Preview, 3.3.2 Item Changes, LK Video

Hard modes are now unlocked on US servers and will be available shortly in Europe, it probably won't take long before we see the top guilds competiting for the first kills of the Lich King in Heroic Mode. Preview
An extensive preview of the new is now available on Even if it's not completely WoW related, it will probably give you a small idea of what to expect on World of Warcraft in the future.

Quote from: Blizzard (Source) is about to undergo the greatest update in its long and storied history as one of the world's most successful online gaming services.

Fully integrated, user-friendly, and fast, the all-new makes it easy to find and play games, opening the world of online gaming to generations of players. In the 14 years since the original’s launch, the service has seen tremendous growth both in terms of features and active players. Currently, there are more than 12 million active accounts on worldwide.

This raises an interesting question. If the original was so successful, why change it? Updating a service like is a hugely complex undertaking. Are there really that many new features that Blizzard Entertainment could offer that would deliver a world-class online gaming experience to its community?

In one word: Yes.

The list of past innovations integrated into the legacy service is long and varied — the introduction of competitive ladders, server-hosted games, online-stored characters, automated matchmaking, and more. But with the release of StarCraft II, will evolve into an even more powerful and advanced online game service that will power all Blizzard Entertainment titles moving forward.

The final metamorphosis has only just begun….

The Always-Connected Experience
In the past, was presented as a multiplayer option off to the side, off of the main menu of Blizzard Entertainment titles. That is all changing. With the new experience, the service and the game are now interwoven into one experience. Whether you are in single-player or multiplayer StarCraft II, you are always connected, and enjoy a bevy of new and enhanced functionality. and StarCraft II are designed to be seamlessly connected. That means even if you're playing solo you will still view the latest news, receive game and content updates, and be able to see your friends' status and chat with them. But this new interconnectivity between the game and the service goes even deeper than that. Now, each player will create a StarCraft II character. This character serves as your single persistent identity across the service. Everything you do in the game — win/loss record, achievements, unlockable rewards, friends list, and more — will be saved to your character profile for you and your friends to see. Even your save game progress in the campaign can be synched to Say you upgrade your computer and re-install the game; once you connect to, you can continue the campaign right where you left off. This is especially useful if you play on more than one computer, because all your data will be carried over for you via

Competitive Arena For Everyone
One of the biggest improvements that the new service brings to StarCraft II is smarter and more accurate matchmaking. While the legacy service had good matchmaking, the standard experience for new players was usually a series of crushing defeats against seasoned veterans until they either left or developed the skills necessary to thrive in's competitive environment.

The new matchmaking service will measure player skill more accurately than ever before, making online competitive play more accessible for a wider audience. What’s more, we are introducing an all-new Leagues and Ladders System to the service. After using the auto-matchmaking system a few times, will automatically slot you into a league and division that best suits your skill level. Our goal here is to encourage local competition by finding you a neighborhood of 100 players of equal skill against whom you will be ranked. This will make ranked online play much more enjoyable and give everyone a realistic chance to win their division.

Beyond ranked matches, will also make it much easier to compete by offering a number of other game modes. Custom games will of course make their return, but there will also be a slew of new, casual-friendly game modes such as the Practice League, Co-op Versus AI (players versus the computer), Challenges, and more.

Connecting The Blizzard Community's social networking and communication capabilities will be some of the service's biggest new features. This new social backbone for the entire service will seamlessly integrate friends lists, matchmaking, messaging, and more. Text and voice chat are now seamlessly interwoven into and out of the game, enabling communication whether you are in or in-game playing StarCraft II. And as is the case with previous Blizzard Entertainment titles, you can form friendships with other characters on while preserving your anonymity.

With the new, we’re also introducing an entirely new concept called Real ID. With the Real ID feature, you are able to send invites and form friendships on with your real-life friends and family. Real ID friends are mutual, which means that both sides need to agree to the friend request. Forming Real ID friends comes with its benefits. You will see your Real ID friends by their real name, along with any character they are logged in as. You will also be able to get rich presence information about what they are doing, send broadcast messages, and communicate cross-game between StarCraft II,, and World of Warcraft.

