The very latest of blue Blizzard posts can be found below!
Storm Peaks & Icecrown situation
Storm Peaks is crashing because of an Art/Engine related bug. There is no way we can hotfix Storm Peaks. We'll need to patch to fix it . (src)
Those zones were also causing issues. Unfortunately, we can't hotfix those areas so you'll have to wait until the next patch for them to be available. (src)
Naxxramas 25-man loot
Next major beta patch will have the 25 player loot drop. (src)
Tigole on Naxxramas and Raid difficulty
We expect Naxx to be the easiest raid dungeon in WotLK. If experienced Sunwell guilds were repeatedly wiping, the dungeon would be overtuned. The raid game will ramp up over time. There will be many extremely difficult encounters for people to face. But the early bosses in Naxx are intended to be beatable very early on.
The 10's will get hard too. It's not a casual/hardcore thing. It's more about ramping difficulty and progression. (src)
How the class changes are done?
We have spreadsheets -- huge ones. We have values for characters in greens and raid buffed with epic gear. We have estimates of mob damage and health, character downtime, the benefits from enchants, gems and glyphs. We have conversion rates of mana to runic power to energy to rage. We look at damage per second, efficiency, button presses per second, typical rotations, movement vs. standing still, mobs vs. players and every other variable we can think of (and there are a LOT of them).
In the end we come up with an estimate for what an attack should do. We come up with a budget for talents and spells just like we have a budget for items at a given level. Sometimes those estimates are wrong because we forgot to take something into account, or because there's a bug in a talent or spell somewhere that messes up the calculation.
And then we do lots of testing, and to get a reality check on our tests, we compare them to the numbers people are reporting from the beta. Repeat as necessary.
I've said this in a few posts: that our numbers can sometimes be wrong (as is the case almost any time you deal with numbers), but the methods we use to arrive at them are absolutely not sloppy. (src)
Exploration & Quest Achievements
Lost Lands (Sholozar Basin) and Balargarde (Icecrown) will be fixed in an upcoming patch. We'll try to see what's happening with Nagrand Slam (Quest). (src)
Old Ironjaw and Old Crafty are now their own achievements. They are also removed from the One That Didn't Get Away achievement. Also, they will give retro-credit so long as you kept your fish.
Regarding giving retro-credit for The Fishing Diplomat, unfortunately, this cannot be done.
Moonglow Cuttlefish School doesn't exist in Northrend yet. The schools will be added or else the criteria will be removed from the achievement. (src)
Achievements - Cenarion faction title changed
Friend of Cenarius will be changed to Guardian of Cenarius. (src)
Achievements - 3000 Quests title changed
Ok. It's now the Seeker. (src)
Bug with achievement comparisions
A bunch of compare bug fixes are on the way in the next patch. (src)
Druid form customization and glyphs
We definitely like the idea of druid form customization. Frankly, it's been too long coming. We're not 100% certain glyphs are the best way to handle that. It's definitely a topic that is under discussion, so feedback on the topic is appreciated. (src)
Raid Tanking and itemization
We want druids to be able to MT Naxx and Ulduar.
I really don't think they're that far off, but if I'm wrong and bears collapse on Patchwerk, we'll change the numbers until they can stand up. We'll try to change the numbers in intelligent ways so that bears are tanking Arthas too and not standing in the back healing the warrior tank.
Likewise, if cat dps is always near the bottom of the dps damage meters, we'll fix that too.
There isn't any actual armor with bonus armor any longer. It was just too problematic a stat. It does still exist on non armor pieces: the rings, necks and maybe cloaks. The way the game is designed, tanks need a certain amount of armor and we'll make sure you have it without having to resort to PvP gear or Sunwell gear. As I have said before, we can boost the bear intrinsic bonus or Thick Hide or come up with a new scalar off existing stats. This feels like a solvable problem to me.
Personally, I would love to be able to get rid of Feral Attack Power as a stat. It feels a little kludgey and it makes itemization harder because you can't share with anyone else in the game. It's like having a libram for your main weapon. But it's not going to happen for Wrath, at least not initially. (src)
Pet hit points
How easy or hard it is to kill the pet is a very important dial to get tuned right. We're trying to figure out if pet hit points are high enough. (src)
Pet dismissal in stable
This is in the plan. It may not be available right at release, however. (src)
Assassination Tree Feedback
Just wanted to make one comment on bloat. Having plenty of talents that you want put can't get is good for the trees. Also, some trees just have a lot of talents in them because they're trying to offer some very different options, while others are quite small.
What we do want to avoid, however, is a situation where there are so many "mandatory" talents that you end up not being able to pick up the fun talents. Mandatory talents are typically those that offer passive buffs to dps or efficiency that nobody in their right mind would skip over. We're fine having some of those, but having too many can tend to push builds more towards being cookie cutters.
