News Round Up: Captain Placeholder, Free Epic Beta Gear, Blue Posts
We have a news round up and some fun things from beta to share with you, but first we have a beta testing opportunity you might be interested in!
Our good friends at Tencent Boston are looking to expand their beta testing community for their upcoming Facebook game, code-named
. We thought it might be a good fit for some Wowhead users, so we're inviting you to help test it out! Combining action RPG gameplay with RTS elements, Project Emerson looks to be a fun casual game for anyone waiting for their raid to form up. Plus, being a closed beta tester is always a rewarding experience since you get to try out an exciting new game before anyone else and feel involved with the game design process.
If you're interested in getting started as a beta tester for Project Emerson, fill out the
Project Emerson Beta Tester Application
added some new items
to our Mists of Pandaria database. In addition to armor from raiding, crafted items, and cut gems, we found some interesting items to highlight.
Captain Placeholder and Pandaria
The Jade Forest is now closed in the latest beta patch. Never fear though, you can get to Pandaria with everyone's favorite NPC,
! He's located in the center of Stormwind and Orgrimmar now, and once in
, you'll be boosted up to 86. Vendors are nearby with ilvl 384-404 gear as well.
Oh, ho! Oh ho ho.
Yo ho ho, even.
I just come back from the land of Pandaria, with its rolling hills and harsh mountains, and the strangest rum I ever tasted. I crashed me ship into the Jade Forest and me cargo made the land uninhabitable, but in the meantime I can take ye to the Valley of the Four Winds, lickey-split.
Free Epic Beta Gear
PvP vendors up on the wall between
now sell PvP gear. Most of it is free, but ilvl 483 weapons cost around . This is a great way to boost your ilvl and get some upgrades. Unfortunately, the vendors are level 86 and easily killed, so it's a mess trying to get gear from them at busy hours.
, Conquest Quartermaster:
ilvl 483 Malevolent gear
No'toth the Bladebreaker
, Conquest Quartermaster:
ilvl 483 Malevolent gear
, Honor Quartermaster:
ilvl 464 Dreadful gear (no weapons)
, Honor Quartermaster:
ilvl 464 Dreadful gear (no weapons)
News Round Up
Ghostcrawler has been focusing on a different class' concerns every week in beta generally; this week, he addresses a lot of rogue concerns, such as utility issues, boring animations, and beta rotation changes. There's also a feature on
as well as an explanation of the difficulty scaling in level 90 dungeons.
in Caverns of Time
in the Caverns of Time when the raid takes place at Wyrmrest Temple?
It's not quite as much for story reasons as it is for logistical ones. The raid starts in present day Dragonblight, heads over the Great Seas, and ends at the Maelstrom. The issue is that, unlike most raid instances, these are locations players can go visit in the world at any time. So we had to create instanced versions of them as settings for the raid. Because of this, we needed to put an instance portal somewhere. And due to the fact that the Caverns of Time locale fits with the rest of the story of the patch 4.3 dungeons, it seemed appropriate to put all the portals in the same place.
Level 90 Dungeons
There are no level 90 regular dungeons.
The Mists of Pandaria heroic dungeons are easier than the Cataclysm heroic dungeons.* Once we made that decision, we thought that having two versions of the level 90 dungeons (normal and heroic) didn't make sense because they would be very similar in difficulty and offer similar loot. We thought about calling them something besides "heroic," since heroic tends to mean hard to a lot of players, but we also needed to call them something, because some dungeons like
have a lower-level and a level 90 version. We thought about calling them "level 90 versions" but figured "heroic" required less explanation. (We also could have dispensed with lower level dungeons, or made lower level versions of the level 90 dungeons, but we felt like both solutions were just to make the nomenclature of "heroic" more clear, which seemed like bad reasons.)
TLDR: Some Mists of Pandaria dungeons have lower level and level 90 versions. Others just have level 90 versions. In both cases, the level 90 versions are called "heroic."
* - If you like very difficult dungeons, Challenge Modes are targeted at you.
But what about queuing for the lower level version at 90? I should be able to join a group of friends of lower levels and have the queue work, like it did in Wrath.
If the leader of the group meets the requirements (meaning is below level 90 in this case), I believe they can still queue you, especially if your group is completely premade. I'd have to check this though. We went back and forth on it. In any case, you can always just show up at the entrance to the dungeon the old-fashioned way and zone in.
In general, we don't want players using Dungeon Finder to queue for lower level content that is much too easy for them because then players who want to run the content at the appropriate level are faced with overpowered players who trivialize the experience, or pull aggro off a lower level tank, etc. We have no problem with you running lower level dungeons, provided other players aren't adversely affected.