And of course, Real ID is totally optional. By enabling this, you can set up your Blizzard Entertainment social network, communicate and play games, and best of all, carry your network forward to future Blizzard Entertainment titles.

Mods and Community-Created Content
With a community as dedicated and as creative as that of our players, the abundance of exceptional community-created mods is no surprise. When the legacy service introduced support for user-created mods such as DotA, Tower Defense, and many others, these user-created game types became immensely popular. But while supported mods at a basic level, integration with tools and the mod community wasn’t where it needed to be for a game releasing in 2010.

The new service will see some major improvements in this area. StarCraft II will include a full-featured content-creation toolkit — the same tools used by the StarCraft II design team to create the single-player campaign. To fully harness the community's mapmaking prowess, will introduce a feature called Map Publishing. Map Publishing will let users upload their maps to the service and share them with the rest of the community immediately on the service. This also ties in with the goal of making an always-connected experience — you can publish, browse, and download maps directly via the client. Finding games based on specific mods will also be much easier with our all-new custom game system, placing the full breadth of the modding community's efforts at your fingertips.

Sometime after the release of StarCraft II, modders will have access to an even more advanced means of sharing their work via with the StarCraft II Marketplace. With the StarCraft II Marketplace, players will be able to browse, download, rate, comment on, and even buy mods if their creators choose to put a price tag on their work. We strongly believe that providing content creators with the option of being compensated for their work will lead to some truly amazing projects; having a budget will give modders much more freedom to explore and fully realize all their ideas. This in turn will lead to a bigger selection of mods and a greater variety of content on

Interview with Greg Canessa


Deathcharger Mount, ICC Normal Attempts Removed, Blue posts

Update – Added Recent In-Game Fixes – February 2010 – 02/08

Icecrown Citadel Attempts removed on Normal

Quote from: Daelo (Source)
After each region's maintenance this week, raids will no longer lose attempts on wipes in Normal mode for Professor Putricide, Blood-Queen Lana'thel, Sindragosa, and the Lich King. There will still be limited attempts in Heroic mode.

We will continue to monitor developments in Icecrown Citadel in the future, especially since the Heroic difficulty has been unlocked by a significant number of raids.

Update Follow up time!

Q: If you extend your raid lockout this week, will you still lose attempts on Normal after the hotfix?
A: No.

Q: If you run completely out of attempts on Heroic, will the wing bosses and Lich King no longer respawn, even if the difficulty is switched to Normal?
A: YES. So leave an attempt left if you wish to kill them on Normal. I'll try and correct this in a future update.

Q: Why is the counter still visible in Normal?
A: The hotfix being applied just stops the counter decrementing, and nothing more.

Recent In-Game Fixes – February 2010 – 02/08

Quote from: Crygil (Source)
Listed below are recent fixes we have applied to the game. Keep in mind that some of these changes may not be active until after the realm has been restarted.

To review previous in-game fixes, please visit:


  • Sindragosa's Mystic Buffet will now pulse every 6 six seconds, up from 5 seconds. In the normal 10 player encounter the debuff increase has also been slightly reduced.
  • In the Toravon encounter, the effect of the Whiteout debuff has been reduced. Additionally, the damage done by Frozen Orbs has been reduced.

Patch 3.3.2 – Deathcharger Mounts
Patch 3.3.2 introduced a new Crimson Deathcharger mount spell to the game, I'm not really sure where this mount is supposed to drop but I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't fully implemented yet.

There is only one mount spell, but there are actually two new deathchargers creatures Azure Deathcharger and Crimson Deathcharger, it could be the sign of another faction-based quest/achievement reward in the future. Keep in mind that according to Blizzard, patch 3.3.2 wasn't the last minor patch to be deployed before the release of Cataclysm.

Blue posts

Quote from Blizzard staff
Love is in the Air Perfumes (+75AP buff, etc …)
These items are set to disappear when the Love is in the Air event ends. (Source)

Easier itemization in Cataclysm
We aren't trying to kill spreadsheets or simulators, and I'm not even sure we could. The situations where two pieces have different stats but provide an equal dps increase are always going to be rare.