We realize your trees are in a big of flux, which makes it hard to comment, but on the other hand, we're in a really good position right now to make adjustments to the trees. (src)
Thunderstorm knock up range
Not exactly intended. It's still supposed to have relatively the same knock back distance, just we toned down the knock "up" effect. Should be fixed in the next build. (src)
About the Arms tree
Arms is definitely something on our radar. The other two trees are getting a lot closer. Arms now has some self-healing like Fury, and the Overpower changes are in the right direction. We just need to smooth out some rough spots and try to make the whole thing gel. (src)
Tanking in WotLK
I've tried to answer some of these questions in a few other threads, but I'll try and answer how AE tanking will be easier. Keep in mind that I know my version of the data which is often a week or more out of sync with your build.
1) Defensive Stance generates more threat than on Live. Essentially it has Salv built in.
2) Rank 9 Thunder Clap hits for a base 300 damage with a 12% attack power coefficient.
3) Thunder Clap is also heavily buffed by one old and one new talent that many (but not all) tanks will have.
4) Your AP will be higher because tanking gear has a lot of AP and because of the way Strength boosts Block, you're just going to want more.
5) Because you have more AP, you're hitting harder, so you should be rage starved much less in 5-player instances. So you can use Tclap when it's up.
6) Thunder Clap has a 6 sec cooldown, so you don't need to spam it.
7) There is a glyph to increase Tclap's number of targets, and while I expect many tanks will have it, we also don't want to rely too much on glyphs to fix problems with a class. So consider this a very minor component, but I did want to mention it.
When you pull (with your helpful new pulling ability) and then Thunder Clap, you are going to generate so much treat that you're going to have time to position the mobs, Cleave or Sunder them or otherwise get ready for the next big Thunder Clap. This is a big difference from Live, where Thunder Clap often barely keeps you above the threat of the rest of the group and you're begging for enough rage to use it again. (src)
Defensive Stance/Thunder Clap threat
On the issue of Defensive Stance threat...
Earlier in the beta, we removed the Defiance talent. It was a mandatory talent since encounters were designed around the very safe assumption that all Prot warriors had it. So Defensive Stance ended up generating more threat.
More recently in the beta, we did a similar thing with Salv. We pulled Salv as a blessing some time ago, so we baked even more threat into Defensive Stance (and equivalents for other tanks).
If this makes it easier to understand, imagine that everyone except the tank always has Perma Salv up and every tank has Defiance as a core ability.
On the issue of Thunder Clap threat...
Yes, the damage is 300 now. We wanted to buff damage by 50% to make up for the cooldown increasing. Having to hit it less often for a bigger effect is a good way to remove spam. It does do 75% threat (it was 150% on Live IIRC) and has an AP coefficient of 12%. Talented and glyphed, this makes it a crazy good ability... possibly too good, but we'll see. (src)
Protection Warriors in PvP
We even threw in Charge in Berserker Stance too. Maybe that will help when you aren't tanking.
We still might need to adjust the talent depending on the outcome. When we say we don't want Charge to be part of a tank's rotation, we mean that we don't want to see the normal way to tank a boss to be backup (or Intervene) then Charge back in over and over to proc a stun and get some rage. It's totally cool to use it to get around the battlefield on short notice, but we don't want the backup and Charge thing to be mandatory. It may not be, since mobs tend to follow the tank and the min range is large, but you guys are clever and we just need to see it action some first.
I don't want to totally derail this thread with a discussion of the role of Mortal Strike in PvP (which is ironic, since it would actually be a re-rail). However, the plan for now is not to have an MS-like effect in Prot.
On the one hand, we have given it out to other classes, and perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, classes lacking the debuff can struggle in Arena. On the other hand, if half or more of the specs in the game get something like MS, you are just going to exist in Arenas in a state of permanent healing debuff, in which case we should just make that an aura on entering Arena and be done with it.
We'll probably continue to evolve our views on the role of Mortal Strike. It's very much a work in progress and I'm almost certain this is not the final word on the subject. (src)
Unholy Blight Rank 2 Temporarily disabled
Due to a server crash, we had to disable this spell. You'll still see it in your spellbook and be able to cast it. But it will do nothing. We'll try to get the spell restored ASAP. Thanks for bearing with us. (src)
We have neglected this ability for a few weeks and it's time to get it back into shape. There have been a few good posts on the topic, and I am inviting you to add more feedback to this thread. At this point we are not as interested in ideas to completely overhaul the system (though if they're really, really good, I'll listen to anything). But specifics on the actual enchants would be useful. (src)
Major Death Knight Quest Change
With the new patch, you HAVE to go back and finish your quests in the death knight starting area if you want to be able to interact with vendors or NPCs in Stormwind or Orgrimmar. If any of you have been to those cities, you'll know what I mean. Eventually, death knights will experience the full quest chain before wandering out into the rest of the world. So for beta, pretend I have a big old ! over my head and I'm telling you to go back to Ebon Hold. (src)
Death knight dual wield vs. two-hander
The design is that the death knight can dual-wield or use a two-hander. I know not everyone agrees with that design, and you are certainly welcome to debate it in this thread. My suspicion is that most DKs will use the larger weapons, since a certain famous rune weapon is a two-hander, and just because it fits the kit for a lot of people. But we aren't trying to specifically punish or promote one-handed weapons either.
