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Transmog and 3D Models
Toy Box and UI Changes
Zones, Quests, and Exploration
That said, will the rotation be set in that order or shifted around after every 5 days?
9 hr 52 min ago
Traders who visit your Garrison will maintain the same order that started on 2/27: ore/dust/cloth/leather/herb.
2 hr 2 min ago
Or if it already is?
2 days ago
already works that way :)
2 days ago
, Senior Game Designer
We've pushed a hotfix to change Garrison profession Traders to a predictable daily order instead of being random.
3 days ago
"Exploration Mission Master" removed from "Don't Call Me Junior" meta achievement. UI not updated until a client patch.
3 days ago
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Blizzard Introduces the WoW Token: Exchange Gold and Game Time
Darkmoon Faire (March 1 - 8): New Toys, Race Unlock Schedule, Achievements
Method's Mythic Gruul Guide, Voidtalon of the Dark Star Found
Liveblog: Raids and Dungeons Q&A With Lead Game Designer Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas
New Recruit-a-Friend Mount: Cindermane Charger
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News Round Up: Hotfixes, Dev Watercooler, and Dragonwrath Questline
2011/08/16 at 3:55 PM
Major changes to threat today were hotfixed in. And when we say major, we mean
--basically it's a non-factor from this point on.
Threat generation for all tanks has been increased to 500%, up from 300%. This applies to
should no longer be generated when damage is fully absorbed by damage shields. When the shield breaks from damage or damage is partially absorbed, the amount of Vengeance generated is equal to the full amount of damage taken (including the damage absorbed.)
More information can be found in our latest
Dungeons & Raids
has come into a larger supply of PvE gear than he previously possessed.
s should now be nigh impossible for a single player to kill.
The first six bosses now have an increased chance of dropping a
on Heroic difficulty.
Baleroc should now always choose
the first time he casts Blades of Baleroc.
Beth'tilac now does slightly less damage on normal difficulty.
The explosion damage radius of each Magma Meteor just before Lord Rhyolith should now more closely match their spell effect visuals.
es should no longer emit plumes of smoke while they are dormant.
should no longer knock nearby players back.
lines are now 30 yards long, down from 40 yards, on normal difficulty.
Rhyolith now activates volcanoes less often on normal difficulty.
Stepping on an active volcano now removes 16 stacks of armor, up from 10, on normal difficulty.
All threat generated in this encounter has been reduced in Heroic difficulty.
Son of Flame
should now be immune to silence effects.
have all had their damage reduced slightly on normal difficulty.
Players should now be able to keep the
buff from the quest
Welcome to the Machine
Dev Watercooler - Threat Level Midnight
One of the fun things about working on an MMO is that the game design will evolve over time, and you have the opportunity to make changes to reflect those design shifts. (And yes, we know that it can sometimes evolve too quickly).
Back in December, I wrote a blog post about our vision for how threat should work. Since then, the game and the community have continued to progress and the designers have found ourselves changing our minds about the role of threat. Enough that we’re planning to apply a hotfix this week to change how threat works.
Why have threat?
Threat’s role, just so we’re all on the same page, is to make fights more interesting. Tanks spend a lot of effort staying alive, but they aren’t under immediate threat of death one-hundred percent of the time. Plus, their staying alive is also dependent on their healers and other external cooldowns. We have always been concerned that if threat was not a big part of tanking gameplay that tanks might get bored just waiting around until it was time to use a cooldown. Likewise, if DPS and healers had no risk of being attacked themselves then the sense of danger facing a powerful creature could erode. Furthermore, every character’s toolbox includes some cool survival and utility abilities and the game feels more shallow if those are exclusively used for PvP. It’s fun for a mage to Frost Nova an attacker and Blink away. It’s fun for a hunter to Feign Death. Yes your life would be a lot easier without threat mechanics, but our goal isn’t to make fights as easy as possible. Our job is to make fights fun. Having too much to manage might not be fun, but it’s also not fun to be bored.
