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by Published on 2011-07-05 11:57 PM

Firelands Raid Heroic Mode difficulty now unlocked - US First Kills
The heroic mode is now unlocked in the US and Europe will follow shortly. Guilds started working hard to defeat the heroic versions of encounters and a couple of bosses already died.


  • Premonition got the US first kill of Shannox and Lord Rhyolith.
  • Blood Legion got the US first kill of Beth'tilac. They didn't post a kill shot yet and we'll just pretend Europe is better if they don't.

Congratulations to both guilds for defeating the bosses so quickly!





Firelands Raid Boss Pages Update / LearnToRaid.com
While we're discussing Firelands Raid Bosses, I would like to point out that most of the Firelands raid boss pages have been updated with new videos from LearnToRaid.com.




PvP Season 10 Begins
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
PvP Season 10 has officially begun, and players can once again take to the Arenas and Rated Battlegrounds to compete for the new Ruthless Gladiator PvP sets!

All Team Ratings and Personal Ratings have been reset, and any Conquest Points from Season 9 have been converted to Honor Points. Any Honor Points above the cap were converted into gold at a rate of 35 silver per point. Matchmaking Ratings, however, will be carried over into Season 10.

Another important event that coincides with the start of Season 10 is the distribution of rewards from the previous season. Players who were in the top teams from each battlegroup at the end of season 9 should be receiving their end-of-season rewards approximately one week after the end of the last season. These include Arena-specific titles until the end of this new season and, for players who have earned the rank of gladiator, the Vicious Gladiator’s Twilight Drake. It's very important for players who feel that they may be eligible for Arena titles and/or the Vicious Gladiator’s Twilight Drake to refrain from transferring their characters to another realm or faction until all rewards have been received.

If you have any further questions about Arena and Rated Battleground rewards, please read the FAQ.

- Season 10 Gear List and FAQ
This season introduces most of the gear I already posted on Patch 4.2 patch day (see below) and a new boss in Baradin Hold, Occu'thar (Wowpedia).

The strategy is pretty simple - One main tank, one off-tank, Occu'thar is tanked facing away from the raid and the off-tank taunts and starts tanking the boss whenever the current tank gets a stack of Searing Shadows. Healers keep everyone alive, and DPS make sure Eyes of Occu'thar die under 10 seconds while DPS'ing the boss as well, that's pretty much it.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Occu'thar
This ravenous demon broke free of its cage and gained access to the western wing of the prison, devouring all of the inmates held there. Occu'thar's gluttony resulted in a body too bloated to escape its environs, effectively turning the prison wing into its new holding cell.


  • Focused Fire - Occu'thar sets his gaze on the location of a random player, then inflicts 35000 Fire damage every 1 sec. to players within 12 yards of the targeted location.
  • Searing Shadows - Occu'thar inflicts 105000 Shadow damage to players in a 60 degree cone in front of him, and increases Shadow damage taken by 100% for 30 sec.

Eyes of Occu'thar
Occu'thar forms an Eye of Occu'thar on every player for 10 sec. The eyes bore into their target hosts with the Gaze of Occu'thar.

  • Gaze of Occu'thar - The Eye of Occu'thar gazes at its target host, inflicting 6000 Shadow damage every 1 sec. for 10 sec.
  • Occu'thar's Destruction - After an Eye of Occu'thar remains attached to a player for 10 sec, it fully bores into the host and detonates with Occu'thar's Destruction, inflicting 25000 Shadow damage on all players.



Patch 4.2 - Arena Season 10 Armor Sets and Weapons
Arena Season 10 Armor sets and weapons will be available in this patch.

Weapons

Class Set Class Set
Death Knight Ruthless Gladiator's Desecration Rogue Ruthless Gladiator's Vestments
Druid Ruthless Gladiator's Refuge Shaman Ruthless Gladiator's Earthshaker
Druid Ruthless Gladiator's Sanctuary Shaman Ruthless Gladiator's Thunderfist
Druid Ruthless Gladiator's Wildhide Shaman Ruthless Gladiator's Wartide
Hunter Ruthless Gladiator's Pursuit Warlock Ruthless Gladiator's Felshroud
Mage Ruthless Gladiator's Regalia Warrior Ruthless Gladiator's Battlegear
Paladin Ruthless Gladiator's Redemption
Paladin Ruthless Gladiator's Vindication
Priest Ruthless Gladiator's Investiture
Priest Ruthless Gladiator's Raiment


Season 10 - Elite (2200+) Armor Sets



Season 10 - Armor Sets



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Stats balance on gear
Stat balance on gear should be looked at via much more than just boss loot tables. We consider reputation gear, tailor gear, Valor gear and the tier sets when examining what's available to you. If you wish, you can have Spirit on every slot but your belt (which can still be reforged). The priest tier set has Spirit on all 5 slots.