Are Challenge mode dungeons going to offer more than just speed runs and a flat ilvl? I love the idea but I hopes it's more than just racing against a clock in an easy dungeon in the gear it's meant to be ran in.
At the Bronze level, you'll do good to just complete the dungeon in a reasonable amount of time, but you'll probably need to take it slow and stop and plan. It isn't just a test of who has the fastest movement speed. At the Gold level, you'll need to up your game even more and play smart as well as quick, taking risks where appropriate. The Bronze level is more like Heroic Arcatraz, Shadow Labyrinth or Shattered Halls when they were new. Gold level is more like a Zul Aman bear run when you didn't overgear the content.
That's the intent anyway. Nobody outside these walls has seen them yet so you'll have to let us know how they feel.
Are they actually tuned harder or is it the ilevel lock on them that is suppose to make them hard?
They are tuned harder. There are even some additional pulls and mechanics when necessary.
Rogues are in a pretty good place in Cataclysm in both PvE and PvP. We don't see a lot of huge glaring problems that need to be fixed. I realize there are several players out there asking for change just because they're getting bored of the same class or at the very least wanting to spice it up, and that is a totally valid way to feel. But you also have to consider the risk we'd take for all of the rogues out there who are totally happy with the way their class is playing now, thank you very much.
As an example, we changed paladins in Cataclysm because we thought they needed a resource mechanic to make their gameplay more interesting. Overall we're happy with the way that has played out, and it's even better in Mists, but it's also very easy to find "please remove Holy Power" posts regularly. While we disagree with those players, the fact remains that we made the class worse for them.
To use a second example, we are changing warlocks pretty extensively for Mists because we thought they had several fundamental problems. Is every warlock going to like those changes? Of course not. Are there going to lots of players who beg us to revert the changes? Absolutely.
(And this is all ignoring the risk that even changing a mechanic from an acknowledged bad design to a good design still risks frustrating or annoying many players just because they have to relearn something.)
We are trying to fix some of the annoying things rogues have had to deal with and we are trying to offer some options in talents and glyphs that can help spice up the gameplay for someone who has been loyally
ing for these eight years. But we also don't want to fix what isn't broken. We try really hard not to change classes for the sake of change. It's hard. But we try.
I'd go as far to say that most of the class team would probably agree (and I didn't poll them, so I may be sticking my neck out) that the rogue is the best designed class. And much of that design was in place before virtually any of us started working on classes, so we can't even really take credit for it. The rogue has the best resource system (energy), a strong kit, a good toolbox, and a clear role in PvP and PvE, yet it still has disadvantages to go along with the advantages and can't just do everything flawlessly all the time. It's a good design, again in our humble opinions, which is why you see so few changes to the class overall. But please don't over-read that as my stating that we won't fix bugs, add polish, balance numbers, undo bone-headed design flaws when the need arises, or yes, add a little bit of newness once in awhile just to keep things shiny.
What annoying things have we had to deal with that you're fixing?
I'll just use one example because in our opinion it's the biggest. Layered ramping mechanics were the single biggest weakness rogues have in Cataclysm (and have had for some time). Some ramping is desirable, but too much can really hurt target switching, prohibit fast burst damage, etc. (Don't take this to extremes -- we don't need posts from every class pointing out situations in which they can't go from 0 to 60 when target switching and therefore arguing how they need to be redesigned.)
In Mists, we want combo points to be the ramping mechanic.
doesn't need to be a ramping mechanic.
doesn't need to be a ramping mechanic. We changed the way both of those work.
You may not have thought it was a problem, but we did, and we heard about it a lot from rogue players, so we fixed it.
I sincerely want to know by what measure and according to what data you conclude rogues are "fine" in PvP right now.
What I meant was that we didn't see any crippling design flaws in rogues that needed overhauling in Mists. Sub rogues probably are too good in Cataclysm PvP, or at least 3v3 Arenas, which many players use as synonymous with PvP. It's hard to tell if Assassination and Combat are really weak, or if Sub is so strong that any sensible rogue just plays Sub. It's also entirely possible that it isn't even Sub that is too powerful but just
. In any case, my comment was addressed towards the group of players that believe rogues have this giant list of issues that must be addressed, and at another (perhaps overlapping) group of players that just want us to change things up for the rogue because they're getting bored. Sorry for any confusion.
The combo points issue is a symbolic one, though. This is something a large number of rogues have wanted for a very long time, and the issue gets consistently ignored. I often feel as if there's no point in giving feedback at all when the devs can't even see eye-to-eye with players on how our resources should work.