The problem we're actually trying to solve is where one stat is so far superior to other stats that the rest of the item is irrelevant. Currently, most casters prefer haste over crit to the extent where they might use an item from a previous tier. That's not ideal (though obviously something else could be going on with their decision, like they are passing to someone else to be nice or they have a better upgrade in mind on the next boss or whatever). In Cataclysm, given an item with haste versus one with crit your spreadsheet might still tell you the haste item will provide more of an upgrade. But hopefully it won't be such an upgrade that the decision becomes a no-brainer. Hopefully the other stats on the item will come into play more. It's too easy currently to focus on The Best Stat to the exclusion of all else. (I'm not talking about stats such as spell power, attack power or Strength, because for most of your pieces, those just scale with item level. I'm talking about the secondary stats where the real gearing decisions come from.) (Source)

Overhealing and mana pools in Cataclysm
That's a relative softball question, because the problem is healers overheal by so much now *and* can get away with it. If you actually care about your mana pool, then regen (Spirit in Cataclysm) matters. If you actually care about mana, then getting bigger heals (such as getting crits) matters too.

Now imagine that as a druid, your mastery stat does something interesting to your hots. It has to be *interesting* or it's just going to mimic the effects of spell power (Int in Cataclysm). Let's say mastery increased the duration of your Rejuv, but did so without reducing the healing per tick. Now Mastery helps throughput, but doesn't help burst healing as much as crit. If haste also affects how often your hots tick, then you might get some interesting gameplay out of playing off of longer hots that tick more frequently. If you don't need to spam heals as much as you do today, then reducing cast time through haste isn't as important to a healer, though it still might be desirable. Now you can make interesting (we hope) choices about whether you want more crit, more haste, more mastery or more spirit. (Source)

Itemization and power growth
Yeah, exponential power growth is just part of the design. It doesn't really bother us that the delta between character level and item level keeps growing. It might be a problem someday if it takes scientific notation to express how much Agility there is on your breastplate.

The problem folks are referring to for this expansion is that we based combat ratings, especially things like crit and hit, off of one assumption for what gear would look like in 4.3, but adding the hard modes meant that the gear ended up having more stats than we thought. If we ended up squeezing in additional tiers into Cataclysm the same thing would happen, though we also have some ideas to make the scaling work better in general. (Source)

I didn't post comics last week because of the patch, here are 4 comics just for you!

Lich King Weapons Changes, Blue posts

Update – The Lich King Weapon Changes are now official and in english

Upcoming Lich King Weapon Changes
A couple of days ago a message was posted on the official Korean site to announce upcoming changes to the weapons dropped by the Lich King, as far as I know these changes affect both normal and heroic versions of the weapons. Thanks to locriani for the help with the translation!

Quote from Blizzard staff
Good morning from the WoW community team.

Some of the weapons from the Lich King are not as good as we had hoped. To encourage you to want these new weapons, we have decided to change some of the old combat ratings over to better ones. We have obtained a preview of these changes, for your perusal, on behalf of the Beijing development team.



Lich King Video by Might
Might (US – Turalyon) released their video of the Lich King encounter in 10-man. If you check the first seconds of the Part 2 you will see the Frostmourne room that we couldn't see in the first video I posted.

Blue posts

Quote from Blizzard staff
Lovely Charm Bracelet from killing blows only
You can get these from any mob "of worth" so you can do any sort of kill quest to get these including from killing any mobs involved in daily quests. […] Yes, it comes from killing blows. On my healing character, I've had no issues with getting these, (other than when I forgot to have empty space in my bags for them.)

[…] I did not get them from instances. It's pretty easy to grab a bunch of mobs and kill them solo and just as easy to get them via daily quests (or even normal questing) that you are working on as you're doing them.

