World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2011-07-03 06:38 PM

A Future for Alcaz Island?
I was poking at the Patch 4.2 game files during the week end and it looks like Blizzard has a couple of plans for Alcaz Island, a new map "Scenario, Alcaz Island" seems to be in the game files.



It looks like the zone will be instanced at some point, and available as a "Scenario". I couldn't find anything else on "scenario" in the game files but it's very unusual to have an additional information such as this one in the name of the Map. The only exception is "Transport:" maps and we could potentially be looking at a new type of instance here.

The "Expansion" field of the Map.dbc is set to "3" and seems to point to Cataclysm content but there's also the slight possibility that it's early data from the next expansion that got mislabeled.

Firelands / Molten Front Daily Quests - Progression Breakdown
A few days ago, Spl4sh3r posted a fairly useful list on the forums to try to explain how much time it will take you to unlock the different phases of the Firelands / Molten Front Daily Quests.

Phases Description
Phase 1 - Beginning
Phase 2 - Molten Front
Phase 3 - Choose between Druids of the Talon and Shadow Wardens
Phase 4 - Choosing the other option from Phase 3
Phase 5 - Choosing "Additional Armaments" (See Firelands Daily Quests Rewards)
Phase 6 - Choosing "Filling the Moonwell" (See Firelands Daily Quests Rewards)

Time to unlock the Flameward Hippogryph Mount - 30 Days

Amount of Marks Earned Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Phase 5 Phase 6
One time Quests 16 x 15 x 5 x 5 x 4 x 15 x
Beginning Daily Quests 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x
Molten Front Daily Quests N/A 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x
Faction 1 Daily Quests N/A N/A 9 x 9* x 9* x 9* x
Faction 2 Daily Quests N/A N/A N/A 9* x 9* x 9* x
Armaments Daily Quests N/A N/A N/A 5 x 4 x 4 x
Total Marks Needed 20 x 150 x 150 x 125 x 125 x 125 x
Time to Complete 1 Day 10 Days 7 Days 7 Days 5 Days 5 Days
(*) You can only complete quests from the Phase 3 or Phase 4 on a given day, not both phases, resulting in a total of 9 Marks for that day.

Reminder - RaidComp up to date for Patch 4.2!
There wasn't any major change to raiding mechanics in 4.2, which means that RaidComp still works for Patch 4.2! Check it out if you're wondering how to optimize your raid composition!

Firelands Raid Trash - Who wants to be a millionaire?
This video from Mione shows why Blizzard had to hotfix the trash of the Firelands raid instance earlier this week.

by Published on 2011-07-02 12:21 AM

Patch 4.2 Hotfixes - July 1st / Firelands Heroic Disabled
We're now walking in the land of hotfixes land, with CMs doing a nice job compiling all the stuff Blizzard has been fixing for the past few days. Among other things ...

  • Firelands Heroic difficulty has been turned off in all regions until the following week's realm maintenance.

Which somehow confirms what was posted earlier on our forums about STARS being asked nicely to get out of the instance.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
July 1
  • Characters should no longer randomly suffer falling damage.

  • Pets should no longer be attacking new targets at random while a player is under the effects of any crowd control.

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • It is no longer possible to cancel Lunar Shower by right-clicking the buff, or canceling it via a macro.
  • Starfall is no longer hitting targets that are within 40 yards if they are not in combat with the druid or his/her party/raid members. It is targeting all hostile characters in combat with the druid’s party/raid members, is not hitting Stealth characters, is not breaking crowd control effects, and is not targeting nearby critters.

Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • All of the Hunter-centric rare spawns in Mount Hyjal and Molten Front are now immune to both Distracting Shot and Taunt.

Priest (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • The Flash Heal from Surge of Light will now correctly activate Chakra.
  • The heal-over-time effect from the Glyph of Prayer of Healing now will correctly apply to targets that are within 30 yards of the target of Prayer of Healing, but over 40 yards away from the priest.
  • Channeled spells are no longer being interrupted if cast immediately after Shadowfiend.

Rogue (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Sap is no longer placing the rogue in combat when he/she is visible and the target is sapped.

Warlock (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Warlocks will no longer fall through pillars in Ring of Valor if the pillar is moving when the player uses Demonic Circle: Teleport.

Dungeons & Raids
Dungeon Finder
  • It is no longer possible for two separate guild groups with less than five players each to be matched with any other groups or players in the queue from the same guild.

