarding utility goes something like this: everyone brings some sort of benefit to the group, but no one gets an invite based solely on that benefit. We feel that current class mechanics satisfy the first part of that. We're mostly there with the second half, with some exceptions.

Sometimes we just make something too strong to the point that it feels mandatory. That's absolutely true. A current example would be Demonic Gateway, particularly in PvE. It gives a very large benefit in many encounters, and since more Gateways are nearly always a good thing, many raid teams will seek to bring as many Warlocks as they can (though obviously, Warlock DPS has been a factor as well). In that particular case, we're making some changes in 5.4 and, if necessary, may continue to make changes.

The reason I bring that up is that it has the tendency to cast a harsher light than is probably fair on other classes. We feel that, ignoring the extreme outliers like Demonic Gateway, Hunters bring an acceptable amount of utility. Every Hunter has Trueshot Aura and access to an array of buffs and debuffs through their pets (even if not specced Beast Mastery), and abilities like Misdirection and Ice Trap which can be valuable on some encounters. If that's not enough utility to guarantee you a raid invite... then good. We'd rather you get your invite by being a solid raider with good performance.

I'm also slightly confused as to the logic behind some arguments, specifically those along the lines of "our DPS is low, so we need more utility to justify our raid slot." If that's the case, wouldn't you prefer we fix your damage output and/or tone down the overperformers?

I know this doesn't address every concern that's been brought up, and I apologize for that. If and when we have more to share, we will. But I did want to at least shed some light on our thoughts on the "utility" issue overall, for the sake of discussion.

Oh, one thing I can share: we like the idea of removing the focus cost from Dash, so we're going to. That includes Dive and Charge as well.

As has been mentioned in other "utility" threads, part of the problem here is that nobody agrees on what "utility" is. Is the dev definition of the word something you can shed a little light on? (I realize that may raise the "it's a trap!" alarm, so feel free to ignore if you think that would do more harm than good.)

My own working definition for a few years now has been: anything that is beneficial to the group, while in combat, that doesn't pertain directly to my personal performance in my role. Which basically, for a DPS class, would mean anything that doesn't cause me and only me to deal additional damage, and isn't an out-of-combat thing like summoning.

This is probably pretty close to our definition. As you mention, it's the sort of thing that I'd be hesitant to try to define precisely (it's something of a fluid term even internally).

Do you think it's fair that certain abilities (namely Ancient Hysteria and battle rez) are locked to Beast Mastery only? If it's a 25 man situation, probably, but in 10 man you do run the issue of not having either of these. Sometimes that could lead to Hunter's feeling as though they must have Beast Mastery as a spec.
It's something I can bring up again, but we do like these as Beast Mastery perks. Note that, at least in the case of Ancient Hysteria, 5.4 is adding Drums of Rage (a consumable form of Bloodlust/Heroism made by Leatherworkers) that, while not quite as effective as the Beast Mastery buff, should make things at least a little more flexible for 10-mans. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
RPPM scaling with Runespeed Mechanics
As an update to this, since we've seen some confusion, Improved Unholy Presence is getting the same treatment as Unholy Presence, meaning it will now grant additional haste, not just additional attack speed and rune regen. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

PTR Testing and You
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
From Zul’Gurub and Ahn’Qiraj onward, we have made extensive use of our Public Test Realms in order to help find bugs and improve the tuning of our raid content. We have an extensive team of Quality Assurance testers and an internal raid group, but it’s impossible to replicate the sheer breadth of information we get from having hundreds of real raid groups attempting diverse strategies as they experience encounters for the first time. We learn a tremendous amount from that testing, both in the form of written feedback on these forums, which is carefully read by every encounter designer, and from spectating raids and observing how they fare.

Now, that’s what we get out of the PTR. Speaking pragmatically, we understand that not everyone's motivation in logging on to the PTR is to give us feedback. They want to check out the new content firsthand, see what’s coming to the live servers in a few weeks or months, and, in the case of raiding, get some competitive edge that will help them clear the content faster on the live servers when the patch is released. That’s fine. We thoroughly appreciate everyone who takes the time to give measured feedback, or goes out of their way to methodically test new features and report bugs they find. But at the end of the day, we’d rather have a packed PTR with a small percentage giving direct feedback, than a nearly-empty PTR where everyone gives it. Bugs that require very specific conditions are much more likely to occur with thousands of testers than with hundreds, and it’s clearly beneficial to everyone for us to find and fix those issues before they affect millions in a live environment.

When it comes to raid testing in particular, there’s a symbiotic relationship: The bleeding-edge guild that intentionally wipes to a boss at 5% so they can set up their boss addons, try out unusual strategies, and practice execution is there for competitive reasons. But we gain information even just from silently observing that will help us make our encounters better, and fundamentally, that is the purpose of raid testing on PTR. Our raid testing times are scheduled to coincide with our core work hours, so that designers can observe as much of the testing as possible, with the exception of LFR and Flexible tests which require more open-ended scheduling given their nature and target audience (and even then, if you were doing a PTR Flexible raid this past weekend, odds are decent that I or another developer was spying on your group – creepy, I know). When it comes to Heroic testing, we try to keep the testing windows as brief as possible, in order to minimize the impact of PTR testing on the progression “race.”

But that symbiotic relationship requires that we be around in some capacity to observe. Players who find a way to access bosses (especially Heroic bosses) that aren’t currently being tested should let us know, so we can correct the problem. We discovered that over the weekend a progression raid group accessed the Siege of Orgrimmar raid and spent hours on a Heroic boss in the middle of the night, after copying fresh characters with generic names, presumably with the hope of going unnoticed. Those actions go against the intent of the PTR, the spirit of fair play, and were clearly intended to go against our wishes for specific boss testing periods. PTR testing is a privilege, and we reserve the right to revoke PTR access from those who have shown an intent to abuse it.