The event just started so, no, there are no current plans to change the functionality of this. Should we feel it's necessary to make a change, we'll let you know. (Source)

Tanking Cooldowns
One caution is you have to be really careful in how you factor in cooldowns to estimates or simulations of tank survivability. Some attempts just assume that e.g. Barkskin is responsible for X% of damage not done over the course of the encounter. That might be true on some encounters, but it definitely is not on others. When you can or need to use those abilities makes a big difference. On some fights, those cooldowns just give you a little slop room if the healers have a lot on their plate or have to move or something. On others you just aren't going to survive without a cooldown. (Source)

Dispells in Cataclysm
We'll talk more about the Cataclysm dispel design when we get a little closer. Overall the philosophy is that a dispel should be a counter. That means, to us, that you should have to consider when it makes sense to use. Dispels shouldn't be a test of how quickly you can mash that key when you see the icon pop up. Dispelling at the wrong time should cost you. We also don't want to see such extremely different outcomes depending on the class of dispeller you have with you. (Source)

Itemization in Cataclysm
Actually, we aren't trying to make gear choices easier. We like when it's a hard call on whether to upgrade vs. stick with what you have, etc. In designer parlance terms, that is an "interesting decision." Non-interesting decisions are typically no-brainers.

We want to remove some of the confusion over a complicated stat system, which we think we can do without reducing the system's depth. In fact, the other motivation for the stats overhaul was to solve some of the problems where a certain stat trumps all or a certain stat is always junk. If we nail that, then gear choices will actually be harder in Cataclysm, not easier.

As an example, when you aren't close to a crit cap and when buffs don't provide so much crit and talents don't provide so much crit, then haste vs. crit can be a pretty interesting choice. Haste lets you cast spells faster, but crit makes those spells you cast hit harder. At a very basic level you are choosing more spells vs. bigger spells, but because of a number of other factors, it's not that cut and dried. Haste may provide a dps increase for a caster according to a spreadsheet, but it depends and it might cause you to change your rotation. If you have spell A that hits so hard that you need to use it on cooldown, and spell B gets boosted by haste, then you can run into the situation where more haste on B isn't an improvement because you can't squeeze in another B before it's time to use A again. If you aren't able to capitalize on the extra haste, then more isn't always good for you. (That's in an ideal world. The way stats work in Icecrown, if you like haste, it's nearly always a no-brainer stat for you.)

Comparing armor pen vs. say attack power is much mathier, because they really just both buff melee damage in pretty much the same way. The only time it matters is when you're near a cap or if you're a spec that does a lot of spell damage. But you learn pretty quickly for your spec whether armor pen is an awesome stat for you or just an okay stat.

Many of your gear choices in Cataclysm should come down to haste vs. crit vs. mastery. You may still have one of those you like the most, but it shouldn't be double the value of the other stats, so you may have to look at the total package of stats on that item (Do I need more hit? If I take that hit, can I swap it out somewhere else?) Add in set bonuses and procs, and I'm not sure the gear choice will be all that easy, but it should be easier to understand. (Source)

We tried a different approach to fix Vanish in a recent patch while it was up on the PTR. It didn't fix the problem (which has everything to do with spells already being in the air) and let rogues use Vanish as a second Cloak, which wasn't the intent. When we backed out that change, we said we were going to try a different approach where we calculate when spells are launched on the server side. Nothing has changed since then and I really can't give you any more information than that. Making more "Lol Vanish doesn't work" threads isn't going to speed that process along, and will just continue to annoy other forum participants.

The MMO Report
It looks like the MMO Report is going to become a weekly thing here. Here is this week's episode!

Love is in The Air – Apothecary Trio

Love is in The Air – Apothecary Trio
The Love is in the Air world event just started and tons of stuff have been added to the event this year! The most interesting change is the addition of 3 bosses in Shadowfang Keep, for a headless-horseman like daily quest.

All you have to do to fight them is go to Shadowfang Keep in the Silverpine Forest.

Loot Table

ilvl Type Spec Slot Item
226 Misc. Spell MP5 Neck Winking Eye of Love
226 Misc. Spell Neck Heartbreak Charm
226 Misc. Tank Neck Shard of Pirouetting Happiness
226 Misc. Phys.DPS Neck Sweet Perfume Broach
226 Misc. Melee.DPS Neck Choker of the Pure Heart
1 Misc. Misc. Head Forever-Lovely Rose
1 Misc. Misc. Head Vile Fumigator’s Mask
1 Misc. Misc. Pet Toxic Wasteling
1 Misc. Misc. Misc. The Heartbreaker

The Heartbreaker on use effect just makes your character cry. The Toxic Wasteling seems to have a couple of abilities and might be an interesting pet!