  • Firelands Heroic difficulty has been turned off in all regions until the following week's realm maintenance.
  • Alysrazor
    • Blazing Talon Clawshapers and Blazing Initiates cannot be interacted with any longer prior to them shifting to human form.
    • The Molten Feather power bar is now reappearing when appropriate.
  • Baleroc
    • Baleroc's gate will now properly unlock itself again after a wipe, even if Shannox is still alive.
  • Beth’tilac
    • Beth'tilac's trash will no longer respawn after she has been killed.
    • Cinderweb Drones will now add threat to players on the bottom floor (below the web) and not give any threat to players above the web.
    • The Widow’s Kiss will now ignore immunities, including Divine Shield and Anti-Magic Shell.
  • Rhyolith
    • Rhyolith is now slightly easier to turn in 10-player mode.

  • Cinderweb Spiderlings no longer drop any loot and their health is restored to full after players exit combat.
  • The Flame Archon range of Fiery Torment has dramatically increased.
  • Flamewaker Subjugator, Flamewaker Animator, and Unstable Magma health has been reduced. Flamewaker Subjugator damage has been increased for 25-player raids.
  • The damage-over-time effect from the Hell Hound ability Rend Flesh now stacks up to 5 times, down from 10.
  • Molten Flamefathers had too much health in 10-player mode, and too little health in 25-player mode. This has been corrected.
  • Surger damage dealt by Surge has been reduced.
  • Unbound Blazing Elementals now have a greatly reduced chance to drop epic items and crafting recipes. They also drop less gold.
  • Unbound Pyrelords can properly target banished/cycloned Smoldering Elementals with Ignite Elemental. In addition, Ignite Elemental cannot be interrupted.
  • Unbound Pyrelord health has increased, while Unbound Smoldering Elemental health has decreased.
  • Neither the Sulfuron Span nor Shatterstone volcano are able to be affected by the siege damage done by a Saronite Bomb.
  • The rate at which crafting recipes drop has been greatly reduced.

  • Players are again successfully able to complete the quest Betrayal.

  • The Heroic and normal versions of the crossbows Arbalest of Erupting Fury and Lava Bolt Crossbow no longer have identical stats.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Puggable raids
No matter what Blizzard says, making new raid tiers undoable by pugs is total garbage. Personally I have absolutely no problem doing older raids, but seriously is making the first 2 or 3 or maybe 4 bosses of a new raid easy all that much to ask?
We actually do have a measurement of sorts in place like this. It might not be to your expectations if you want to successfully pug half of the bosses during the first week they're available, but it's worth mentioning it does exist.

Whenever designing a new raid dungeon, we have a basic 1-5 scale we use to rate each encounter in terms of complexity. While complexity may not be synonymous with difficulty in some cases, it is in most. So for an example of what we're looking at, every encounter in Molten Core would be a 1 on our scale in terms of complexity, while bosses like Cho'gall and Sinestra are each considered a 5. (For an example of when a complex fight might not translate into difficulty once the mechanics are known by the raid, Flame Leviathan is also a 5 -- there are a LOT of mechanics in that fight.)

So, using those few examples, I'll say we try to create the raids of today with the average complexity of all boss encounters dialed in around 2.5. We have to balance out the really complex encounters with encounters which have more simplistic mechanics. Again though, that doesn't always mean they're less difficult.

To define complexity, we're talking about all of the spells, abilities, scripts, or mechanics triggered during each fight. So if you look at a boss like Lucifron (1) in Molten Core, there are fewer than 5 mechanics in the whole fight. Meanwhile, Beth'tilac (5) in the Firelands has well over 100 mechanics (not just spells and abilities, but triggers for webs, adds, etc.). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Melee Friendly Encounters
Your reinterpretation seems to suggest that we're ignoring the issue when that's not the case. The take away from the quote should be that we were aware of the issues regarding ranged vs. melee, but that didn't mean that warriors got to outclass the other melee dps while we addressed them.

We're certainly aware that encounter design in the previous tier ended up feeling melee unfriendly. As a result, we were careful to include more melee friendly fights in the Firelands raid. We'll also make adjustments if things feel off in this tier of content (though that doesn't necessarily mean that melee and ranged will be tied for the top spot on every boss fight). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Frenzied Regeneration Tooltip
Frenzied Regeneration tooltip is reading 15%. It should be, and is, 30%.
That's a tooltip bug. We got some nifty new (and complicated) tech for tooltips up and running for Cataclysm, which allows us to do things like make tooltips reflect talents and glyphs in a highly accurate fashion, as opposed to the static tooltips we used to have. Overall it's a good thing, but when a system gets more complicated there are more opportunities for bugs to show up as a natural consequence. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Rogue (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
Rogue Deadly Poison Stacking and DPS Ramp Up
You've got a point.

