There will be another twitter developer chat tomorrow, with Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street and Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton. The chat will take place at 5:00 p.m. PST, and if previous chats are any indication, it’ll last around an hour or so.
WoW.com will be keeping a liveblog of the chat for the record, and we’ll be sure to point out all the major news from the chat, if it happens. Hopefully this chat will be a lot like the last one where useful information came out. I would expect Greg and Cory to cover a lot of the patch 3.3.3 changes and perhaps some information on the Ruby Sanctum coming out in patch 3.3.5. You can check out the transcripts of the previous two chats here:
October 22nd, 2009 Twitter developer chat January 15th, 2009 Twitter developer chat
Official Wracraft TwitterJoin us for #BlizzChat on Twitter Friday, Feb.26, at 5 PM PST with World of Warcraft’s lead content designer & lead systems designer.
BornakkWe will be holding our next Developer Chat on Twitter on Friday, February 26, at 5:00 p.m. PST with World of Warcraft’s lead content designer and lead systems designer. This chat session will focus on Icecrown Citadel and other Fall of the Lich King content.
Questions will be taken live through Twitter, so be sure to sign up for a Twitter account at https://twitter.com/signup and follow account @Warcraft in order to participate!
To submit a question for the Developer Chat, please tweet using the #BlizzChat hashtag between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. PST on February 26. Due to the character limitation on responses within Twitter, all answers will be posted on the World of Warcraft forums in a dedicated thread.
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Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration will show you how. Brought to you by Joe Perez, otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and the For The Lore podcast.
Last week in Totem Talk: Restoration 101 we talked a bit about the basics of being a healing minded shaman. Continuing in that vein today I would like to focus on the restoration tree’s talents as well as glyphs. We will cover more specifics on other aspects of restoration in the weeks to come.
The restoration talent tree is very strong and versatile, filled with a lot of the talents focused on augmenting your existing ability to heal. It is also very lean in the fact that it does not have many talents that you need to absolutely avoid, and they all have a very distinct role in the shaman toolbox. These talents also provide you with key spells essential to your success as a healer as well as our most iconic spells. While we may not have as many healing spells as a holy priest, our toolbox is still very versatile and it does the job quite well.
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EVE Online is a game that’s often lauded for its sandbox style and realistic economic structures. Every quarter, CCP Lead Economist Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson and his team of researchers wade through mountains of EVE usage logs to find some interesting economic statistics. In their Quarterly Economic Newsletters (QEN), CCP deliver graphs tracking in-game prices, trade volumes, ships in use and a whole host of other useful metrics.
Read on for an overview of this QEN’s main highlights.
In addition to the usual price indices and market snapshots, the latest QEN comes with a triumphant announcement. Following the Dominion expansion last December, EVE reached an important milestone with over 330,000 active, paying accounts. There are now more EVE accounts than there are citizens of Iceland, CCP’s home country. Other highlights of this quarter’s report include interesting population density demographics showing the distribution of players throughout EVE, with a particular stress on their distributions in the nullsec regions. Following from this, the report contains a special segment looking back on the development of trade hubs throughout the game’s history.
Of particular interest this quarter was the effect that suicide attacks had on the market for Hulk mining barges. The first player-run Hulkageddon event concluded with hundreds of mining barges being killed but this didn’t cause an increase in the number bought on the market. Despite demand being the same, prices rose during and after the event from 120 million ISK to 170 million. Publicity of the Hulkageddon event’s success and the news that Hulkageddon II was being planned for the following January may have caused Hulk manufacturers to ramp up their prices in anticipation of a rise in demand. Since Hulks were killed in droves but no more units were sold than expected, the number of Hulks being actively piloted has also dropped this quarter. The Hulk is now the second most popular ship in EVE, being overtaken by the universally useful Drake.
