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by Published on 2010-09-07 07:23 AM

The Vortex Pinnacle - Skywall 5-Man Video
TotalBiscuit released a long (28 minutes) video of the new Vortex Pinnacle 5-man instance located in Uldum/Skywall.

Cataclysm Pets - Armadillo and Seagull
2 Companion pets have been added to the game in the latest beta build, the Rutsberg Seagull and the Armadillo. The texture on the armadillo seems to be a little low res but keep in mind that the pet is fairly small.

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Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

LVL 85 Dungeons too hard?
It's not quite that extreme. The problem currently is that some players are tackling Uldum or Twilight Highlands in level 83 gear, or worse, their LK epics (just had to throw that in there ). You will probably want a good mix of level 84 and 85 gear before doing the level 85 dungeons, and certainly the heroics. Eloderung says that he or she now has a decent mix of dungeon gear so the quest gear issue should be skewing things less. There are still overtuned or undertuned bosses and abilities for us to contend with though. (Source)

6% vs. 10% spellpower in Cataclysm
The 10% spell power isn't offered by a ton of specs (nor are there any other specs that we want to add it to), but the buff makes a really big difference to casters. The 6% buff is there so we could make sure you weren't totally without any kind of buff if you lacked one of the 10% guys. (Source)

Mastery Stat
Well, they are shiny and new and pretty much give you exactly what you want, so that response isn't too surprising. It's good that mastery is attractive and fun. We just don't want non-mastery gear to be viewed as junk the way some classes view some stats on Live. (Source)

Spamming the same spell
Right. It's a skill curve thing. If there is a right time to use something and a big penalty for doing something at the wrong time, then there is a bigger difference between good and less good players. If you can pretty much do something whenever, then there is less to learn about your class, less to perfect and ultimately less reward in investing in understanding the character. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy Light / Flash of Light spamming
We just don't agree that it worked. What generally happened was either the set bonuses, glyphs and librams all aligned to make either Flash of Light the best spell or Holy Light. In rare cases we got lucky and paladins could choose to gear either for a FoL or HL spam, but they were still choosing one spell over the other. They really weren't using a particular spell for a particular job, so the toolbox felt small and they were hitting the same buttons all the time.

I can almost promise you that a Holy paladin in Cataclysm will use Holy Shock, Word of Glory, Flash of Light, Holy Light, Divine Light, Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn on every challenging dungeon or raid run. That sounds a lot more fun than spamming Holy Light with the occasional Holy Shock on cooldown. (Source)

Mana costs
Mana needs to matter more. Ret (and Prot) generally need to be able to hit all of "their" buttons without being resource constrained, but then should only have enough mana to situationally use things like Holy Light, Exorcism or (untalented) Consecrate.

It's fine to cast one Exorcism at range to pull or something, but it's not something we generally want you doing outside of Art of War procs. We're pretty reluctant to put a cooldown back on the spell though. (Source)

AE Healing
We just don't believe the healing situation and the AE healing situation in particular is as dire as many of you are suggesting. We balance the encounters around the class capabilities, so if many groups are struggling on certain ones, those will be adjusted accordingly. We generally don't give classes new abilities because they have trouble on certain fights. If you're finding that you are just constantly behind the curve on every encounter, even the trash, then you are probably doing something wrong (attempting these dungeons undergeared is something we are seeing a lot) or your class has some kind of systemic bug that is affecting all of the healing you do.

Overall, the dungeons probably will end up more challenging than they were in Lich King. Even if we eventually end up with 10 minute chain pulling 5-player dungeons in Deathwing gear, there is no need to start out that way. (Source)

Holy Mastery
Incidentally, we looked at mastery for Holy paladins today and decided we were happy, for now, with the power it offers, so reforge away if you think that makes you more powerful. We might always tweak things in the future. (Source)

Changing Light of Dawn to only use Holy Power
We thought about a similar implementation a lot, but just worried that would make Light of Dawn harder to use. With a long cooldown, you at least can save it until you think you need it. Sitting on 3 Holy Power (and being unable to use Word of Glory during that time) might be brutal. (Source)