While we're unlikely to eliminate dps ramp up time for rogues altogether, we're sensitive to the fact that rogues require multiple methods to do so, when combo points do a pretty good job of handling that job. We will look at methods of streamlining rogue dps ramp time at some point in the future. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blizzard Art Gallery Update
The World of Warcraft Burning Crusade Art gallery has been updated with five pieces representing the Warcraft universe.

by Published on 2011-07-01 01:32 AM

Stars (TW - Crystalpine Stinger) already working on Firelands Heroic - Shannox World First Kill
A lot of guilds killed all the bosses of the Firelands raid in normal mode already but it seems that Stars (TW - Crystalpine Stinger) decided to take it one step further.

After clearing the encounters in normal mode, the entire raid changed faction to reset their raid ID and started working on heroic encounters shortly after, that kind of thing happened in the past and it's not really surprising to see it used again to grab first kills.

As I write these lines, Stars killed Shannox in Heroic Mode. It's not really my place to judge if something is against the rules or not and I will just keep tracking heroic first kills as they happen.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Eternal Embers and Seething Cinders Droprates
You’re assuming the drop chances for embers averages out to .5 per boss in 10’s and 2 per boss in 25’s, which it doesn’t. Whether you’re in 10’s or 25’s you’re going to see an equal drop average for Eternal Embers per player, and the same can be said for Seething Cinders. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New Content - Differences between PvE and PvP Players
The answer to your question revolves around a common difference in how PvE players and PvP players approach the game. Generally speaking, PvE players want more quests, more dungeons and more raids to experience -- more and new content is king. On the other hand, while some PvP players do want new maps, many others would be happier if we perfected the Arena or BG maps that already exist - or even if we cut existing maps. After all, PvP players don’t graduate out of Arathi Basin or Dalaran sewers the same way PvE players graduate from dungeon to heroic, or raid tier to raid tier. We did make some improvements to the existing PvP maps, such as trying to return Ring of Valor to circulation and changing the way flags work in Eye of the Storm (for rated play).

We’d love to add a lot more maps than we currently do, but we need to do it in such a way that doesn’t make the PvP experience worse for players who are more interested in refining their PvP experience than in seeing new maps. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 4.2 Hairstyles
We had a bunch of hairstyles we threw in for testing on the PTR and the majority of them did not pass the test. (quality, art direction, bugs, etc.) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 4.0 Raids now puggable
We specifically intend for the 4.0 raids to be puggable now that Firelands is out. Grabbing some tier 11 by way of Justice, quest rewards, plus across the board difficulty nerfs should really be enough to get them going.

The patch has only been out a day or so though. I think it'll probably take a little bit before people really get it into their heads that they should be pugging the previous tier because it's not too hard to be successful. It's just getting people used to the various encounters and mechanics.

Maybe people are waiting for the holiday weekend? If nothing else, leading one yourself is always an option. I think we'd agree that we need some better ways to get pug raids together considering we intend to follow the "New Raid is Hard, old Tier is Puggable" format from here on.

Still unsure what that means regarding the final raid (i.e. Deathwing). Do pugs not get to see him until the next expansion is released? (Not saying whether that's a good thing or not, but personally I enjoyed getting to Arthas on some of my alts without spending near as much time as I did on my main.)
In ICC we had a stacking raid buff over time which gradually made the content easier. Not saying we’ll do that exact thing again but the philosophy was around even then that everyone who wants to can eventually see the content, but it’s going to take very organized groups (which typically means raiding guilds) to see the encounters first.

So casuals will constantly be a tier behind for the rest of the life of this game? If that is what is actually coming out of your mouth I'll save myself the time and unsub now. What a piss poor vision for your game. There are normal and heroic versions of raids for a reason. That heroic difficulty was implemented so that the two segments of the population (casual and hardcore) would both have something to do. You are now bifurcating the raiding population AGAIN, by telling casuals that they have to run around in the left overs.
Trying to label all of our players as “casual puggers” vs.” hardcore raiders” is ridiculously simplistic. Among raiders there is an enormous diversity of players. There are those who will raid virtually every night when new content is out, to guilds that raid once a week (and even then will cancel raid nights fairly commonly). If you must try to label raiders, you’d be closer to the Blizzard model if you said normal mode is for organized raids, heroic mode is for more hardcore organized raids, and the previous tier of content (and Baradin Hold) is targeted for pick-up groups. Also consider that even within a raid zone we try to design easier bosses (usually near the front) and more challenging ones (usually at the end) which can help blur those lines and offer smoother transitions for each category.