According to the Big Love Rocket achievement, Apothecary Hummel also drops the Big Love Rocket Mount


Apothecary Baxter
Irresistible Cologne Inflicts 1620 to 1980 Nature damage to nearby enemies every second.
5 yds. Instant
Chain Reaction Inflicts 8550 to 9450 Fire damage to nearby enemies.
5 yds. 30 sec cast
Irresistible Cologne Spray 3150 to 3850 Nature damage inflicted every 1.0 sec to enemies in a cone in front of the caster.
5 yds. Instant
Apothecary Hummel
Alluring Perfume Inflicts 1620 to 1980 Nature damage every second.
5 yds. Instant
Alluring Perfume Spray 3150 to 3850 Nature damage inflicted every 1.0 sec to enemies in a cone in front of the caster.
5 yds. Instant
Chain Reaction Inflicts 8550 to 9450 Fire damage to nearby enemies.
5 yds. 30 sec cast
Apothecary Frye
Lingering Fumes Tosses vials of perfume or cologne around the caster. Caster cannot be controlled.
15 yds. Instant
Crazed Apothecary (Add)
Unstable Reaction Inflicts 2375 to 2625 Nature damage to nearby enemies, but kills the caster.
6 yds. Instant

The fight might be confusing the first time but isn't that hard (to give you an idea, I could heal it without too much problem with a rare-geared shaman alt that I rarely play).

The Standard Apothecary Serving Kit contains two potions :

The radius of the [html]<a target="_blank" href="http:…

02/05 Hotfixes, ICC Weekly Quests, Blue posts

<font size#msg2117085″3″ style=”line-height: 1.3em;”>Recent In-Game Fixes – February 2010 – 02/05

Quote from: Bornakk (Source)
Listed below are recent fixes we have applied to the game. Keep in mind that some of these changes may not be active until after the realm has been restarted.

To review previous in-game fixes, please visit:


  • Rimefang now flies less frequently in all raid formats.
  • Animated Bones summoned by the Anub’ar Necromancers, no longer award experience when defeated.
  • The amount of damage being absorbed by sacred Shield and Power Word: Shield is being reduced by 10% correctly in only battlegrounds, Arenas, and Wintergrasp.
  • The range of the Lich King’s Remorseless Winter aura has been increased in Halls of Reflection.
  • The Val’kyr Shadowguards in the Icecrown Citadel Lich King raid encounter should always properly pick up their target.
  • Deathbringer Saurfang should gain blood power less rapidly in normal 10 and normal 25 player modes and players can also no longer zone in while this encounter is active.
  • Sindragosa’s Backlash ability can no longer crit.
  • The Fountain of Light proc effect can now heal players outside of the caster’s party.

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator)

  • The rejuvenation procs from the Druid Tier 10 will now work better in a raid group and not avoid targets that have any rejuvenation spell on them though it will continue to avoid targets that have the casting druid’s rejuvenation on them.

Warrior (Forums / Talent Calculator)

  • The damage bonus done by Devastate has been appropriate increased to be in line with the changes made in patch 3.3.2.

Icecrown Citadel: Raid Weekly Quests
The Icecrown Citadel weekly quests are now official.

Quote from: Bornakk (Source)
Now that Icecrown Citadel has been fully unlocked, allowing players the ability to progress in 10- and 25-player formats to defeat the Lich King, new raid weekly quests have been unlocked! These quests are specific to the Icecrown Citadel raid dungeon and do not correspond with the standard random raid weekly quest offered in Dalaran. Here's an overview of what you need to know.

One of five quests will be randomly available each week in both 10- and 25-player versions of the dungeon. This means each player has the opportunity to complete two Icecrown Citadel raid weekly quests each week if the dungeon is run in both versions, however, these quests have to be completed within the raid version (10- or 25-player) in which they are offered.