That’s been our traditional argument for threat needing to matter. Here is the case against it:
Why not have threat?
As I said in the previous blog post, it’s not fun to feel throttled. It’s not fun for the Feral druid to stop using special attacks in order to avoid pulling aggro. It’s fun to use Feint at the right time to avoid dying, but it’s not fun for Feint to be part of your rotational cooldown. We want you to spend most of your effort trying to overcome the dragon or elemental, not struggling against your own tank.
Tanks are busy
I’d also argue that our encounters aren’t really boring these days. We ask tanks to do a lot -- everything from picking up adds, to moving bosses around, to staying out of fires, to providing interrupts, in addition to the classic tank roles of staying alive and generating threat.
Threat stats aren’t fun
We put threat stats (hit and expertise for the most part) on tanking gear, because without those, tanks would be limited to choosing from among mastery, dodge, and parry. (In the current state of itemization, you are rarely choosing more Strength, Agility, Stamina, or armor.) Druids can’t parry, and even for the plate users, there is a tight relationship between dodge and parry, and even mastery for the warrior and paladin. That gets us dangerously close to the old model of stacking a single uber stat (like Stamina or defense), which makes gearing choices too simplistic for tanks. Did something drop? Okay, put it on. (Contrast this to a DPS caster who might want more or less hit or might favor haste over crit, etc.)
We want threat stats to be interesting, but the reality is that they aren’t. Any decent tank will usually choose survivability stats over threat stats. Back in the day when taunts and interrupts could miss, you could argue hit was marginally useful. But in a world where hit is really just for generating threat, it isn’t very exciting and tanks get understandably emo when we put too much on their gear. (DKs are somewhat of an exception in a good way -- more on that in a sec.) We do see some players try and get excited about threat stats or even proud of their ability to generate threat, but overall we feel like threat stats are a trap, and it’s usually the case that improving your survivability will have a better net impact on your group’s progression.
We don’t need a more complex UI
We have threatened for years (see what I did there?) to build in some kind of threat tracking tool into WoW. But is that really good for the game? Do we really need yet another UI element for players to look at instead of looking at the actual game world? We know many raiders in particular use third-party threat mods today, but that has really been borne out of necessity rather than a sense that watching threat is super compelling gameplay. (When we say “super compelling gameplay” you can mentally replace that with “fun.”)
I know this bullet will be a point made by players critical of this change, but I would feel remiss in not bringing it up. We want it to be a positive experience when Dungeon Finder matches experienced players with newer players. The skill and gear of the former can help make up for that of the latter. Who better to teach you boss mechanics than players who have done the fights before? Even better, the gear of a veteran tank can make up for the less powerful gear of a beginning healer (which doesn’t necessarily mean a noob -- it could be the alt of a very experienced raider).
However, this system fails and often spectacularly so when it’s the tank who is the undergeared player. Even if a competent healer can keep the undergeared tank alive, the fully raid-geared DPS spec is going to constantly be on the verge of pulling threat. That’s not an issue of skill. It’s just numbers. It’s also not a problem that is easy to overcome for either the overgeared DPS or the undergeared tank -- it’s just not a lot of fun for anyone.
So now what?
Given all of that, and watching how tanking has unfolded in Cataclysm, we’ve gotten over the concept that threat needs to be a major part of PvE gameplay. We have therefore decided to buff tank threat generation in a hotfix this week to where it’s generally not a major consideration. We expect the community to gradually stop using threat-tracking mods as players realize they don’t need them.
It’s an important distinction that the concept of “aggro” will still exist. If a DPS spec attacks an add the second it shows up, then the creature is going to come at her. However, if a tank gets an attack or two on a target, then the target should stick to the tank. Worrying about who has the creature’s attention should generally only be a concern at the start of a fight or when additional creatures join the battle. Worrying about a warrior or DK (the classes with nearly non-existent threat dumps) creeping up on tank threat after several minutes will almost certainly not be an issue any longer. (And if it is, we’ll have to make further adjustments.)