If you come across an oversight in our testing protocols, or a serious, abusable bug or exploit in the course of your testing of a boss encounter on PTR, and you want to let us know without alerting everyone, please note that we can read edited or deleted forum posts. (On the live servers, please use the in-game bug reporting interface.) Otherwise, carry on with the fantastic feedback that we’ve been receiving about all facets of 5.4 content thus far, and we look forward to seeing you on the Public Test Realm!

Blizzard Art Update
Blizzard added five pieces to the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Art gallery.

This article was originally published in forum thread: Item Level Squish, Kor'kron Dark Shaman, 5.4 RPPM Mechanics Change, Blue Posts, Art started by chaud View original post
Comments 105 Comments
  1. Sparru's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Durandro View Post
    Its Blizzard's fault for adding so many tiers and demi-tiers to expansions, and the players' fault for constantly demanding more and whining when there's not a big enough gear jump between expansions.

    Blizzard are fixing the problem.

    Players will not suffer for it in the slightest. You'll suffer as much as losing 90% of your wages when all items become 90% cheaper - i.e. not in the slightest.
    Yes, you just forgot the part where you go to visit your neighbor country (old expansion content) only to notice that they only reduced everything by 80% so you actually lost buying power when compared to other countries(expansions). All is fine and dandy if you stay in your own country(current expansion). Too bad many of us like to travel. Global world, eh?

    Technically it was Blizzard's fault but I think it was unintentional. They were shortsighted when they planned things in the earlier parts of wow. Didn't really think wow would go on so long. Add in extra tiers they didn't plan for and you have a problem arising. They aren't there for nothing. I'm sure they saw it forming long ago but the devs chose to use the practice used by politicians; bury their heads in sand. Out of sight, out of mind and hoped they wouldn't be there when things start hitting the fan and someone has to fix it. Ilvl jumps were and are needed tho.
  1. Dazzros's Avatar
    Yes Item Squish is very important for the Longevity of the game. These numbers in MoP are just "out there" need to be brought down to earth levels again. More manageable numbers to have to deal with. I'm all pro Item Squish
  1. anjan011's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Geodew View Post
    Who cares how the item squish FEELS. More importantly, it'll be easier on everyone's CPU to calculate arithmetic with lower numbers, making running add-ons like Recount and Skada much less taxing on your computer, probably significantly improving the performance of mid-grade machines in LFRs and 25mans, and ESPECIALLY world bosses. Anyone else remember freezing, 0 fps for a couple seconds, on your first couple Sha of Anger or Galleon pulls ever? Happened to lots of guildies of mine, and with my high-end machine I even got a couple freezes. People had to disable Recount until they optimized their code better.
    Tune down graphics? seriously don't u realize what causes the freeze? its damn frame rate! bcz with the fight going on and with all kinda animation from players, mobs, boss and environment, ur graphics card is just bent on its knee. its no numbers that's making the freeze, its the graphics!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Windytusks View Post
    Serious question: Why does this bother you? Specifically, why are you sick of ... numbers?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Unholyground View Post
    You have to realize they are working with a 12 year old game engine that they cannot rebuild because it would alienate a lot of the player base that still use low end pc's, so the item crunch is the only way.
    My low end old PC could handle the numbers just fine, it was not my Processor crying because i was hitting for 100k, it was my graphics card crying when i attempted for Sha kill. will all things going on, the frame rate crawled down to like 5. U want the game playable on low end PC? ask for graphics squish, not numbers u r hitting for.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Azrile View Post
    I think the reason for it is 2 things. First, it is a display issue. For combat logs, and on our screens, there is just too many numbers flying around and it is too fast. it makes it unreadable. the second is a performance issue... the more digits in a number, the more bits it requires.

    I agree with you about the brief adjustment phase, but I think people would get over it fast. In questing, you basically know how many spells kill a quest mob... the numbers aren´t that important.. if you miss, you know you will need another one, if you crit maybe one less.. but in most cases.. 5-7 spells kill a quest mob. In dungeons.. you are doing your rotation regardless.. and most people have bosses on %´s... the actual numbers are very unimportant except for epeen.
    With all ur rationality, u fail to understand that the same bytes need to be allocated for numbers within the capacity of datatypes. and for ur record systems r far more capable for worrying about "bit assignment". too many number flying around? stop the combat floating text or MSBT, recount/skada already show u nicely formatted numbers to analyze. there u go. Its all what u think.

    And to be honest, if we will be doing relatively same damage and all the shit. here comes the question, why bother the change anyway? oh wait "big numbers scares me! i can't sleep at night! squish them! squish them hard!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by lazzy View Post
    If you or anyone else playing WoW are against the item squish just because " Dah, Big numbers man" you're retarded.

    Who cares about the "casuals". They're the reason the games gone down hill since the end of LK. Funny how the easier the game got the more subs WoW lost huh? The harder WoW was Vanilla - BC up to LK, we had the most subs and it was rising.

    If you're so dumb that you can't grasp the concept that you will still be the same in power as you are now with lower numbers, than by all means quit the game.

    Tired of seeing retards crying about their "big numbers".

    - - - Updated - - -

    Peace, please never come back.
    Casuals pays the bill buddy, news flush for u! So u want casuals paying for making the game harder so u elitist hardcores can enjoy ur fun? u r beyond crazy and retarded!
  1. Tedy's Avatar
    Awesome Blizzard art!
  1. Irscary's Avatar

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