The design is that neither wins out and becomes the obvious choice. We are trying to do that in part because it's so rare. All rogues DW, but no paladin does. All Fury warriors DW, but no Arms warrior does. We have sprinkled the trees with talents that benefit one system or the other. Typically, dual wielding eventually wins out, damage-wise, over two-hander use. As such we can't promote DW too much or it will dominate.
Tanking is a special concern. It is NOT the design that all death knights dual-wield when tanking. There is probably a slight motivation to do so because faster swings can be useful for generating early threat, and because you can stack mitigation by choosing two tanking weapons, which are all one-handed. Working against that is the parry counterattack of most bosses, which works against dual-wielding. We do have some knobs to turn here, such as making the parry rune enchant benefit two-handed style more than one-handed style. This is something we are going to keep a very close eye on. Again, the design is that both styles are equally useful. (src)
Abilities scaling off of diseases
We think that many of the abilities that scale off of diseases scale too well off those diseases. While it's a perk of Unholy to have 4 diseases, we don't want every DK ability to be doing double damage for Unholy because 4 > 2. We will probably adjust the numbers a little so that having diseases up still matters a lot, but a little less than it is currently. (src)
Death Knight balance adjustments
If that sounds like too much of a euphamism, you could also go with nerf bat.
We have started our big numbers pass on all classes, and as many of you suspected, the death knight's damage was much too high in some situations. For comparison, their sustained dps could be 30% higher than a rogue of similar gear and skill. That's a lot. Remember, a death knight can pack 5 or 6 abilities into a 10-second window. They hit often, like a rogue, but for much bigger numbers.*
I don't want to freak anyone out, which is probably inevitable with a post of this nature, but I also didn't anyone to be unduly shocked if a new build goes out soon.
We need to get more feedback on the death knight talent trees, rotations and abilities, and to some extent that wasn't happening because opponents were dying too fast, or perhaps just because five digit crits are too distracting. We also need to get the game closer to a shippable state, which means making sure the dps of various classes at various levels of gear is more in line. I'm sorry, but from all our tests and number-crunching, DK dps was not in line. I also suspect they aren't the only class in that situation.
If we nerfed DK dps too much, then rest assured, we'll improve it. By many accounts, the class is a pretty fun one to play, and we're not about to let our first new class get largely ignored just because its dps (or tanking for that matter) aren't competitve. As always, feedback on the changes are useful, but try not to fret too much. :)
Yes, I expect many of you can cite examples where you saw another class one shot an entire group of elites. Those classes are getting adjusted too.
* - there is an expectation that a guy with a giant runeblade should be hitting for really big numbers. An alternative is to keep the Mortal Strike-like crits, but slow down the frequency that they can use those hits. I'm not sure slower rune coolups or expensive abilities would be as fun as the current implementation but it is something we could consider. Another alternative is to nerf DK white damage in order to keep the big numbers, but changing white damage can do very strange things to classes, so we'd prefer to try other routes first. (src)
Death Knight DPS
1. Whereabouts is DK damage intended to fall between other classes? It has been speculated it is between a Ret Palidan and an Arms Warrior. Is this true?
2. Are all 3 Specs (Blood, Frost, Unholy) intended to do the same baseline damage? I.E. Speccing for DPS in any of the trees should be roughly the same its just the ‘flavour’ that changes.
1) Who should do what damage in what order is a very touchy subject that ends up causing a lot of arguments. Furthermore the blue quotes tend to get used, often out of context, as a hammer to bust up a lot of discussions about class balance. It's probably easiest if I just say that among the dps classes in a raid, none should be double any of the others, and ideally nobody is 50% ahead of anyone else. The design of LK, even more so than BC, is that the different dps specs are very close in potential. Also remember when you are looking at any data parse that you need to keep in mind the skill of the player and the specific encounter. One of the challenges with the DK is there are no players who have been playing them for 3 years to know all the nuances of the character. As a rhetorical question, we ask ourselves: do we design them to be slightly weaker knowing they will get better and better over time?
2) Overall, Blood, Frost and Unholy should do the same damage. Because of the kinds of damage they do, it probably won't even out on any single fight, but overall that's the goal. We don't look at numbers and say, oh well Frost is supposed to do 10% less dps. (src)