Haste/Crit/Overhealing in Cataclysm
That's an interesting perspective. Typically LK paladins tell us that they like haste because it lets them get a heal out *right now* before a tank dies, but don't like crit because it often overheals. To use a tired cliche, it did feel a lot like Whack-a-mole because you needed to heal ASAP but how hard you healed someone wasn't nearly as important. FoL could often bring someone to full and a HL crit would be tons of overhealing. (I am talking only about the stats in how they affect healing per se, not extra effects like Illumination.) In Cataclysm you won't overheal as much (making the free healing from crits more useful) but you won't be in constant fear of the tank dying in one GCD (making haste less useful). (Source)

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Secondary effect on Heroic Leap
Adding a secondary effect to Heroic Leap, like a Thunder Clap or letting you get out of roots might be a good role for a glyph. We don't like to glyph new high level abilities immediately because then players don't appreciate what the glyph does for them, since they have never used the ability unglyphed. It's something we could consider for a future patch. (Source)
by Published on 2010-09-06 09:26 AM

Cataclysm Dungeon - Updated Loot List
More loot appeared on beta realms and we now have a good idea of what to expect in level 85 dungeons in normal mode. I'm not an expert in theorycrafting but I'm pretty sure that something like Wild Hammer will make you unequip your Shadowmourne. (Reminder: No screenshots yet, models aren't implemented)

333DaggerMelee DPSOne-HandWindwalker Blade
333DaggerSpellMain HandModgud's Blade
333MaceTankOne-HandMace of Transformed Bone
333MaceMeleeTwo-HandWild Hammer
333Off-HandSpellOff-handBook of Origination
333ShieldTankOff HandBulwark of the Primordial Mound
333StaffHealTwo-HandSoul Releaser
333StaffSpellTwo-HandStaff of Siphoned Essences
333SwordMeleeOne-HandSun Strike
333SwordSpellMain HandBlade of the Burning Sun
333ThrownPhysicalThrownSlashing Thorns
333WandSpell, HealRangedWand of Untainted Power
333PlateTankHandsFingers of Light
333PlateMeleeChestBreastplate of the Risen Land
333PlateTankShoulderEarthshape Pauldrons
333PlateMeleeWaistBelt of the Forgemaster
333PlateTankWristArmguards of Unearthly Light
333PlateHealLegsLegguards of Noon
333PlateHealWristBracers of Umbral Mending
333MailPhysicalFeetRed Scale Boots
333MailPhysicalHeadWildhammer Riding Helm
333MailPhysicalShoulderBloodpetal Mantle
333MailSpell, HealFeetDark Iron Chain Boots
333MailSpell, HealWaistBelt of Petrified Tears
333LeatherPhysicalChestVest of Misshapen Hides
333LeatherPhysicalWaistRed Beam Cord
333LeatherPhysicalWristPoison Fang Bracers
333LeatherSpell, HealChestCursed Skardyn Vest
333LeatherSpell, HealFeetAwakening Footfalls
333LeatherSpell, HealWaistUnderworld Cord
333ClothHealFeetHekatic Slippers
333ClothHealLegsCurse-Tainted Leggings
333ClothHealWristCrimsonborne Bracers
333ClothSpellChestRobes of Rampant Growth
333ClothSpellHeadCrown of Enfeebled Bodies
333ClothSpellLegsLegwraps of Astral Rain
333CloakTankBackShroud of Dark Memories
333CloakHealBackSolar Wind Cloak
333CloakHealBackAzureborne Cloak
333FingerMeleeFingerNova Band
333FingerTankFingerTemple Band
333FingerMeleeFingerUmbriss Band
333FingerMeleeFingerCircle of Bone
333FingerPhysicalFingerRing of Blinding Stars
333FingerPhysicalFingerRing of Dun Algaz
333FingerHealFingerBand of Life Energy
333FingerSpellFingerBand of Rays
333FingerSpellFingerAbandoned Dark Iron Ring
333NeckTankNeckDarkhowl Amulet
333NeckMeleeNeckSeedling Pod
333NeckMeleeNeckMouth of the Earth
333NeckSpellNeckCharm of the Muse
333TrinketTankTrinketThrongus's Finger
333TrinketHealTrinketBlood of Isiset
333TrinketHealTrinketCorrupted Egg Shell
333TrinketMeleeTrinketRight Eye of Rajh
333TrinketMeleeTrinketMark of Khardros
333TrinketPhysicalTrinketLeft Eye of Rajh
333TrinketPhysicalTrinketSkardyn's Grace
333TrinketSpellTrinketAnhuur's Hymnal
333TrinketSpellTrinketGale of Shadows