Overall, we think you’ll have a better experience playing World of Warcraft if you play with friends, either existing or those you meet in game. WoW, while much more solo friendly than most older MMO games, is still intended as a multiplayer game. We provide features like Dungeon Finder for when playing with friends isn’t possible, and as we said above, we’d like to offer more features like that. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Tabards Tab
Are there any considerations for a tab for your tabards?

[...] To clarify: he asked if we were considering it, and yes we are considering it. :) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Keyring Removal
On a serious point though some people are upset about the removal of the key ring. While that seems like we're just taking it out to be bullies, it specifically frees up storage space we can then make into useful features. Not that it will specifically be used for 'tabard storage', but we are going to be using the space the removal of the key ring freed up. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Thrall and Aggra's "wedding"
Correct. Their pledging of their lives to one another was essentially their 'wedding', although I'm sure Orcs don't use such nomenclature to refer to these things. Maybe 'life bond' fits better. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Does Blizzard plan on adding the rest of the dungeons and raids to the Dungeon Journal?
Absolutely. With the time it takes to present a single boss in the Dungeon Journal we were only confident supplying Cataclysm content with the release of the feature in 4.2, but we are on a path to filling it out with all dungeons and raids in the entire game. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Steam Summer Sales
In a very, very, very unrelated sidenote, Steam Summer Sales are up. I don't usually news non-WoW stuff but ... well, I like Valve and I'm pretty sure a lot of people will be happy to hear the news. Also, don't forget that we have a Video Games Forum!
by Published on 2011-06-30 03:41 AM

Firelands Raid "Unknown" Weapons drop Location
When patch 4.2 was released a couple of weapons had an unknown drop location. We now know through the official armory that they have a very small chance to drop from any of the bosses (except Ragnaros) in the Firelands Raid!

Level Type Spec Slot Name Boss
391AxeSpell SpiritMain HandEye of PurificationBoss Rare Drop
391DaggerPhysical DPSOne-HandAvool's Incendiary ShankerBoss Rare Drop
391DaggerPhysical DPSOne-HandEntrail DisgorgerBoss Rare Drop
391MacePhysical DPSOne-HandShatterskull BonecrusherBoss Rare Drop
391StaffSpell SpiritTwo-HandSmoldering Censer of PurityBoss Rare Drop
391SwordMeleeTwo-HandZoid's Firelit GreatswordBoss Rare Drop
391SwordSpell DPSMain HandFirethorn MindslicerBoss Rare Drop
Level Type Spec Slot Name Boss
378AxeSpell SpiritMain HandEye of PurificationBoss Rare Drop
378DaggerPhysical DPSOne-HandAvool's Incendiary ShankerBoss Rare Drop
378DaggerPhysical DPSOne-HandEntrail DisgorgerBoss Rare Drop
378MacePhysical DPSOne-HandShatterskull BonecrusherBoss Rare Drop
378StaffSpell SpiritTwo-HandSmoldering Censer of PurityBoss Rare Drop
378SwordMeleeTwo-HandZoid's Firelit GreatswordBoss Rare Drop
378SwordSpell DPSMain HandFirethorn MindslicerBoss Rare Drop

Patch 4.2 Hotfixes - June 29
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • Feral druids can now use Skull Bash in the Firelands raid. It only seems fair.

Dungeons & Raids
Baradin Hold
  • Eye of Occu’thar damage and health is now properly scaled for 10- and 25-player versions of the dungeon.

Blackwing Lair
  • All Brood Affliction debuffs applied by Chromaggus are now removed after zoning out of Blackwing Lair.

  • The stationary Hell Hound pack at the front of the dungeon should no longer cause players to become stuck in combat.
  • There are now fewer Hell Hounds before Beth’tilac, making the engagement a little less… hellish.
  • Beth’tilac and her offspring now have increased health and damage on Heroic difficulty.
  • Rageface’s Face Rage is now slightly less rageful, as the increase of the rate of damage per tick has been reduced.
  • Creatures linked to Shannox will now respawn every 4 hours until he is killed, up from 2 hours.