We like abilities like Misdirect. It’s fun as a hunter to help the tank control targets. We are less enamored of Cower, which is just an ability used often to suppress threat. We like that the mage might have to use Ice Block, Frost Nova, or even Mirror Image to avoid danger. We don’t like the mage having to worry about constantly creeping up on the tank’s threat levels. The notion of aggro (who the target is attacking) is a keeper. The notion of threat races (who is about to pull aggro) is going to be downplayed from here on out.
Here are the specific changes you’re likely to see:
Hotfix: The threat generated by classes in their tanking mode has been increased from three times damage done to five times damage done.
In an upcoming patch: Vengeance no longer ramps up slowly at the beginning of a fight. Instead, the first melee attack taken generates Vengeance equal to one third of the damage dealt by that attack. As Vengeance updates during the fight, it is always set to at least a third of the damage taken in the last two seconds. It still climbs from that point at the previous rate, still decays at the previous rate, and still cannot exceed the current maximum.
You could argue that once threat is very easy to manage that a warrior tank could just go AFK. In reality, given today’s boss encounters, an AFK warrior would end up standing in the wrong place, missing a tank transition, or otherwise do something or fail to do something that wipes the party or raid.
That said, we ultimately don’t want tanking to be just standing there soaking boss hits and we would like to have more stats on gear that tanks care about. To solve those challenges, we want to shift more tank mitigation to require active management. We’ll still give all the tanks emergency cooldowns like Shield Wall and Survival Instincts. However, we want to move the shorter cooldowns like Shield Block, Holy Shield and Savage Defense so that they work more like Death Strike. Blood DKs have a lot of control over the survivability they get from Death Strike, but as part of that gameplay, they have to actually hit their target. The other three tanks will get similar active defense mechanics. This doesn’t mean everyone needs to use the DK model of self-healing, but they can use the DK model of managing resources to maximize survivability.
Death Strike consumes resources to help the tank survive. We toyed at one point with the paladin Holy Shield being a Holy Power consumer and we think we could do so again. Heck we could make Word of Glory the thing you’re supposed to do with Holy Power, so long as we balanced all tanks around that idea and didn’t feel it infringed too much on the DK mechanic. We could make Shield Block cost rage, and change Protection warrior rage income such that they had to manage rage, the way Fury and Arms warriors now must do. If tanks generated more rage from doing damage and less from taking damage, then hitting a target becomes very important, but for mitigation, not threat management reasons. This is a bigger change than it seems though. We don’t want a model where the Prot warrior ignores Shield Slam, Devastate and Revenge (since threat isn’t a big deal) in order to bank all rage for Shield Block (because survival is). Imagine a rage model where you always had enough rage for your core rotational abilities (they could be cheap or even generate rage), so that you could funnel most of your rage into Shield Block when survival mattered and Heroic Strike when it did not. Redesigning Savage Defense to make it a rage sink is an even bigger change, but we think there is an opportunity there to make the rotation more interesting for druids (and all tanks really). Their rotation would help them achieve the goal that usually matters the most to tanks: living.
This is the kind of design for which we’re really going to need a lot of feedback once it hits. We can implement and verify empirically how much threat a tank generates, but it’s hard for us to replicate the experience of all of the various raiding groups and dungeon parties out there. We invite you to try out the immediate and eventually the long-term changes when they are available and let us know how they feel. Do you miss the threat game? Are you bored when tanking now? Conversely, with the changes, is tanking more fun for you? Does this new implementation of Vengeance feel better? Some systems design calls we can make just by processing numbers, and some are more squishy and involve a lot gut checks and wishy-washy “but how does it FEEL?” language. Messing with this kind of thing is definitely somewhere in the middle.
Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the lead systems designer for World of Warcraft, and lead eater at the dinner table.