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

The problem with downranking that we hated, and the reason we killed it, wasn't because players were being clever by using cheaper heals when they needed a smaller heal. That's good gameplay and the kind of thing the new model should reward. The part of downranking that was broken, was that the coefficients matter so much more than the base points that you could maintain mana forever by casting a heal that was only slightly less effective. That wasn't gaming the numbers. That was breaking them. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Healing as ... retribution
I said holy gear in a ret spec. And why would the heals be small? In a raid environment, the ret spec could have as much as 2000 more sp than a similarly geared holy paladin because of Sheath of Light and various buffs to AP. This alone would show how little scaling of healing spells the holy tree provides.
We'll look into it and make sure it's not viable. We've certainly had cases in the past where the conversion factors that let Ret not be terrible at healing look really attractive to someone actually wearing healing gear. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Heroic Leap
This ability has a lot of history because we tried it once before. For the Cataclysm version, we received a lot of feedback originally that Heroic Leap just didn't distinguish itself enough from Charge etc. any more. This is a world with Juggernaut and Warbringer after all. We discussed that feedback and understood where warriors were coming from, so we redesigned it so that players could choose where they would leap to. We think the current implementation has lot of different uses. No, it can't get you over canyons or up to ledges, but how often will those case legitimately arise? The potential exploits were the ability that unfettered would be enormous, and reducing those is what let us offer Heoic Leap as it is in the first place. It's a useful ability now. We can experiment with visual effect and height and that sort of thing. I understand from reading this thread that there are players who would design a different ability were they in our shoes. That's fine. This is a subjective business. (Source)

Slam is a controversial ability for sure, but we know there are Arms warriors who considered the height of skill of their class to be when they had to line up the Slam swing time in between their Mortal Strikes. It's not for everyone, for sure, but with Improved Slam and Bloodsurge and being able to move, it really isn't asking too much of you. Yeah you'll screw it up sometimes, but it won't be a catastrophic dps loss when you do.

We've seen just a ton of feedback in the past few weeks on lots of different abilities for different classes that essentially comes down to "X is too hard to use." We think overall that WoW's combat is pretty forgiving. We really don't think this is the time where we need to be making everything much harder to screw up. Simple is good. Confusing is bad. But abilities or rotations that are challenging are good for the game to a point. (Source)

MMO Report
Someone stole Casey for the week, but the MMO Report is still around!

Dark Legacy Comics #254 and Teh Gladiators #164 + #165 are out.

by Published on 2010-09-05 10:17 AM

Stormwind Improvements - New Textures
Stormwind has been improved once again in the latest beta build and I have to admit, the new textures on the floor look really nice.

Cathedral Square

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Dwarven District

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Trade District

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Old Town

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Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Leveling makes you "weaker" in Cataclysm
Your primary stats go up, but your combat ratings go down. The reason for this is that those ratings convert to percentages. If you started with say 50% crit chance, and then gained a level and your new gear had say +4% crit chance instead of +2% crit chance, then you'd quickly get to 100% crit and stay there. This was the reason we implemented combat ratings in the first place. (You can blame Blackhand's Breadth.)

This particularly gets to be a problem when you reach max level. The reason is because you are going to go through several tiers of gear without increasing your character level, so we need to have enough space in the numbers for them to increase. We figure out what the highest say crit and haste chance the game can handle and then work backwards giving each tier a meaningful upgrade (or getting new gear won't be fun) and that determines the combat ratings on the starting gear.

We definitely understand the confusion / weird perception issues this causes and we've talked about some ways to completely revamp the game's combat equations so that we didn't need to use percentage-based stats influenced by ratings with diminishing returns. That is too large a change for Cataclysm, but something we might do in the future (when we aren't also tackling talent and glyph revamps).

Also remember that if you are leveling to 85, you are skipping over a lot of potential quest rewards that you can't get yet. The item leaps among levels are pretty large at level 80-85, which we had to do to make the upgrades feel meaningful. (Imagine the alternatives where you could go to Twilight Highlands directly from Icecrown and do okay.) Once those quest items are in, you'll be more powerful as you level. (Source)

Tuning abilities numbers
A lot of you are focusing on numbers, which are just such easy things to tweak at this stage that we haven't turned our attention to them yet. If a "fun" ability for you is synonymous with "one that hits hard" then what you find fun is liable to be random and switch from build to build.

