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by Published on 2011-06-05 09:55 PM

Tier 12 Video Preview - Mage and Death Knight
Two more video previews of Tier 12 sets today! Mage and Death Knights!

Patch 4.2 - Crafting Materials Base Price Changes
Patch 4.1 already nerfed the NPC sell price of cut uncommon gems in Cataclysm but it seems that Blizzard is taking things one step further in 4.2. I'm pretty sure some of those changes will have repercussions on all the friendly Auction House farmers out there.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion



The MMO Report
It looks like it's monday, and time for another MMO Report!

by Published on 2011-06-04 06:33 AM

Tier 12 Video Preview - Hunter
It's time for another Tier 12 video preview, this time with the hunter set: the Flamewaker's Battlegear!

World of Warcraft 64-bit client soon?
According to the latest changes in the interface files of the Patch 4.2 PTR client, it seems that Blizzard is finally getting ready to release a 64-bit version of the WoW client.

		if ( IsWindowsClient() ) then
			if ( Is64BitClient() ) then


And as I write this news post I can already see the confused look in your eye: "Wait? What? Who cares?". Well, this change means two things:

  • People with 64-bit Operating Systems (= anyone with more than 3gb of Memory, most likely) will see a slight increase in performance.
  • People who regularly experiences crashes when World of Warcraft uses too much memory will finally be able to play WoW without crashing every x hours/minutes. (People playing in super high resolution, or with a boatload of addons)

Of course nothing is official yet, but there's a glimmer of hope for the increasing number of people with 64-bit systems. However, I'd like to point out that we're only seeing a couple of strings in .lua files and not real changes so I wouldn't expect it for Patch 4.2.

iPhone Mobile Authenticator App Update
Originally Posted by Lylirra (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Due to an issue with the latest version of the iPhone Mobile Authenticator application (version 1.3.0), we've temporarily taken down the app from the iTunes store. Rest assured that we're already working on a new version and will be providing an update in this thread as soon as that new update is up. Please note that until the new version is made available, iPhone and iTouch users will be unable to download the app or upgrade it to the latest version.

If you use a non-iPhone version of the Mobile Authenticator, have not upgraded to version 1.3.0, or if you upgraded an existing version via iTunes but have not retrieved a new serial number, your Mobile Authenticator should be unaffected by this issue and continue to function as normal. Regardless if you retrieved the update or not, there is no security threat or risk associated with the Authenticator's ability to continue protecting your account while attached.

As always, if you are experiencing any issues with an Authenticator or Mobile Authenticator, we encourage you to contact our customer support staff for assistance -


Patch 4.2 - Memento Mori + Method vs Occu'thar (Baradin Hold)
Memento Mori and Method teamed up on test realms to go kick Occu'thar's ... eyes. Occu'thar is the new boss of Baradin Hold and if you have no idea of what's going on in this fight, don't worry, there's a dungeon journal entry for that guy too!

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Occu'thar (Baradin Hold)
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 35,000 Fire damage every 1 sec to players within 12 yards of the targeted location.
  • Searing Shadows - Occu'thar inflicts 105,000 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 6,000 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 25,000 Shadow damage on all players.

by Published on 2011-06-03 12:06 AM

Update - Fixed the links to heroic versions of the upgrade, I apologize for being extremely stupid.

Patch 4.2 - Heroic Item Upgrades
The latest PTR build of Patch 4.2 finally allowed us to understand the use of the Crystallized Firestone dropped by all Firelands boss in heroic mode.

  • Upgrade Weapons and Relics from the Patch 4.2 Valor Points Vendor to heroic quality.
  • Upgrade Weapons and armors from the Firelands raid to heroic quality. Since they aren't listed in the loot table of any boss I will assume they're trash loot but I could be wrong.

To buy the upgraded version of an item, you will need the normal version of the item and 1 Crystallized Firestone.