  • High Priest Venoxis and Zanzil have had the damage of many of their spells and abilities reduced.

  • Cauldron of Battle and Big Cauldron of Battle no longer lose flask charges from repeated clicks when players already have one in their inventory.
  • Eternal Embers dropped in the Firelands raid now bind when picked up. Master Looters are only able to give Eternal Embers to players who are on the quest All-Seeing Eye.
  • Paladin tier 12 2-piece set bonus: It should no longer be possible to get a double proc of Flames of the Faithful.
  • Many item procs were not being triggered properly by melee auto attacks after a hotfix made yesterday. This has been corrected.
  • Holiday Rewards
    • Satchel of Chilled Goods, Keg-Shaped Treasure Chest, Heart-Shaped Box, and Loot-Filled Pumpkin will no longer remain in character inventory once the associated holiday is over. Players must loot the items from these caches before the corresponding holiday ends. More information can be found here.

  • The Ring of Valor
    • There is no longer a 6-second delay on the rising of the pillars after the match has begun.

Quests & Creatures
  • It is no longer possible to complete some daily quests more than once a day by turning them in during a small window before the standard reset time.

Holiday Bag Hotfix
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re going to be applying a hotfix soon to remove holiday-specific bags when the holiday period ends. The specific bags in question are:

  • Loot-Filled Pumpkin (Hallow’s End)
  • Keg-Shaped Treasure Chest (Brewfest)
  • Satchel of Chilled Goods (Midsummer Fire Festival)
  • Heart-Shaped Box (Love is in the Air)

These bags will only exist while their holiday is active, and when the holiday ends they will be removed. This is to resolve an exploit revolving around keeping these bags beyond the holiday period to re-roll their contents.

You’ll want to be sure to open and remove the contents of any holiday bags before the holiday ends. If you still have any bags from previous holiday events they'll be removed when this hotfix goes live.

Patch 4.2: Featured Items
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In addition to the new iLevel 365 gear that players can purchase from unlockable vendors at the Molten Front and the epic armor sets they can claim from Ragnaros and his minions in the Firelands raid, patch 4.2 also boasts a wealth of cool items for collectors and completionists alike.

From companion pets to mounts to trinkets with unique on-use effects, there's a little something for everyone. To make sure you don't miss out on any of these collectables, we've put together a list of all the new featured items introduced in 4.2 so you can check out what's available and where!

  • [url=]Patch 4.2 Featured Items

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Patch 4.2 Hairstyles
We did have a lot of new hairstyles we had created over time up on the patch 4.2 Public Test Realms. The problem was that, even though these hairstyles were added on the test realms, many of them were not finalized or approved by our art team. Because of this, a good portion of them (about half) were pulled shortly before patch 4.2 was released on live realms, leaving only a partial implementation of new hairstyle choices.

Unfortunately, this means some races/genders now have more hairstyles than others. This result had nothing to do with intentionally giving some races more choices than others. It was based purely on which hairstyles we felt were ready to go live, and which we felt were not.

These new hairstyles are also not available at the Character Selection screen and can only be chosen via the Barbershop. We definitely plan on going back over the hairstyles which did not make it into the game and adding them at a later date.

So the artists approved the new Draenei swim cap, but they didn't feel other styles were good enough? That boggles the mind.
In an ideal world I don't think any of them would have gone live in patch 4.2, as we prefer to release updates like this when everything is ready to go. It wasn't really our intention to throw them all in without letting players know we were adding dozens of new choices, but we ended up only pulling some of them out. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Guild Transfers
It's still in the works and we're in the process of compiling more about it information for you. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New Warcraft Fan Art
The Blizzard Fan Art Section has been updated with four new pieces of fan artwork set within the Warcraft universe.

The Daily Blink - Only You Can Prevent EPIC FAIL
Let's finish with a picture from The Daily Blink that I didn't have time to post earlier!

by Published on 2011-06-29 04:15 AM

New Battle Chest & Free TBC Upgrade
So we now have the RAF to level 80, US players getting free keys for their friends, and now free Burning Crusade!
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Haven’t yet ventured beyond the Dark Portal? Beginning today, June 28, players will be able to get both the original World of Warcraft and the game’s first expansion set, The Burning Crusade, for only $19.99 as part of the new digital Battle Chest now available in the online Blizzard Store.