We have adjusted mob health and damage quite a bit in the beta and we're going to continue to do so. In LK, quest mobs got to be a bit of a joke, such that everyone was used to killing clouds of them with ease. We're trying to return to a world where you can generally handle one, but might want to think about using some of your crowd control or emergency buttons when you get an extra one or two. (Again, that's the intent. We're still adjusting things to get there.) (Source)

Uldum and Twilight Highlands are hard!
Unfortunately, this is the most salient point in the original post. Everything from mana cost to tank damage are designed around having the correct gear. Doing an 85 zone in 83 gear is much, much harder than doing a 75 zone in 73 gear. Why? Because with only 5 levels, we made the level to level jump in item stats really high. That also means mobs also jump up a lot in power from level 73 to 75.

Almost every "Wow, things are hard" thread I have read on this and other forums are a direct result of not having Uldum and Twilight gear yet. We thought long and hard about whether it was a good idea to bump the level cap without that gear in place. In the end, we thought it was worth getting feedback on the quest design and some of the encounter design. But encounter balance is enormously dependent on having the right gear. Just keep that in mind. Things will feel better when you have ugrades available. (Source)

Healing throughput
Throughput won't go up enormously, but it will go up. Regen will go up. Most importantly, tank health and total dps will go up a lot. You won't be able to top anyone off in a GCD, but nobody will die so quickly that you'll need to. In all of our dungeon tests, tanks don't die in 2 or 3 hits unless they are doing something very wrong in the encounter. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Dark Simulacrum
There' still some polish needed on Dark Simulacrum. We are going to try and let it affect everything we possibly can, but there have to be some limitations. Copying pets and the like is just something we can't handle really well. We also need to make sure that some effects have a duration. It's probably okay to copy Shadowform, but Shadowform itself has no duration and the DK version needs to. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Hammer of the Righteous
I think if Hammer of the Righteous went back to its old design of hitting 3 targets, you'd see the forums swarming with paladins in a few weeks demanding some way to AE, such as... removing the cooldown on Consecrate again. There is no way to change the Prot paladin rotation up without changing some core abilities, and we are committed to changing the Prot rotation up.

We have some room to experiment with the proc rates for Grand Crusader, but remember that the more often it procs, the weaker it has to hit. (Source)

Tanking in Cataclysm
Generally, you should use Inquisition when AE tanking, since it will boost the Holy portion of Hammer of the Righteous as well as Consecrate. You should use Shield of the Righteous when fighting single (or perhaps 2-3) targets, because it's going to hit a lot harder.

Beyond that, you have a few options. You can glyph Avenger's Shield to focus on one target if you'd like. You can switch to Shield of the Righteous even on group targets when you get Sacred Duty procs. You can use Grand Crusader procs to focus on the targets you are already in melee with, or use Avenger's Shield on additional targets to help hold threat. Consecrate isn't the "threat glue" is used to be, nor does it have 100% up time, so you're going to have some choices about when and where you use it. (Source)

Words of Glory
The main strength of Word of Glory is its cost. No matter how strained mana might get, you're always going to have ample usage of an instant, free heal. (Source)

Healing Mods Talents
It's difficult to offer talents that mod the other heals. If you have a talent that makes Flash of Light more cost effective or Divine Light faster, then those aren't really filling those niches anymore. We had a lot of problems like this in the past where a combination of talents, glyphs or set bonuses made Flash of Light or Holy Light the obvious heal for paladins, and the other one just died. We want to use all 3 of the cast-time healing spells in Cataclysm, but we're offering the most gameplay around Holy Shock and Word of Glory, because those are what make Holy paladins feel the most different from other healers. (Source)

Beacon of Light
As others have pointed out, Beacon just can't stay as "I heal at 200% effectiveness" in the Cataclysm healing model. It will still give you extra healing, particularly with the Tower of Radiance component. (Source)