Level Type Spec Slot Name Drop Upgrade
378PolearmPhysical DPSTwo-HandRanseur of HatredRaid TrashRanseur of Hatred (H)
378GunPhysical DPSRangedLava Bolt CrossbowRaid TrashLava Bolt Crossbow (H)
378StaffSpell DPSTwo-HandSpire of Scarlet PainRaid TrashSpire of Scarlet Pain (H)
378DaggerSpell DPSMain HandChelley's Sterilized ScalpelRaid TrashChelley's Sterilized Scalpel (H)
378LeatherMeleeWaistRiplimb's Lost CollarRaid TrashRiplimb's Lost Collar (H)
378MailPhysical DPSWristHide-Bound ChainsRaid TrashHide-Bound Chains (H)
378AxeMeleeOne-HandBlackcleave ChopperRaid TrashBlackcleave Chopper (H)
378NeckMeleeNeckFirebound GorgetRaid TrashFirebound Gorget (H)
378FingerTankFingerStalwart Ember SealRaid TrashStalwart Ember Seal (H)
378TrinketMeleeTrinketApparatus of Khaz'gorothRaid TrashApparatus of Khaz'goroth (H)
378TrinketTankTrinketScales of LifeRaid TrashScales of Life (H)
378WandSpell DPSRangedGlowing Ember WandValor PointsGlowing Ember Wand (H)
378WandSpell SpiritRangedPhoenix-Feather WandValor PointsPhoenix-Feather Wand (H)
378RelicMeleeRelicDoomflame FetishValor PointsDoomflame Fetish (H)
378RelicPhysical DPSRelicHardheart RelicValor PointsHardheart Relic (H)
378RelicSpell DPSRelicSoulflame VialValor PointsSoulflame Vial (H)
378RelicSpell SpiritRelicFirebinder RelicValor PointsFirebinder Relic (H)
378RelicTankRelicDeathclutch FigurineValor PointsDeathclutch Figurine (H)
378ThrownMeleeThrownMorningstar ShardValor PointsMorningstar Shard (H)
378ThrownTankThrownDeflecting StarValor PointsDeflecting Star (H)
378ThrownMeleeThrownGiantslicerValor PointsGiantslicer (H)

Murkablo Companion Pet Video
The Murkablo (Murky's Little Soulstone) is so cute and fluffy that it deserves an early video. At this point we're not really sure if it will be a Diablo 3 Collector pet or the pet given to people who will attend Blizzcon this year.

Ragnaros 25-Man PTR Kill by Synced
Ragnaros was available for testing on PTRs tonight and Synced (EU-Kil'jaeden) managed to take him down, and they even have a video of the kill.

Additional BlizzCon Benefit Dinner Tickets On Sale June 8
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Looking for another chance to attend this year's BlizzCon Benefit Dinner and help out a good cause in the process? An additional handful of tickets have become available to this special pre-BlizzCon event and will be going on sale Wednesday, June 8 at 7 p.m. Pacific Time through the online Blizzard Store. Guests will have an opportunity to meet and chat with game developers, artists, executives, and other folks from Blizzard Entertainment before the show. Tickets will be available for $500 USD each (BlizzCon admission included), and the proceeds will benefit Children's Hospital of Orange County. Quantities will be extremely limited, so keep a close watch on the ticket sales page on Wednesday evening for the chance to get yours.

Click here for more information on the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Goblin Racial Nerf
It wasn't a stealth nerf. It was a bug fix to make the goblin racial function as stated. This is the racial description:

"Always receive the best possible gold discount, regardless of faction."

What this means is you will get the exalted discount from faction vendors regardless of your standing with that faction. There was a bug, however, which allowed the discount to go beyond the maximum (exalted) discount provided to all other races.

We fixed the bug so that the goblin racial now functions as advertised. If you're friendly with, say Kirin Tor, you will receive the same discount as a tauren would who is exalted with that faction. If you're both exalted, you'll still receive the same discount.

So it was previously stacking with other things, like the guild bonus and such? And now it's fixed?
That's correct.

This is hardly even a racial now. What does it give Goblins that everybody else doesn't have access to now? What other races have a racial that everybody else can be on-par with by putting in a little effort?

Best Deals Anywhere explicitly states you get the best possible gold discount from vendors, not more of a discount than any other race can possibly get.