If a player obtains one of these quests but does not complete it that week, the quest will automatically be removed from the player's Quest Log the next time Lord Marrowgar is defeated under a new raid ID, or when zoning into an instance with a new raid ID where Lord Marrowgar has already been defeated. This only applies if the random raid weekly offered when the player enters a fresh Icecrown Citadel raid instance happens to be different from the one already in his or her Quest Log. Players can otherwise simultaneously have both the 10- and 25-player raid weekly quests in their Quest Logs and complete either of them at any time during the week in their respective raid versions. The quests given each week in 10- and 25-player versions of Icecrown Citadel will be randomly determined once Lord Morrowgar is killed, or once a player zones into an instance where Lord Morrowgar has already been killed.

The Quests:

  • Deprogramming – Look for a rogue named Infiltrator Minchar outside of Lady Deathwhisper's chamber. He'll speak of a brainwashed operative who needs saving from the lady's powerful means of influence. While engaging Deathwhisper, keep an eye out for a warrior named Darnavan among her minions. He must live if your raid group is to succeed in completing the quest.
  • Securing the Ramparts – After taking the platform up to the ramparts from Lady Deathwhisper's chamber, a lieutenant of your faction will seek your help in slaying the Rotting Frost Giant on the other end of the ramparts terrorizing his troops. Bring the monster down and return to the lieutenant for your reward.
  • Residue Rendezvous – Should you succeed in killing Deathbringer Saurfang, you will soon meet Alchemist Adrianna upon lurking further into the citadel. She will task your group with the unfortunate job of being infected by both a Green Residue from Rotface and an Orange Residue from Festergut. While infected with both residues, at least one player from the raid must speak with Alchemist Adrianna in order for everyone in the group to receive credit.
  • Blood Quickening – Outside the Crimson Hall awaits Alrin the Agile to inform your group that his friend, Infiltrator Minchar, has been captured by the San'layn for interrogation. Should you choose to help in rescuing Minchar, you will have 30 minutes from the moment you step foot in the Crimson Hall to kill Blood-Queen Lana'thel before she executes him. Fortunate enough for you, she will not kill Minchar if she is busy fighting your group.
  • Respite for a Tormented Soul – If your group can successfully free Valithria, she will morph into her humanoid form to offer you a quest in a more approachable manner. Providing each player who accepts the quest with a Pulsating Life Crystal, a channeling device, Valithria will speak of a way to save Sindragosa's spirit. Members of the raid who use these crystals on Sindragosa when she is below 20% health will slowly stack on her the Life Infusion debuff. Reaching 30 stacks (10-player) or 75 stacks (25-player) of Life Infusion before she dies will provide the frost wyrm with an aura of Soul Preservation. If your group manages to give Sindragosa this aura before killing her, a quest item can be obtained from her remains to complete Valithria's task.

The Reward:
Completing any of these quests will reward each member of the group with a Sack of Frosty Treasures and a healthy chunk of gold. The sack will contain Emblems of Frost and other potentially valuable items! (Note: See this news)

Blue posts

Quote from: Bornakk (Source)
Dungeon Finder Loot System (Auto Disenchant, Auto Roll, etc …)
We're talking about many ways to improve the Dungeon Finder system, including the way looting is done. The system is quite new and popular, so we want to continue iterating upon it. As you might have expected when seeing the "Blizz" logo on this thread on a Friday night though, I don't have any specific details to share just yet. (Source)

Auction House iPhone Application
We'll let everyone know if and when we get to the point of adding this application to more devices. We're currently focused on getting the functionality working properly for this device at this time. (Source)

Nibelung Hotfix
I updated my last post, the val'kyr heals for 25% of her maximum health and that is intended.

Regarding the proc chance, the recent change made it so other items/procs can no longer cause other items to procs, only spells a player knows. This is why we increased the proc chance for this item from from 1% to 2% but that is still a buff overall. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Sacred Duty Nerf
I don't think the situation is nearly as grim as you're painting it to be. Paladins are still very desirable tanks from a hardcore raiding or casual perspective. The class is still able to attain great mitigation through block talents and maintains multiple lines of defense against mass damage spikes. While, yes, this is a reduction, it is not big enough to break the tanking mechanics that the class plays by. It will have mild adverse effects, but it simply brings the class back into the range of play of other tanking classes. ([url=http://blue.mmo-…

Lich King US First Kill, Tanking Changes

Lich King 25 Normal Mode US First Kill by Vodka
Vodka was the first guild to defeat the Lich King on the US realms, congratulations to them! (And nice kill shot.)