In addition, anyone who owns the original World of Warcraft, regardless of when they purchased the game, will automatically be able to access all of the content and features from The Burning Crusade expansion at no additional cost. It’s time to set forth from Azeroth, adventurer -- Outland awaits!
Also, the trial accounts are no longer limited in time and players can spend an unlimited amount of time on them. The level cap (20) and other restrictions still applies.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
The restrictions should still all be in place. Trial accounts simply no longer expire. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 4.2 - Hands/Feet Epic Crafted Items confirmed to drop from Firelands Raid Trash
People started farming trash in the new Firelands Raid instance to increase their reputation with the Avengers of Hyjal and got a couple of new recipes out of it! We can assume that the following recipes all drop from Firelands Raid trash.

For all the crafted items added in Patch 4.2, check out the Patch 4.2 - Crafted Items article.


HandsFists of Fury10x40x4x3xFirelands Raid Trash
HandsEternal Elementium Handguards10x40x4x3xFirelands Raid Trash
HandsHoly Flame Gauntlets10x40x4x3xFirelands Raid Trash
FeetWarboots of Mighty Lords10x40x4x3xFirelands Raid Trash
FeetMirrored Boots10x40x4x3xFirelands Raid Trash
FeetEmberforged Elementium Boots10x40x4x3xFirelands Raid Trash


HandsDragonfire Gloves8x40x40x4x3xFirelands Raid Trash
HandsGloves of Unforgiving Flame8x40x40x4x3xFirelands Raid Trash
HandsClutches of Evil8x40x40x4x3xFirelands Raid Trash
HandsHeavenly Gloves of the Moon8x40x40x4x3xFirelands Raid Trash
FeetEarthen Scale Sabatons8x40x40x4x3xFirelands Raid Trash
FeetFootwraps of Quenched Fire8x40x40x4x3xFirelands Raid Trash
FeetTreads of the Craft8x40x40x4x3xFirelands Raid Trash
FeetEthereal Footfalls8x40x40x4x3xFirelands Raid Trash


HandsGrips of Altered Reality8x4xFirelands Raid Trash
HandsDon Tayo's Inferno Mittens8x4xFirelands Raid Trash
FeetEndless Dream Walkers8x4xFirelands Raid Trash
FeetBoots of the Black Flame8x4xFirelands Raid Trash

Honor Points Capped at 4000
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
During maintenance the change that was intended to be applied for the start of Season 10 next week, which was to cap Honor Points at 4000 and convert any points above the cap to gold, was inadvertently applied early. This means that everyone who would have down-converted Conquest to Honor over the 4000 cap had those additional points converted to gold at a rate of 35 silver per point and sent to them via in-game mail.

We’re still researching what steps led to the error, but unfortunately due to the nature of the currency conversion that took place, we’ll be unable to reverse the change, remove the delivered gold, or reinstate the surplus Honor Points.

We apologize greatly for this error.

Patch 4.2 Hotfixes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
June 28

Dungeons & Raids
Blackwing Descent
  • Atramedes's Sonar Pulses are properly moving toward raid members when spawned underneath him.

  • Fiery Blood from Fire Scorpions now only affects other Fire Scorpions and Giant Fire Scorpions.
  • Fire Turtles should no longer keep players in combat after their pack is killed.

  • Alliance and Horde Guild Battle Standards cannot be used inside the Firelands raid.
  • Both Faldren Tillsdale and Jamus'Vaz (Valor Point vendors) now display items grouped together in the following manner: rings, necks, bracers, relics, ranged weapons, thrown weapons, then tier sets.
  • The Severed Visionary Tentacle is no longer infinitely applying to characters.

Quests & Creatures
Elemental Bonds Quest Chain
  • Aggra's bubble is now significantly larger and has a sparkle effect, making it easier for players to locate her when on the quest Elemental Bonds: Desire.
  • Players should be able to see Therazane and turn in the quest Into Constant Earth while at any stage of Deepholm progression without issue.

Rage of the Firelands Patch 4.2 Notes - [Updated 6/28]
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

  • Players with a copy of the original World of Warcraft who had not yet upgraded to The Burning Crusade have had their accounts upgraded to access the content and features of The Burning Crusade expansion at no additional cost.

Conquest & Honor Points
  • All existing Conquest Points in the Currency tab have been converted to Honor Points. All Honor Points exceeding the 4,000 point cap have been converted into gold at a rate of 35 silver per point and mailed to characters.