Zach enjoys PvP almost as much as he enjoys eating his wife’s phenomenal banoffee pies. That’s saying a lot because, damn, those banoffee pies are freaking awesome melanges of succulent toffee, rich chocolate syrup, perfectly ripe bananas, and luscious whipped cream on a deliciously molded graham crust. He’s probably snuck down to the fridge and grabbed a slice now. Kind of like how those pesky rogues steal the flag when you’re not looking.
Priests are an interesting study for this series, primarily because out of all the game’s ten classes, they are the only ones with two talent trees devoted to healing. This means that two out of three times, you’ll be encountering a healing priest. That’s not exact math, but you know what I mean. Shadow, the class’ DPS tree, has had an interesting history with viability and acceptance, having been known as a PvP tree in the game’s early years, later gaining raid viability and losing PvP luster. In the current environment, shadow remains a popular PvP tree but it is far easier to find success in Arenas and Battlegrounds with a healing spec. In this regard, discipline, the mitigation tree formerly considered to be complementary and gimmicky has shone.
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Yesterday an updated list of changes for PTR patch 3.3.3 was released. Ranging from new pets and mounts to the LFD dungeon stats being tracked, there have been a lot of tweaks. Jewelcrafting is no exception to the rules of change and like other professions is seeing some small changes.
Icy Prism now requires Frozen Orb, Chalcedony x 1 (Down from 3), Shadow Crystal x 1 (Down from 3), Dark Jade x 1 (Down from 3) Intricate Bone Figurine (Daily Quest) – Craft an Intricate Bone Figurine by combining the Proto Dragon Bone with a Sun Crystal and a Dark Jade. (Old – Chalcedony + Dark Jade) These are small changes, but for many Jewelcrafters they are welcome ones. On many servers due to the rising number of tanks, Chalcedony can be very difficult to come by on the auction house and relying on the random number generator can sometimes leave you high and dry when you are prospecting for specific gems. Lowering the amount of gems required for the Icy Prism makes it a tad bit easier for aspiring jewelers to obtain the various gems they may need to level their profession to the skill cap, as well as making it slightly more profitable when you manage to gain a good gem like a Cardinal Ruby or Dragon’s Eye.
Just like Inscription having the material components reduced for many of it’s recipes and the Titansteel cooldown being removed, I think we will continue to see this trend as Cataclysm approaches. Making it easier for players to hit their profession skill caps before the expansion drops is a very good way to get people ready for when the skill cap is raised again.
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Yes, another day, another set of patch notes for the 3.3.3 PTR. At present we’re looking at the following changes for warriors:
Revenge: Damage done by this ability (base and scaling) increased by 50%. Talents
Rampage: This effect is now passive instead of being a proc from critical strikes. Protection
Vitality: Now boosts Stamina by 3/6/9%, up from 2/4/6%. Strength and expertise benefits have not changed. The most recent change is of course the change to Vitality, making each talent point spent in the ability that much better. Frankly, I don’t know a warrior tank without it anyway, so it’s basically just a straightforward ‘more betterer’ situation. (Yes, I did butcher that particularly horribly.) But what it basically reveals is that while you may believe one thing or another about how warriors are faring as tanks (I’m personally not particularly upset about where I am as a tank right now) the fact remains that any adjustments being made are being made in small increments. Course corrections rather than radical changes in direction, you could say.
The recent change to Devastate (that required a hotfix to fully implement) lead to the Revenge change. Similarly, the recent hotfix to Paladins Sacred Duty talent (the class had the best stamina scaling because unlike other tanks they had two talents that affected it, Sacred Duty and Combat Expertise) leads directly to this recent buff to Vitality. Even with this change, Vitality won’t provide as much health as these two talents maxed, of course, but it’ll bring tanks closer which is clearly a long term goal of the tanking design in Wrath of the Lich King. It remains to be seen if this talent change makes it to live… I could see the strength being buffed to match stamina as a means to add more sustained prot DPS (one of their stated goals) or the change reverted totally. That is, after all, what public test realms are for, testing things.