I've been on this questline for some time now and i honestly don't understand it. you have a dragon who hits like a truck and summons adds that hit even harder, if you don't interrupt the adds you die and you cant run from them. If you get hit by the dragon's breath, its over and to top it all off the boss has 1.9m hp. Seriously blizz? i understand its a legendary quest but come on you made it next to impossible for any class without an abundance of self heals. doing this on an affliction lock i can barely keep hp to get him to 1m hp left before i run out of defensive CDs and die, not to mention i'm in almost full 378 gear. On another note why is there an ability that needs to be dispelled? You made this game you should realize that not all casters have even a dispel let alone an offensive one to dispel the boss so why the hell is this even a mechanic?
All in all this NEEDS to be nerfed, not a lot but maybe take out the add spawning or lower the damage that it does? Anything really to help the classes without easy self healing.
To be fair, we've heard complaints that this is too hard for X, where X = just about every class/spec. It's supposed to be extremely challenging, harkening back to the feel of the Molten Core item quests, which were also not easy. On the other hand, you have unlimited attempts and time to try to figure it out.
You made this game you should realize that not all casters have even a dispel let alone an offensive one to dispel the boss so why the hell is this even a mechanic?
Warlocks have a good dispel in Devour Magic (Felhunter), though it's understandable that sometimes more PvE-oriented locks don't have as much experience using their pet in this manner.
It may be really hard, but the feedback we've heard from those who have completed it (including warlocks), is that it ultimately brings a major sense of accomplishment. If you want a legendary item, this questline isn't for the faint of heart. But we do wish you luck. ;)
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News Round Up: Ethereals Are Back in Blizzard Teaser
2011/08/11 at 11:47 AM
So Blizzard just posted a really weird picture to their Facebook of ethereal NPCs. A blue posted it with no explanation as presumably a teaser. At this point, it's probably a hint for either 4.3 or the next expansion; in particular, maybe it even hints towards a redone Outlands or further character customization. Whatever it does mean, though, it's pretty crazy.
Curiouser and curiouser...
4.2.2 Patch Notes PTR (August 11th)
World of Warcraft PTR Patch 4.2.2
Notes for all World of Warcraft patches can be found
Dungeons & Raids
The visibility of Ragnaros’ Dreadflame ability has been increased.
The size of Ragnaros’ hit box during the final phase of the Heroic encounter has been increased.
Raid Frames should now remember whether they were shown or hidden upon subsequent logins.
Players using multiple accounts should now be available to be invited to a Real ID Party.
Attempts to purchase Arena Season 10 items should no longer sometimes cause a client crash. (Korea Only)
Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest
, a mage from
, was the first person in the world to get
Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest
. Incidentally, it also confirms that you transform into a mount when you use its on use ability.
How close is your guild to completing it? What class got it--how did you decide to give it to that lucky person?
I've always liked the idea of 15-man raids. Of course, tuning would be a nightmare so it'll never happen, but hey! Even Blizzard thinks they would be a good number of players!
I think the should add 15 man raids in cataclsym.
10 is too little and 25 is too much. It's like the PERFECT number.
So will we have 10/15/25 man raids. 15 mans will drop 3 pieces of gear following the 1Gear:5Players Ratio.
Please give your thought on this i would LOVE to see 15 man raids.
Edit:10Man-120VP 25Man-140VP so 15Man-130VP
I'd actually agree that 15 players make for a pretty optimal number of raiders, in terms of the logistics of forming a raid and class representation. The task of tuning raids for three separate sizes is one you probably won't see on our radar any time soon though.
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News Roundup: Dragonwrath Legendary Staff Clarifications, 4.2 Firelands Preview Updated
2011/05/10 at 7:05 PM
Just a small handful of Blizzard posts today, as it's the start of the week and we haven't been completely flooded with new info from the Blues (though there have been many welcome additions in the latest PTR patches, as I'm sure you guys have noticed)! As expected, most of the forum discussion has focused around since it has finally been datamined (with its datamined stats). I'd like to take this moment to remind you guys that (as always)
that has been datamined from the PTR files is subject to change. All of it. Even the things Blizzard says themselves in their patch notes is subject to change. Remember that the Public Test Realms are just that -
realms - and that you may not be seeing the final version of some of these awesome items which are planned to go live. :)
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