Dungeons & Raids
Baradin Hold
  • Occu'thar has broken free from his cage and presents an all-new boss challenge to players in 10- and 25-player arrangements who control Tol Barad. This boss will be available with the start of Season 10, one week after the release of patch 4.2.

  • Guilds of level 3 or above may no longer be disbanded. Guild leaders wishing to leave a guild will need to promote another member to Guild Master first.

Blizzard Insider #39 -- Art of the Firelands
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With Rage of the Firelands (patch 4.2), Ragnaros the Firelord returns with a burning vengeance to challenge players on his home turf, the elemental realm of twisting flames and churning magma.

To get a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Ragnaros's domain, the Insider recently sat down with Jonathan Dumont (lead level designer) and Gary Platner (lead environment artist) from the World of Warcraft team to discuss the creative process and art philosophy behind the game’s newest 10- and 25-player raid instance and accompanying quest hub. So read on, and learn how the Firelands evolved from rough concept art to a fully fleshed-out in-game environment.

Where did the ideas and initial concepts for the Firelands come from?

Jonathan: We knew early on that we wanted the Firelands to feel alien and formidable, a place of infinite height and size, and not just an ordinary volcanic cave with lava. We liked the outer-dimensional aspect of it and focused on ideas that involved a lot of floating islands and magma falls. It needed to feel epic and dangerous and, most importantly, like somewhere our players would enjoy exploring. So once we had our initial ideas together, one of our level designers, Victor Chong, created a quick block-out of the geometry, and it triggered a new flood of ideas and concept art from the art team that got us going from there.

Gary: True, though it doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes an artist will create a concept first, and then an exterior level designer will create a rough mock-up from that. Other times a designer will first create a rough map in Illustrator before it goes to a level designer for further development. No matter who starts the process, there’s always a lot of back and forth between level designers, encounter designers, concept artists, and environment artists to make sure we’re working with the most epic — and feasible — ideas.

How did you focus on the ideas that eventually made it into the final version of the zone? Are there any visual elements that did not make the cut?

Gary: A lot of times we don’t know how something will work out until we go ahead and give it a try. One of the early visual concepts we tried for the zone were these octagonal rock columns, which you can find here on Earth in areas with a lot of volcanic activity. You see them in places like the Devils Postpile in California or the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland. These rock columns worked great for the spider area in the Firelands, especially after an artist painted them with glowing fiery web textures. One idea we tried that didn’t make the cut were fire columns shaped like trees. We have trees in most outdoor zones, so we thought we’d add tree-like flames to the Firelands, but tree shapes -- even burning tree shapes -- ultimately felt out of place.

Jonathan: Also, we initially wanted to make the Firelands a lot busier by adding lots of floating islands above the main island and having all these crazy lava waterfalls pouring across the playable area. We still did some of that, but we scaled that idea way back because it was making the zone visually confusing. We also tried having a boundless lava ocean under the main island, but that ended up creating a horizon line and taking away from the sense of infinity that we were trying to achieve, so we cut it. It makes the Firelands feel a lot bigger when you walk up to the edge of the main island, look down, and see nothing but swirling clouds of ash below.

What visual challenges did the Firelands present when the World of Warcraft artists began building the zone?

Jonathan: The main thing we had to keep in mind was that the instance is just the stage and ultimately the players are going to provide the action. So in addition to everything we put into the zone, there are also going to be players, monsters, pets, and all their spell effects going off during the raid. We didn’t want the action to be overwhelmed by bursting fires and lava explosions, but at the same time, it’s the Firelands, so you definitely need some of that! Finding a visual balance between the spectacular and the practical was a challenge.

Gary: As an outdoor instance, the Firelands is actually the work of two different art teams. The dungeon team works on the enclosed interior areas of the instance, such as Sulfuron Keep, and the environment team works on the exterior terrain areas, such as the Molten Fields. Making seamless transitions between both types of geometry was a fairly challenging undertaking. We had some help from our new texture-blending technology that was implemented with Cataclysm, but there were still a few rough edges to smooth out. One of our early bugs that we had to resolve was that the skybox was showing through the walls of the interior areas. You could see the sky through the ashen haze, even though you were inside Sulfuron Keep!

How did the encounters designers, animators, and environment artists work together to bring the Firelands and its raid encounters to life?