The feedback doesn't get ignored. We just disagree, which we have to be allowed to do if we're actually going to design the game rather than just letting players vote on how every mechanic should work. We like the way combo points work (meaning on the target). I also suspect you're being a bit presumptuous assuming that all rogues want combo points on the rogue. Yes, rogues would be easier to play if you didn't have to worry about which target your combo points were on. Do rogues need to be easier to play? If so, are combo points the right change? We could eliminate combo points and just give
a cooldown. Would that be easier? Would it be more fun? I'm not trying to be dismissive -- I think those questions are legitimately hard to answer.
A lot of people say
is poorly designed because it doesn't work on those fights, but I firmly believe those situations are a failure of encounter design, not class design.
are fine; Blizz needs to learn to take them into account when they design bosses.
We do. But it is not our design intent that every spec can perform the exact same rotation on every fight. I'm certain that if we solved the
issue then the next complaint to come up (from some class) would be that every boss fight needs to have 3 targets, because multi-dotting works the best with 3 targets and their DPS will be lower when there is only one target. What do you think the DPS difference is among the 3 rogue specs on Ultraxion? (You can't just look at posted logs to answer that question, because mostly what those logs tell you are that most rogues (and presumably many of the best ones) go Combat for that fight.) What is an acceptable difference? 5%? 1%? 0%?
Obviously I don't have the numbers Blizzard does, but we do know that at least before the legendary daggers rogue was one of the least active classes. No matter if that remains true or not I think it says something when one of the, if not the best designed classes is also one of the least popular. It says that maybe it works great from a design standpoint, but how is that translating to the players?
We look at those numbers of course, but it's really hard to determine cause and effect there. Paladins are nearly always the most played class, but there are just as many paladin players demanding change as there are rogue players (actually, given the population sizes, probably more). So why are some classes more popular than others? It's probably a mix of need, power, kit, flexibility, visuals and a host of other objective and subjective criteria. The hybrid vs. pure issue plays into that a little bit, but it's not the whole answer by a long shot. I definitely don't think it's as simple as if we make a bunch of changes to rogue rotations, now more players will play rogues (consider for starters that we'd almost certainly lose some rogues as well).
I agree that this is how the design should be, but this raises the question of whether or not our finishers are powerful enough to warrant this design decision. Compared to the power we lost by having the crit bonuses of our primary abilities taken away, they just don't feel like they're as strong as they should be right now. There are fewer combo points flowing in due to generating talents being taken away, so the gaps between finishers feel unrewarding because the finishers themselves feel unrewarding.
I think it's safe to say that if we find we need to buff rogue damage for any of the specs that we'd look to finishers as a place to increase damage.
My big problem right now is that I feel very similar to feral druids and Windwalker monks, without the added benefit of being able to radically change my gameplay on a spec switch. I don't need that radical change, I suppose, being a pure DPS. In PvP it's not a problem as I feel very much like a rogue there, but it's hard to translate into PvE and I end up feeling like a warrior in leather that attacks a bit faster.
I hope Windwalkers feel different. :( Cat druids were designed from the outset to play like rogues, the same way Bears were designed to play just like warriors. We've eroded that a bit over time, but the bones of it remain.
As far as the pure vs. hybrid thing goes, that is a really tricky problem to solve. We could turn all classes into hybrids of course, though I'm also not sure every player would rejoice at such a change. It has been very challenging to make pure specs play fundamentally differently. If the Mists warlocks work out well, then they may feel pretty different (of course they also run the risk I mentioned before of feeling like 3 separate classes and not like warlocks). Some players in this thread mentioned that mages play totally differently, but I think to be fair they feel more different than they really play because fire vs. frost vs. arcane is such a strong theme. It's harder for "I'm an assassination" to have a completely different feel from "I'm a swasbuckler" or "I'm a sneaky guy." We've had the same challenge with hunters. Presumably Marksman hunters are great at using ranged weapons. Okay, what does that mean for Survival? They use traps? Melee? Poison?
Also, a lot of our skills are kind of boring and could use just an aesthetic change. Edit: Oh, the actual question is: Is updating rogue animations and making them more unique especially across specs on the table?
I think that's a totally fair criticism, especially of rogues and to a lesser extent warriors. Melee classes just have fewer opportunities for very showy visuals. We could add them anyway, but then the classes feel like they're casting spells and aren't doing melee attacks with weapons. That said, we have tried to give rogues a few great-looking visual effects in Mists. Longer term (meaning it's unlikely for Mists) we'd like to do more with character animation so that all rogue attacks aren't using the same one-handed stab motion (Mutilate at least has its own animation). Historically, player animations have taken us a very long time, and that time only gets worse as we add races. However, for Mists we have some new techniques that let the animators apply the animation from one model more easily to another. It still takes a great amount of time -- just less than it did before. It is most easy to see the benefits of this advance in all of the new animations for the monk class. It's too early to call that technique a success, but assuming it is, we could do the same thing for rogues and warriors and have a lot more variety in the attack animations. (Animation in this sense has a very specific jargony term, which is the movement of the model itself. All of the spell effects are a different system generally handled by a different team of artists.)