AE Healing
We're not worried about the AE healing situation. In Lich King there were situations, especially in raids, where healers were called upon to instantly heal multiple targets at once or someone was going to die. With the larger health pools in Cataclysm, those situations are just going to be very rare. AE damage, and sometimes raid-wide AE auras, will still exist, but your tools are more than adequate to handle them. No, Light of Dawn may not take 5+ targets from 50% damage to 0% damage, but it also doesn't need to. You'll have time to top them off with single target heals, or just wait until the next AE heal is available. We just don't think spammable AE heals are that fun. If we wanted them to be a big part of the game, we'd need to make actual AE healing rotations that did more. The LK scenarios of hitting Wild Growth and Circle of Healing on cooldown are not something we want to go back to (plus, we've increased those cooldowns). (Source)

Healing and Mana management
Right. Another way to think of it is Heal, Holy Light and Healing Wave are essentially your heal autoattacks. They won't do anything too impressive, but you can essentially do them forever. (Source)

Holy Mastery Shield
The paladin mastery should definitely replace a lower shield with a larger one. We're a bit hesitant to just let you continually stack the shield up to its max size. That feels more annoying if anything because then paladins would feel compelled to spam heals on a tank before the pull so they could start with a max strength shield and then drink to restore the mana investment. (Source)

Guardian of Ancient Kings
The Guardian of Ancient Kings shouldn't take damage or die. (Source)

As far as where things are supposed to be, we don't want Exorcism to be the largest source of your damage. There were a couple of bugs with the spell implementation (double dipping on AP for instance) and we also recently decided to change Ret's mastery to no longer affect Holy damage, since it was just propping up Exorcism too much. (Source)

Templar's Verdict/Divine Storm without 3 Holy Power
We think situationally you will want to use TV or Divine Storm with less than 3 stacks. However, if it's very efficient to do so, then players will never wait for 3 stacks because having 3 smaller hits is more valuable than having 1 large hit of the same total damage. (Source)

Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Griefing friendly players with Leap of Faith
Leap of Faith needs to be constrained to your group only. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
In my experience, every time I read one of these "lack of focus" or "we don't have a role" threads, it's nearly always because the players are looking for something very different in the class than what it offers and are trying to steer things in a different direction. As such, we generally don't get much useful feedback out of these "existential crisis" kinds of discussions.

Think really hard about what it is you're asking for. Are you trying to turn Enhancement into a Fury warrior? Are you trying to make a true hybrid that fills many roles at once? Do you just want to be the superhero that always saves your party? Or are you just busting with spell ideas that you'd like to see get implemented? Try and stick with the details and not the big picture from 10,000 feet high. What is the problem you're trying to solve? The intent of the spec design isn't something you need to solve. Figuring out the rough edge that don't feel right is where you can be more helpful.

Enhancement is a spec designed around combining melee weapons strikes with spells. They also have totems and weapon enchants. Almost all of the talents in the tree support that direction. If half of your talents were trying to turn you into a healer and half of them were trying to turn you into a tank or something, then I'd understand the "no consistent direction" feedback. But that's not what the tree does at all. Stormstrike boosts weapon and spell damage. That is the tree in a nutshell. Other talents boost melee damage or spell damage or both. There are a few survival-oriented talents that should have even more use in PvE in the Cataclysm environment, but are still optional.

Feedback on which abilities you like or dislike or talents you find useful or not useful is totally appropriate and appreciated. The whole "we're adrift at sea without a direction" nearly always comes across as QQ at best or "here is my pet list of talents" at worst (whether it was intended to or not) so my advice is just to avoid it.

I'm not trying to shoot down the feedback. I'm trying to steer it into a format that is more likely to produce the kind of results that I sense you're really looking for. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Icon Highlights
The icon highlights for things like Overpower and Revenge need a little more polish so that they don't stay lit all the time or light up during a cooldown. (Source)

Colossus Smash
Colossus Smash is indeed still bugged and will make targets harder to kill. It required new tech to get this effect working at all, and it's going to take some time before it is working correctly. (Source)

Heroic Leap
The Thunder Clap portion of Heroic Leap was the subject of much derision on this very forum. If you liked it, you should have stuck up for it then. It's gone now.