Having said that, the mindset that only cloth with spirit is priest healer gear (and cloth with no spirit is never priest healer gear) is a mindset to be resisted. If that is allowed to set in, then all the fun of looking at a potential new piece of gear and deciding for yourself whether it is an upgrade for you is removed entirely.

Along those lines, something to keep in mind is that there is more to improving the healing you do in cloth than simply stacking spirit. As you increase spell power, haste, and crit, and your tank increases health, armor and avoidance, boss damage negates less of your mana in the first place. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Arena Season 10 Start and new gear
You are correct. The season transition and introduction of new PvP items was different this time around, and we apologize for the lack of advanced warning.

The Season 9 set was removed today. The items available for purchase with Honor Points are now considered lower tier Season 10 items. They are still the same items from Season 9 in terms of aesthetics, but the item level and stats are slightly higher to ensure that the Season 10 honor gear has the correct item level relative to the Season 10 conquest gear.

It's likely this is how things will work going forward and we'll be sure to make that more clear when the next season transition takes place.

New basic transition flow:

1) Season X ends and rated play is unavailable; Season X gear becomes available for purchase with HP; CP is wiped.
2) One week later Season Y starts and rated play is available; Season X gear is removed entirely; Season Y introduces a low tier of items which replace Season X vendor items and are available for HP; Season Y introduces the new top items available for CP and rated play. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Lava Bolt Crossbow / Lava Bolt Crossbow sounds like a gun
This is a known issue for which we have a fix. The crossbow shouldn't sound like a gun. 'Cause that'd be silly.

Updating sound files requires a client-side patch, so unfortunately this cannot be addressed via a hotfix. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Note to websites/tools developers - Community API
The Community API Forum received a lot of attention from Blizzard employees recently and if you are maintaining a website or tools based on the Armory you might want to check it out for new features and changes.
by Published on 2011-07-05 12:21 AM

Legendary Staff / Dragonwrath Tarecgosa's Rest - Mount
During one of the latest update to the official armory site, the page of Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest has been updated to include a new spell: Tarecgosa's Visage.


It looks like the Legendary Staff also comes with a built-in mount now, Blizzard was pretty sneaky about it but it looks like we'll see the mount model on live servers after all. See the preview below!





Comics
Dark Legacy Comics #295 and Teh Gladiators #250 are out!



The Daily Blink - This Memo is Completely Real
Oh The Daily Blink ... You filthy, filthy, filthy trolls ...

by Published on 2011-07-04 03:15 AM

WoW Expansion "Vengeance of the Void" Rumor is a fake
People are starting to get crazy on forums about a rumor started on a well known hacking/cheating site that we won't mention here, you all know which one it is anyway.

The information started hitting a couple of news sites because, well, I guess any attention is good and double checking sources is hard (because you might want to do that considering what the original source is) but I'd rather kill the rumor before people start being very annoying about it.


Why would you believe me more than someone else? Good thing. Well, this document is a pretty obvious fake anyway (especially with stuff like "neglected Shadow Priest class" in official documents) and Blizzard just doesn't draft that kind of stuff 3 months before the event before they send it to the entire company.

Btw, internal documents would never say "Activision Blizzard", unless they're scheduled for public release. The address isn't even Blizzard's, it's the Activision Blizzard HQ. You don't send that kind of mail to two companies 3 months before the Blizzcon just for fun.

I mean, seriously guys, Blizzard isn't stupid when it comes to leaks, they don't just take the risk of doing that stuff so early.
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.

Map.dbc


WorldSafeLocs.dbc

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
General
  • Characters should no longer randomly suffer falling damage.

Classes
  • 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
  • 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.

Creatures
  • 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.

Quests
Zul’Drak
  • Players are again successfully able to complete the quest Betrayal.

Items
  • 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.



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