We’re not trying to nerf fun here, but the goblin racial package is very powerful even if you ignore Best Deals Anywhere completely. It’s a fine line between making racials fun and interesting, and making players feel like they can only pick a certain race. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Leaving instances in combat
I'd agree it can be annoying, and even costly, but I don't think a restriction of not allowing people to leave during combat would achieve much. Generally people leaving at those moments are doing so on some type of 'principle'. You're pulling too slow, the healer has a fishing pole equipped, etc. etc. and it would be just as productive for them to stand there doing nothing and either wiping the group or just making it a tougher pull. Unlikely they'd think "Oh, I guess they really need me" and jump into combat. They'd just wait until everyone died, feeling justified in their ability to kill the group, and then leave.

There are also situations where being able to leave while in combat wouldn't be the 'wrong' thing to do. For example if someone decided to pull the instance in hopes of wiping everyone. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

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

by Published on 2011-06-02 03:05 AM

Patch 4.1 Hotfixes - May 20 - June 1
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
May 20-June 1

  • Stationary ground effects should no longer move with the casting character if he or she moves (or is moved) from his or her current location.

Warlock (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)
  • It is no longer possible under specific circumstances for players to keep the buff from the now-defunct Improved Demonic Tactics talent.
  • Glyph of Imp should not be increasing the spell damage of all warlock pets by 20%.

Dungeons & Raids
Blackwing Descent
  • Maloriak now prefers to cast Flash Freeze on caster targets more than 15 yards away. Tank-specialized characters are not targeted, but Flash Freeze can chain onto them. If all the characters in the raid stack up within 15 yards of the boss, they can be hit by Flash Freeze.

Throne of the Tides
  • Unstable Corruptions now award much less experience when killed on normal difficulty.

  • Shadows of Hakkar can no longer be reflected or deflected.

  • The Bountiful Bags guild perk should no longer sometimes incorrectly reward Archaeologists with multiple keystones from dig sites.

  • Players can no longer continue gaining Skinning skill points using low-level creatures below the intended skill threshold.

  • It should no longer be possible under specific conditions for the Matchmaking Value shown at the end of an Arena match to be incorrect.

  • Several changes have been made to Battleground queuing to improve the flow for those who queue for random Battlegrounds versus those who queue for specific ones.
  • The ability for players to retain a second queue for a Battleground after they’ve already entered one has been removed. Previously, players were able to queue for two Battlegrounds, have one queue pop and retain their second queue while they decided if they wanted to join the one that was ready. This is no longer the case. When a Battleground queue pops players will automatically be removed from all other active queues. To queue for a different Battleground it will be necessary to finish the match and queue again. This solves a design issue in that the old system gave players an opening to abandon their teammates if things weren’t going as well as they’d hoped; and it also solves some queue system inconsistencies that were being caused as a side effect of how the old system functioned.

  • The goblin racial Best Deals Anywhere should now only be applying to vendors with associated reputations. It no longer incorrectly applies to vendors with no attached reputations, nor does it apply to flight path costs. (Note: the displayed costs for flight paths require a client-side patch to update and are not currently reflecting this racial change). In addition, it is no longer possible for goblin characters exalted with their guild to receive an extra discount on top of the exalted faction discount from guild vendors.

Quests & Creatures
  • Genn Greymane should now always correctly enter The Battle for Gilneas City, ensuring the event won’t sometimes stall during the final phase.
by Published on 2011-06-01 04:43 PM

Dev Watercooler - Cataclysm Talent Tree Post-Mortem
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
You may have noticed we changed class talent trees for Cataclysm. We changed not just the trees themselves, as you might expect for an expansion, but the entire structure of the trees and the way you choose talents. Now that the Cataclysm model has been in play for several months, the team has been discussing what we like and don’t like about it, and I thought that might be of interest to some of you. As always with this series, this is design rumination, not a list of upcoming changes.