That sounds harsh, which isn't my intention, but it is really, really common on these forums to see a concerted effort among some players to say "Change X" and then when we do, other players come out of the woodwork to say "But we liked X!" I can't suggest a great solution to that except to pay attention to the kinds of discussions that are happening, and chime in if you disagree with something strongly. (Source)

Damage Tuning
We aren't focused on numbers tuning yet, so comments like "RB doesn't hit very hard" or "SMF doesn't compete with TG" just aren't going to be terribly useful posts at this stage. If your measurement of "fun" is "hits for big numbers" then you aren't going to be able to provide beta feedback that helps the developers much. (Source)

Tooltips not showing "true" damage
We'll make sure the tooltips reflect the actual damage being done. It's hard to know without looking at each spell individually whether the damage is wrong or the description. (Source)
by Published on 2010-09-04 08:44 AM

Muffins Presents Cataclysm Part 2: Eastern Kingdoms
Muffins released a 2nd video preview of Cataclysm, it focuses on the Maelstrom/Eastern Kingdoms and is as good as the first one posted a few weeks ago.

Grim Batol Screenshots and Dungeon Loot
Grim Batol is now active on beta servers and players can explore the instance as they wish (flying mounts work there apparently), here are a couple of screenshots from this dungeon.

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Now that all dungeons are now active on beta realms (more on that later), a lot of items have been discovered on PTRs. I cannot sort them by instance yet but lvl 85 normal instances are definitely dropping ilvl 333 loot. Couple of issues with the new in-game cache format, we'll stick to screenshots for the moment.

Models aren't implemented yet.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Death Knight (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
We're starting to think that the ship has just sailed on Pestilence. As I said, our original intent was that Blood Boil be the main AE attack, but now we're considering making Blood Boil more for tanking, letting Frost use Howling Blast and letting Unholy use Pestilence, because, you know, diseases.

That is a really great idea. Have you given any thought as to how you would implement it? Like would Unholy be the only spec that could spread full strenght diseases?
Something like that. Full strength might be too powerful, but we'll see. Unholy still has a few too many talents like Improved Icy Touch and Corrupting Strikes, so this might be a good replacement (though likely deeper than those two examples). (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Retribution Mastery
We have actually changed Retribution's mastery. Having both it and Inquisition boost Holy damage was giving too much power to things like Exorcism (over which you have very little control) and not enough to things like Templar's Verdict (which is supposed to be the centerpiece of your rotation). The new mastery will emphasize Templar's Verdict more. (Source)
Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Warlock Pets
While we generally still want to adhere to the goal of Felhunter = Affliction, Felguard = Demo, Imp = Destro, we want everyone to use their other demons sometimes too. That involved making a lot of changes.

For starters, their damage and survivability will move closer together. We want the decision to be more about utility of their abilities than dps or squishiness. Under the new scaling model, the Imp and Succubus have health, mana and armor not too far off from the Felhunter.

We tried out the Imp doing friendly damage when he dispelled because we thought it was interesting for the demonic feel, but we have already removed it. We also tried an ability to knock allies out of CC that break on damage, but we now think that would be too powerful. Currently the Imp still does a dispel on allies.

We wanted to split Devour Magic into offensive and defensive components or else we felt like the Felhunter would always be the obvious choice for PvP. Now you can choose between having an off-the-GCD silence / interrupt and an offensive dispel / purge -or- having a defensive dispel, increases health and an escape tool.

Like everything else in beta, these are subject to change. We're close to being able to get more max-level PvP feedback and will buff or nerf abilities accordingly. (Source)
by Published on 2010-09-03 06:49 AM

New Website Design - Feedback Needed!
My lovely new tech team is working on a new design for the site and I figured it could be nice to ask for your opinion while things are still in development. There is a dedicated post on the Suggestions & Feedback forum where you can give your opinion and complain about the annoying things before it goes live.

  • No, we're not reducing the amount of news posts on the front page to 2, it will remain the same old super-long front page.
  • I'm mostly looking for people who have good idea on how to improve things, if you really hate something try to elaborate and offer ways to do things better. (Please post in the Feedback Thread)
  • It's a 1680x1050 screenshot because this is the most used resolution on the website, it should work fine on lower res. Updated to Build 12857
Had a few hiccups with the latest build because of the server migration but the cataclysm talent calculator is now updated to the latest beta build.

New Race Introduction Cinematics
TotalBiscuit compiled all the new introduction cinematics added to the game in the latest beta build. All races character creation cinematics have been updated to reflect all the recent changes to the lore, including upcoming changes, and you might want to check them out.