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Ghostcrawler — 3.3.3 Mage changesThe Combustion change was to let its cooldown line up better with e.g. trinket cooldowns. It just felt awkward at 3 min.
The Fireball glyph change was because some Fire mages were getting such absurdly high crit rates that even more crit wasn’t attractive. We weren’t trying to make this particular glyph ridiculously powerful.
The actual dps increases are something more like adding Pyroblast to Torment the Weak and Empowered Fire. That may have missed the most recent patch notes.
I would also expect Arcane damage to fall overall with the Incanter’s Absorption change. (Torment is also gratuitously overpowered, but that would be too big a change for now.) That should get Fire a lot closer to Arcane. Getting Frost up there too is harder, but we’re still trying.
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The Patch 3.3.3 PTR patch notes have just been updated to reflect today’s latest PTR build. All of the changes can be found behind the cut below, and we’re also in the process of integrating them into our primary Patch 3.3.3 patch notes post. (Update: All changes are now reflected in our primary patch notes posting.) Some highlights:
Death Knights: Icy Talons: The personal haste benefit provided by this talent is no longer exclusive with other sources of melee haste. This will allow death knights to always swing 4/6/12/16/20% faster when Frost Fever is applied. Windfury Totem and the party/raid component of Improved Icy Talons still do not stack. Hunters: Ferocious Inspiration: This ability is now an aura and provides 1/2/3% damage to all party or raid members within 100 yards and boosts the damage of Steady Shot by 3/6/9%. Engineering: The Pet Bombling and Lil’ Smoky non-combat pets are no longer Bind-on-Pickup. For the full listing of updates, just click through the link below.
Dungeons and Raids
World Event Bosses
Holiday bosses (such as Ahune for the Fire Festival) will now be accessible through the Dungeon Finder. (Note: This section is purely clarification, this change is not new to this PTR build.)
Players must use the Dungeon Finder or speak to special holiday NPCs in the world to queue up and access these bosses. Upon accepting a queue for any holiday boss, the party will be ported directly to the necessary area for confronting that boss. The previous summoning criteria for these bosses have been removed. Players can queue up for and fight each World Event boss as many times as they want for any standard loot that they may drop. All rare holiday items (such as The Horseman’s Reins) will have a chance of being found in holiday-themed loot troves which will drop once for each player in the party no more than once per day, in the same manner that doing the Random Dungeon daily quest will provide a specific reward the first time it is completed in a day. Death Knights
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When high-quality ship models were introduced with EVE Online’s Trinity expansion, not every ship reacted to the graphical upgrade in the same way. Some ships, like the Megathron and Crusader, saw dramatic visual improvements with panel details and sharp lines. For the Scorpion, however, the upgraded detail exposed design flaws in the original model that spoiled its look for some players. The Scorpion has long been held as one of the ugliest ships in EVE, sporting the signature Caldari asymmetric design and odd metallic pylons. For a battleship, it’s always looked small, light and flimsy; a look that perhaps suited its original role as a long-range electronic warfare ship. With it being rebalanced for a close-range “brawler” role last year, the old model really started to look out of place on the field of battle.
In a new devblog, the CCP art department have released screenshots of a new Scorpion model they’re planning to roll out with the Tyrannis expansion this summer. Using design themes from their work on Tech 3 strategic cruisers, the team have turned one of EVE’s all-time ugliest ships into a masterpiece. Not only does the ship now look more like its namesake, it has a much more solid and aggressive look to it that better suits its role in PvP. This may mark the start of a change for other Caldari ships, many of which sport elements of the same bizarre asymmetric design that spoiled the Scorpion’s appearance. As an added bonus, CCP’s graphics programmers have created a new texture packing system that vastly improves the visual quality of small details on ships. If you’re interested in the new Scorpion model or the finer details of how CCP texture the ships in EVE Online, the latest devblog is definitely worth a look.