Tanking and Survivability Changes

Quote from: Crygil (Source)
We are making some adjustments to tank survivability based on what we’re seeing in Icecrown Citadel. We feel this is particularly important in preparation for upcoming Heroic attempts. This is tricky and occasionally subjective, so we might very well make more adjustments as we get even more data.

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator)

  • Sacred Duty now provides 2 / 4% Stamina, down from 4 / 8% Stamina. The cooldown advantages of the talent remain unchanged.

Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator)

  • Frost Presence now provides 8% Stamina, up from 6% Stamina.
  • Icebound Fortitude now provides 30% base damage reduction, up from 20% damage reduction. For a geared tank with high defense, this translates to 50% damage reduction, up from 40%.

It’s important to note that we aren’t trying to single out paladins here. We like the tank balance of warriors and druids at the moment, and we have a larger sample size of warrior tanks that we can compare. Another solution would have been to buff warriors, death knights and druids and then increase boss damage accordingly. Obviously, that would have been a much larger change with greater risks and a longer delay.

Though Ardent Defender is always a possible target for changes, we like that this talent provides such a distinction between warriors and paladins. Rather than have all the tanks have the same health, armor, avoidance and cooldowns, we’d rather have four unique tanking classes rather than just superficial or artistic differences. Yes, that design is harder to balance, but we think class distinction is ultimately more interesting, which is better for the long term health of the game. The goal remains to have all four tanks be viable for any encounter, assuming sufficient gear and skill, and any differences in performance on individual encounters to be minor. “Minor” is obviously a subjective term.

Please note that the death knight change will result in a small survivability increase in PvP, which we think is appropriate. We chose it partially with that in mind.

Paragon World First Lich King, PvP Healing, Blue posts

It's time to put an end to the whole Ensidia thing and go back to WoW news! If you still want to discuss the subject I suggest that you head to Ensidia's website. A lot of people asked me what was my opinion on the subject, I'll keep it simple : I got information from both Ensidia and Blizzard (unofficially, just to be clear) sides and I still have no idea who is wrong or right, and we will probably never know.

This is just a lot of time wasted discussing kills when guilds aren't even competing for the Heroic Mode yet, just be glad the bug was found now and see you next week for heroic modes!

Paragon 25-Man Lich King Normal Mode World First Kill
Paragon killed the Lich King a couple of minutes ago and we will assume that this kill is bug-free and will make everyone happy. Fun fact: they killed him on the first try. Congratulations to them.

PvP Healing Change Update

Quote from: Zarhym (Source)
After further observations of the recent changes made to resilience and healing in PvP, we have made an additional change via an in-game fix so that the PvP healing debuff in Arenas, Battlegrounds, and Wintergrasp now also lowers the effectiveness of Power Word: Shield and Sacred Shield by 10%. The majority of other strong shields or damage absorption mechanics are already affected by the healing change, so we feel this new adjustment is an appropriate step in balancing the effects of resilience versus healing. The ultimate goal is to find a better median between PvP encounters feeling too quick from burst damage, or too long from heals, shields, and absorption effects. We will continue to monitor the way these changes play out and let you know if we feel any further changes are needed. As always, feedback based on your PvP experience with these new changes is welcome.

Blue posts

Quote from Blizzard staff
Nibelung hotfix (Nibelung)
We are currently in the process of applying two hotfix improvements to the Nibelung staff. The first change is that we are improving the chance for a val’kyr to proc from 1% to 2%. While this may not seem like a significant improvement, it will be notable and result in the val'kyr appearing more often.

The second change is that anytime a summoned val’kyr casts her smite spell, she will heal herself for 25% of the damage done. This will help keep them alive when AoE damage is happening but not make them invincible as we still want them to feel like a summoned creature and not a special form of a DoT spell that has awesome art.

We understand the frustrations players have had with this weapon so far. We currently plan to make more proc weapons in the future and are committed to making this and other proc weapons fun and competitive items. (Source)

PvP healing changes
As was stated in the post announcing the change to healing, we'll be carefully watching the effects the change has when coupled with the recent buff to resilience. Your feedback is always welcomed and will hold infinitely more water — when you've proven through a carefully demonstrated critique of the healing and resilience changes — that you've been through a great many PvP scenarios post-patch 3.3.2.