Disclaimer: There are a couple of major spoilers there

Cataclysm Glyphs
Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler (Blue Tracker)
Prime glyphs aren't going to be exciting in a "change up your rotation" style. We want primes to be unambiguous dps (etc.) increases so we figured they might as well be easy to understand rather than something so convoluted that everyone would just go to a fansite to see which 3 to pick.

The majors are more interesting, because they are either not dps increases at all, or dps increases in ways that are tricky to math out. We think players will debate and geek out more about which majors to use, and with the new glyph design, swapping them out once in awhile isn't very painful.

Minors are basically convenience or fun.

We don't want glyphs to change rotations. We feel that was a mistake in LK. Talents should affect your rotations, and glyphs should just provide a little bit of customization and power. We fixed some class problems with glyphs in LK, which was an easy solution to do at the time, but now is the time to undo all of that and let the classes stand on their own without the glyphs.

I'm not sure I agree with this. I can understand wanting to keep it simple, but like someone else said, if you're going to have 3 glyphs that we're always going to have with no variation, and none of them have any effect on the rotation... couldn't we just stick with minor/major glyphs, and just remove the prime glyphs entirely?

First, it would be a weird world in which a warrior say could glyph Charge and Battle Shout but not Mortal Strike. It might make sense to savvy players who thought through it, but I'd wager you'd also see a lot of "Why don't they make glyphs that affect the buttons I care most about? Blizzard is dumb." (And to be clear, the point of that is not to defend ourselves against agitated forum posters, but that if something in the game is confusing like that in can get in the way of having fun.)

Second, gaining power when you level up is fun. Hitting a milestone where you get a noticeable damage bonus is fun. There is also some mildly interesting decisions about which prime glyph to use first. In other words, don't view everything through the lens of the maximum level player.

Third, not everything in the game needs to be a nail-biting decision. We don't for example really want Fury warriors to stress about whether to choose Raging Blow or not, nor we do we make it particularly challenging to choose your weapon enchant. Sometimes easy decisions make players feel more comfortable rather than every potential decision having a host of invisible pitfalls. This isn't an issue of catering to the dumb players -- it's more about there being a few safe places in the game. [I feel nearly certain after re-reading that paragraph that it's going to be hard to understand and I will end up having to clarify it for months to come.]

Finally, I'd argue that the popular glyphs on live today already were the no brainers because in most cases they led to a consistent dps increase (for dps specs of course). When everyone uses those glyphs, then you aren't making some interesting decision about how to use your abilities -- you're just doing what every other warrior out there is doing. The only way to deviate from that is to have two glyphs that affect your primary abilities in two totally different but equal ways. That's a very tall order, because more than likely we'll end up having to constantly adjust around that. "Encounter #4 in Grim Batol is unfair to warriors who use the Glyph of Furious Mortal Strikes instead of the Glyph of Meaty Mortal Strikes." What I mean is that we end up having to support multiple play styles within one tree. We're willing to do that to a limited extent (the TG vs. SMF Fury warrior for example, or the FFB mage), but it's hard enough to develop 1-2 viable rotations per spec. We don't want every important glyph bifurcating that rotation even more.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Your ICC gear is going away in Uldum (LVL 84-85)
What gear? Uldum has zero quest rewards and the creatures are not itemized. When Uldum is itemized every single quest should offer you an upgrade, regardless of what gear you have from ICC+. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Paladin Glyphs
That Avenging Wrath glyph no longer exists. It's far too obvious a dps increase to be a major under the new paradigm.

The Seal of Truth one is on the bubble. It's still in for now, but it's pretty much a no-brainer given the stat savings it offers. (Source)

Selfless Healer
We're fine with Selfless Healer. It's not going anywhere. We are slightly sympathetic to the concern that the opportunity cost is too high given that you're giving up a Templar's Verdict and that's the kind of thing we might mess with. However, if the idea of having a talent focused solely on healing (and not self preservation) offends you, then skip the talent. It's intended to be optional. There are paladins out there who like the concept of being able to help out healing in a 5-player dungeon or like being able to save lives once in awhile, and the talent is aimed at them. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Warrior Glyphs
Some of those glyphs don't look correct. Colossus Smash is a major. Hamstring doesn't do that anymore. Shield Wall provides 60% damage reduction but on a longer cooldown. That's just off the top of my head. (Source)

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