Jonathan: Well, I don’t want to risk spoiling any of the boss encounters… but I will say that the encounter designers had some really interesting ideas on how to make some of the areas much more interactive. We all thought the boss encounters were distinct and epic to begin with, so it wasn’t hard to create supporting areas for them. The Shatterstone area in particular features a volcano boss and full set piece designed by the dungeon art team that also includes animation and terrain work. It’s a great example of all of the game-development disciplines working together to create a memorable encounter.

How do you bring the raid instance to life?

Gary: The terrain doesn’t actually animate, so we had to create a sense of molten lava using particle effects and props. The lava was created with the game’s improved liquid technology… the same liquid tech we used for the new water effects in Cataclysm. We were able to create heat-shimmer effects with animated props and we added a lot of particle flames and fire spouts throughout the Firelands.

How did you tie all of the Firelands’ different visual elements and points of interest together?

Jonathan: Players may not consciously notice this, but we framed the whole exterior portion of the raid zone around Sulfuron Keep and tried to make it visible throughout as much of the zone as possible. This gives players a constant visual point of reference on the horizon, and also gives them a subtle reminder of where they are ultimately headed as they progress through the raid instance. For Sulfuron Keep itself, the dungeon art team created an awesome-looking building with a distinct profile, and we used it as a backdrop for a lot of the other areas as well. We also wanted to create unique areas for the boss encounters, while still making sure that they all felt like they belonged in the domain of fire in the elemental plane. The Lair of Beth’tilac [the Red Widow] serves as a good example of how the design and art teams embraced the fiery hot visual themes, while still making a unique and memorable point of interest for the boss.

Can you tell us about the new boss models? How was Ragnaros visually updated for Rage of the Firelands?

Gary: Ragnaros’s model was completely rebuilt from scratch. Ragnaros was given a new hammer, new armor, and best of all, legs!

Jonathan: Yup, this is the first time players get to see Ragnaros on his home turf, so we wanted to make him look even bigger, stronger, and tougher than before. He is now much closer to his seat of power and we needed to convey that through his model. There are many other bosses in the instance as well, and we wanted to get away from filling a zone with just elementals. So you can expect to see a lot of variety in the Firelands.

Thanks for your time. Anything else you’d like to share before you go?

Jonathan: I hope players enjoy the Firelands raid and the Molten Front quest hub. We had a lot of fun making them!

Gary: Yeah, creating the Firelands was a great experience. I think we’ve learned that we get good results when we break with convention and just start running with all our crazy visual concepts. It’s a trend we hope to continue in the future.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Firelands Dailies starting quest
You'll find the initial quest at the "Hero's Call Board" in any capital city.

Thrall's Questline starting quest
You'll find the initial quest giver at the 'portal hub' in Orgrimmar/Stormwind. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Why are tokens still required for Tier 11?
You should still be raiding and killing bosses to progress. We don't want to make heroics the place to just grind out full sets. Considering the nerfs to normal modes, along with snagging the few pieces of T11 (and other 359's) with Justice, we fully expect that tier to be puggable. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Occu'thar - New Baradin Hold's boss
Yes, he will be added with the start of PvP Season 10 next week. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

People already in the Molten Front
They're likely on the Thrall quest line, which you can pick up from the Hero's Call Boards in any capital city.

You'll advance through the Hyjal dailies to the next step once you've build up 20 Marks of the World Tree (you should have a quest still asking for them), which will take a couple more days of the dailies.

I also need to double check but I believe the dailies are randomized even for the first few, so tomorrow you should have a different set to complete. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Does RAF to level 80 make leveling too easy?
Imagine a fully heirloomed character in a level 25 guild having this. You're nearly killing the leveling system that you worked to improve on with people that have this.
Yes, imagine it. A fully heirloomed character in a level 25 guild has probably seen the leveling experience, a few times. We improved 1-60 for new players, people who haven't played the game or just didn't enjoy the original leveling quests. It wasn't to make people with four 85's slow down to get another alt up. Why should we make them go slower? Getting peoples alts up to max level quicker is what the vast majority of players want.

If you don't, don't use RAF, don't use heirlooms, etc. But if you do, we like that there are ways to help you get there quicker. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Haunted Memento no longer throwable
The change we made was to make the item no longer throwable. This was done to fix an exploit where players were throwing the item to transfer wealth across realms. It can be quite valuable. We decided that Haunted Memento was old enough and valuable enough that preventing it from being thrown was a reasonable compromise. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Site Navigation