Then why did you make changes to rogue rotations? This is what people are complaining about. Go play Assassination on live and then go play it on beta at 85, then come back and tell us that Assassination is more fun without Puncturing Wounds and Ruthlessness.
Puncturing Wounds is just crit. We can add more crit if we need too (like we recently did for warriors), but it also risks making crit unattractive at high gear levels. "Why did those stupid designers put crit on rogue gear? Don't they know we don't value it?"
Puncturing Wounds (through Seal Fate) and Ruthlessness can deliver more CPs, but also contribute a lot to getting stuck at 4 CPs, which is something rogues have complained to us about, because it means you need to do a weak finisher or risk overflowing CPs on your next
. In Mists, Assassination does fewer finishers, but at the same time we introduced the
proc to help the rotation from feeling too static.
To use one of my soon to be patented bad analogies; I feel like every expansion is kind of like Winterveil (to not alienate anyone) and all the classes are opening their gifts to see what this expansion is going to bring them. Some are getting entire new mechanics, some are getting new flashy spells and skills, but rogues are getting Auntie Maven's sweater for the 5th time. Sure it's gonna keep you warm and get you by, but you kinda knew you were going to get it and it's certainly not flashy or exciting.
I honestly believe this is one of those grass is greener deals though. As someone who receives class feedback from both barrels (not that I'm complaining), nearly every class argues that they got a lump of coal and the other guy got something awesome. You'll see a few players saying some new ability or talent is awesome, though they'll do so quietly for fear that we think they are content. :) In fact, I would challenge you to name those classes and specs (not counting monk) that you think got a really good deal in Mists. They'll be here in a second defending their argument that a new spell might appear flashy or sexy but it has Serious Issues or the Real Issues Have Not Been Addressed.
That probably sounds cynical, and I'm honestly not a cynical guy, but it's also what we've come to expect.
Homogenization - to a large extent, this is fallout from the decision to make spec choice one about rotation and move utility into talents or the class as a whole. We felt like we had been moving in the direction of having 30 classes (which would be 34 in Mists) and wanted to get back to our roots a bit and have a rogue feel like a rogue. I realize that isn't going to sit well with a player who wants Combat to play wildly different from Subtlety. If you feel like the combat rotations of the 3 rogue specs play too similarly, then that is useful feedback for us, but realize that it's going to be fairly subjective.
Play speed - the real issue here is the game design that requires us to reset player power to a large extent every expansion. I'll go ahead and call it a design flaw, because I think it is, but it's also a really difficult one to address and have WoW still feel like WoW. Our reward system is structured around continually offering more powerful gear, yet our combat mechanics begin to break down when say your crit chance approaches 100% and your haste becomes so high that you can fill every GCD. It's fine if say crit chance is 70% at the final tier of content, but that means we have to start every expansion with small crit chances (or have lame upgrades). It absolutely sucks though to see your combat ratings plummet when you gain a level (which is supposed to be a fun, exciting thing that you want to do). We'd love to come up with a solution where you feel more powerful at 86 than you did at 85, but math works against us. The only silver lining is that when you get to level 90 and accrue some good gear, you'll start to feel like your old self again. We'll keep trying to come up with something better.
Passive damage - there are advantages and disadvantages of passive damage. One of the big ones, for us, is it ensures that the best players can never move too far ahead of the worst players. It's fine if good players can do much higher damage than bad players. It makes our lives very difficult if the best players do say ten times the damage of bad players, given similar gear and everything else. We also like the differentiation we get from having classes with a larger or smaller percentage of passive damage. As long as you can still improve your performance as your skill and gear increase, and you can with rouges, we think the system will work.
PvP talents - I feel like we have addressed this concern extensively. If you are never called upon to snare adds, move quickly, hit something at range, pop a survival cooldow, crowd control a dangerous creature, or interrupt a dangerous cast, then you're doing relatively easy content. Talents aren't going to be as interesting in that situation, but then again neither are gear, skill, group comp, and all of those other things that can make the difference between success and failure when the latter is a possibility. Most classes still have a few talents that are more damage or healing though. We did take a few abilities for various classes and move them into the talent trees, but we felt we had to in order to make the talents powerful. We can make a CC potent when you have to choose one. It would have to be weak if you were able to layer it along with other forms of CC. The way we figured, if there was an ability you really wanted, you still had access to it, but you could also choose to give it up for another ability that is (hopefully) just as good but a little different.