What Worked Well

  • The talent trees are simpler now, but without losing a lot of depth. Most of what we cut were passive talents that everyone took anyway, or really lame talents that did nothing.
  • Choosing your specialization at level 10 and not having to delay playing your character the way you want feels great. You can play your shaman as Elemental or Enhancement with the tools and bonuses to make either work.
  • Specs within a class feel different. This was a big challenge for the DPS warriors, warlocks, hunters, and rogues in particular. Nowadays those specs have different rotations, different strengths and utility, and a different flavor overall.
  • Mastery integrates into the trees well. We can delay the complexity until higher level, and we’re at the point now where it’s a competitive stat for many specs (though to be fair, not all yet).
  • There are some legitimate hard choices for many of the specs. Usually these come in two varieties: which talent you want before you can advance to the next tier of the tree, or where you want to spend those remaining talents after you’ve hit the bottom of the tree.
  • At the risk of catching flak for this statement, I feel that the game is as balanced as it’s ever been. When you look back at the vanilla or Burning Crusade days there were many specs that were just jokes and the difference between the highest performing and worst performing specs was on the order of 30-50% or more. Nowadays, players worry about 5-10% differences. Those are differences we still want to fix, absolutely, but we’ve come a long way. The talent trees have helped us do that.

What Didn’t Work

  • I’ll admit there are still a few clunker talents -- those that are undertuned or just not interesting enough. There aren’t many though, and they’re relatively easy to replace.
  • On the other hand, the talent trees still have traps for the unwary. For example, a Fury build that skips over Raging Blow is making a serious mistake. That may seem obvious to current players but it’s the kind of thing someone returning to the game after a hiatus might not understand immediately. (After all, you didn’t robotically take Ghostly Strike just because it was a gold medal ability.) While there is something to be said for safe choices, it would also be nice if the talents we expected players to have were talents they always had.
  • Some players miss true hybrid builds. (Hybrid in this context means spending near evenly in two trees -- I’m not talking about the more common use of “hybrid” as a tank or healing class.) To be fair, these builds were either not very competitive or were just cherry picking a few powerful talents in order to create something that was likely overpowered, especially in PvP. In other words, the reality of the hybrid build never lived up to the myth. But it’s fair to say that it’s impossible now to have a hybrid build, and we understand some players want them back.
  • I said above that there are tough choices within the trees of many specs, but there aren’t very many of them within each spec. Often it can come down to where to spend those last 1-3 talent points. While that was our goal, it would be even more exciting if there were more of those hard decisions. Hard decisions can be painful when you’re faced with excluding an ability or mechanic that’s fun to have. But overall we think hard, exclusive decisions are a good thing. They encourage experimentation and discussion and give players a chance to try out different things, all of which can help keep them engaged.
  • Even worse, one potential place to spend those points is in the first two tiers of the other trees of your class, yet those talents are extremely design-constrained. First, they have to be attractive to the main spec using that tree, so chances are you’re not going to find much interest in the healing tree if you’re a damage dealer (unless you want to improve your limited healing). Second, those top-tier talents can’t affect higher level abilities since the talents are available at level 10. Finally, because those talents are available early, they should really be relatively simple to understand for new or returning players. You don’t want to put complex procs with lots of exceptions and internal cooldowns that high in the tree. All of those reasons mean that it’s rare that there’s a true game-changing talent available in those first two tiers. This would be totally broken, but imagine you could spend those last 10 points anywhere in another tree. Much more exciting, huh?
  • This is a personal pet peeve, but I don’t like the talents that have a 33/66/100% chance to do what you want them to do. That’s just an awkward way of making a valuable talent cost more than one point. The new Cataclysm talent tree design didn’t cause this problem, but it didn’t fix it either.

The Future

This is the part where I’d really love to share our ideas for how we could address these problems, but some discussions are still a little too rough even for the dev watercooler. When we’re a little farther along, we’ll be able to share more. In the meantime, this is a great topic for further discussion. Players like to evaluate the talents in their particular class, but it’s also useful to evaluate the talent tree system as a whole. It’s an iconic design for World of Warcraft for sure, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.

Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the lead systems designer for World of Warcraft. He once spent a summer capturing live radioactive alligators. True story.

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