[…] In summary — because I feel another paragraph is what you want — we feel the healing change was necessary given the current state of PvP. We made a resilience change to reduce the feel of burst "GCD" fights in PvP, but we knew such a change could easily favor healers too much. These two changes do not cancel each other out; and we expect to see more fights where health pools matter more, where it's no longer a blur of DPS classes taking opponents from 100%-0% in seconds, or healers easily keeping health pools at, or close to 100% for prolonged periods. Certain classes or class combinations could prove to be too powerful as a result, and as we've said all along, we'll be watching and ready to react. (Source)

Tanking class disparities in raid
Also remember that players pick their class for a lot of reasons and guilds pick their tank for a lot of reasons. We know that if we buff or nerf too much that we can drive population, but we also know there are plenty of other factors at play. For example, I'm not sure how powerful a tank class would have to be at tanking before you'd see its population jump if it was really frustrating or boring to play or really hard to gear or required a ton of skill to do well or if it was terrible at every other aspect of the game. (I don't think we have any of those classes in the game at the moment — I'm just pointing out an extreme, contrived case that could affect population.)

The biggest red flag for us will be if raids feel like they have to gravitate towards a certain tank class for the hard fights. (If you swap tanks for a couple of fights, that's not a big deal either, assuming the swap doesn't become too widespread, or you're blocked if you fail to swap.) It's a big deal if a particular tank class just can't cut it, or has to work much harder (or get much luckier) on the same content, assuming the content is challenging. I can't imagine too many guilds replacing their main tank for a different class because they are stalled at current Icecrown progression. Not many of the Icecrown fights really tax the tank, except for perhaps Festergut. That's about to change with LK and the hard modes. (Source)

PvP healing changes and drain spells
Drain Life isn't affected. Nor is Fel Armor, Death Coil, Haunt, Devouring Plague or Spirit Bond.

It's a little technical, but things that are actual drains are not affected. Heals that get proc'd by other effects are affected.

Currently the nerf is only 10%, so I don't expect the impact on a lot of these lower healing effects to be a big deal.

[…] Vampiric Embrace will be affected by the nerf.

Unfortunately, there isn't going to be a hard and fast rule that determines what is affected and what is not. It just depends technically on how the spells are created. The tooltip often suggests what is happening behind the scenes, but isn't 100% reliable.

Remember, the magnitude is currently small. We can't imagine too many PvP encounters that are resolved differently based on 10% less healing from VE.

This was a blanket solution, and the problem with blanket solutions is that you have very little room to handle special cases. In this case, we didn't want to wait for the elegant solution that affected say just the true priest, paladin and druid healing spells, because that would have delayed the change possibly until Cataclysm (where I suspect it won't even be needed). (Source)

[…] It's a little technical which abilities get hit and which do not. If your ability procs a heal on you, then that is affected (such as VE). If you are doing a straight out drain, like Death Coil, then it will not be affected.

It's just 10% (for now) so I don't think the effect on a lot of these secondary heals will be very noticeable to be honest. Really we were trying to hit the big healer-based heals like Penance, Flash / Holy Light, Lifebloom, etc. (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Scourge Strike Bug
To be clear, while Scourge Strike should not have the physical and Shadow portions both hit by resilience, they should not independently be buffed by +damage effects either. The Shadow damage should in most cases just be a function of the physical damage done. Exceptions are things like Ebon Plague that specifically boost magic damage and don't buff physical damage. Ebon Plague should buff the Shadow damage portion of Scourge Strike. So it's possible the resilience is bugged (in which case it's about to get worse with the resilience change), but at first glance we think Outbreak and the tier 10 bonus are working correctly.

This ability has gone through numerous iterations in an attempt to get it both balanced and fun, so some confusion about how it is supposed to work is certainly understandable.

[…] I'm not sure where the interpretation came from that we're going to nerf Scourge Strike for PvE. All I was trying to say was that the current 3.3 version of Scour…