Breaking the rules - I regret a little making that comment, because I feel like it's the kind of thing that gets lawyered. "GC said the theme was breaking the rules. If we can prove that the rules aren't being broken, then they will be forced to redesign the talents." Yes, your class, like every class, has some inherent disadvantages. Yes, it would be easier to play your class if we removed those limitations. (Rogue target switching would be much easier if cps were on the rogue.) But part of mastering your class is being able to overcome those challenges. An analogy I use a lot is that racing games would be easier without curves. Those tracks would also be pretty boring. It's also the argument you used above about passive damage - if there are no limitations to overcome, then it's harder to distinguish yourself.
I realize I didn't say "yep we agree and here is how we're going to buff you," but you have to realize that isn't going to happen very often. If we thought a class mechanic needed changing, we would go ahead and change it. We wouldn't wait for a request to change it. I try to avoid responses like this because it can bum players out if they don't see a bunch of incoming buffs, but the alternative is not many posts from us, which can also bum players out.
Account Security Alert: Riot Games
As some of you may know, Riot Games recently announced that certain League of Legends player account information in European databases was compromised by an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into their network:
The data accessed included email addresses and encrypted account passwords, and they have determined that more than half of the passwords were simple enough to be at risk of easy cracking.
If you are a League of Legends player and happen to use the same password for your League of Legends account and your Battle.net account, we strongly encourage you to reset your Battle.net password at this time. To complete a password reset, go to
. You can also visit this page if you've forgotten or lost your Battle.net password:
Additionally, if you used your Battle.net email address to sign up with League of Legends, you may also wish to update your Battle.net email address via
as a general security precaution. To update your Battle.net email address, go to
Change Email Address
If you are unable to update your password or email address and believe your account might be compromised, please contact our customer support staff by using the Account Recovery Form:
For additional security tips and suggestions, be sure to check out the Account Security Awareness guide at
Mists of Pandaria Talent Page Updated
We’ve updated the Mists of Pandaria talent page with all of the latest improvements you’ll find when you dive into the game’s next expansion. Take a look at the wide range of skills and talents that your new monk heroes will unleash on their foes, add glyphs to your skills, and link to and discuss your builds on the forums with your fellow theorycrafters.
Check out the newly updated
to start exploring.
*Talent data as of build 15752 and may not reflect more recent changes.
WoW Summer Challenge: Karazhan
Every week this summer, we’re challenging you to get together with a few friends to explore a part of Azeroth that you may not have seen in a while, or perform a feat that you may have never done. We’re calling them World of Warcraft Summer Challenges, and we’re going to be playing along with you as we hunt down rare achievements, get screenshots of amazing bosses, and try to find some rare gear for our transmogrification sets.
This week’s challenge is:
Medivh, the Last Guardian, made his home in Deadwind Pass, in the bright tower of Karazhan. Though he was the greatest wizard of his day (and humanity's intended custodian) Medivh was secretly possessed by the dark spirit of Sargeras, the Destroyer of Worlds. Through Medivh, Sargeras opened the Dark Portal and allowed the orcs to wage war upon the kingdoms of Azeroth.
-- Defeat Prince Malchezaar
-- Defeat Prince Malchezaar while in a guild group of at least 8 people
-- Complete this and the other seven Burning Crusade raids.
(feat of strength) -- Obtain this mount from Attumen the Huntsman
Beast Lord Mail
Other odds and ends
Some bosses in this dungeon drop rare Enchanting Formulas:
公式：附魔武器 - 猫鼬
公式：附魔武器 - 阳炎
(Shade of Aran), and
公式：附魔武器 - 魂霜
The rare Engineering
has a chance to drop when you kill Attumen the Huntsman here.
Players seeking The Violet Eye reputation will want to kill everything in the zone, and complete the epic questline that starts with
As the war progressed, Medivh fought against Sargeras' control. The raging conflict within him finally drove the wizard irrevocably insane, until his childhood friend, Anduin Lothar, aided Medivh's young apprentice, Khadgar in storming Karazhan and slaying their former comrade. Since that day, a terrible curse has pervaded both the tower and the lands around it - casting a dark pall over Deadwind Pass and the region that is now known as Duskwood.
Please join us in
this discussion thread
, where we’re talking about this week’s challenge, and looking forward to your stories about how it went for you this week, your screenshots, and your suggestions for other fun reasons to take on Karazhan.
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