The MMO industry, despite some setbacks over the past year or so, has been growing at a steady rate for some time and doesn’t show much sign of slowing. It’s hard to argue that two of the most influential companies in that success have been Blizzard Entertainment and NCsoft, with the former keeping a stable of several successful games and the latter running a game well-known enough to not need a mention. So when staffers from both companies join up to form a new development studio, it’s worth paying some attention to what the company is doing.
En Masse Entertainment, as reported by our sister site Joystiq, has just announced their formation as a company. Their staff includes talent from the aforementioned studios as well as Microsoft, ArenaNet, and Electronic Arts. According to the official press release, their first project is bringing the Korean MMORPG TERA to western audiences — which might sound like another free-to-play game coming over until you note both the stunning visuals and the fact that it’s slated to be a subscription model “like other triple-A titles.” We’ll be keeping a close eye on the new studio — it could be a combination that produces some interesting results.
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Hot on the heels of the announcement about the upcoming World of Tanks MMO comes the first interview about the game. MMORPGItalia chatted with producer Victor Kislyi yesterday to get the scoop on how exactly this new game is going to work.
The site asked a broad range of questions, cutting straight to the chase right at the beginning: “…why should I play your game instead of another one?” It gave Kislyi a good chance to tell fans exactly why he thinks this game will fill a gap in the MMO market. The game is PvP only (“We do not intend to make a PvE mode…”) and players have the opportunity to participate in large scale PvP battles.
The full interview is very informative, particularly considering we’ve not heard much about World of Tanks otherwise. It’s worth a look, so head over to MMORPGItalia to see the whole thing.
15 Minutes of Fame is WoW.com’s look at World of Warcraft personalities of all shapes and sizes — from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, from the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you’d like to hear more about.
Ten-man raids represent the easy mode of endgame raiding — true or false? Answer: It depends. Savvy players recognize that 10-man content is easier as a whole only when undertaken by players decked out in 25-man raid gear. Even a few key 25-man pieces among several raiders can tip the power balance of a 10-man encounter. But in today’s 25-man world, keeping 10-man gear and power pools pure is quite the challenge. Those who succeed see their efforts go unrewarded when 25-man groups snatch away progression achievements after overpowering the content with 25-man gear.
A growing number of small guilds are working out player-friendly solutions to these dilemma in the so-called “10-man strict” movement. Why bother? We visited with 10-man strict raider Ghengie of (transferred to EU Haomarush as of this weekend; Armory update pending) to examine the challenges and rewards of endgame raiding on the smallest scale.
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We know from the lore of Guild Wars 2 that Ascalon will become what is literally a ghost town thanks to King Adelbern, his sword Magdaer, and his last-ditch effort to drive out the Charr in a cataclysm known as Foefire.
The effects of the event reach farther than anyone would have thought in the first Guild Wars 2 novel, now officially titled Ghosts of Ascalon. The ghosts of slain Ascalon soldiers are the only inhabitants of the area now, defending their home from invaders and generally making it a pretty unwelcoming place.
In Ghosts of Ascalon, Queen Jennah is attempting a treaty with the Charr, who are unwilling to deal until the Charr artifact the Claw of the Khan-Ur is retrieved from — where else — Ascalon City. A small band of adventurers sets out for Old Ascalon to retrieve the artifact from a dangerous land and an unwilling ghostly king. (Since Lion’s Arch is gone, we assume they couldn’t find anyone to run them.)
The book is scheduled for release this summer in North America and Europe. For now, check out the FAQ on the Guild Wars 2 site.
There’s a new notice up on Warcraft’s Facebook site with some intriguing new information:
Official Warcraft FacebookDeath knights, druids, hunters, mages, rogues, warlocks, warriors, oh my! For those participating in our public testing of the upcoming minor content patch 3.3.3, look out this week for a host of fascinating new adjustments to these classes. Chains of Ice innately does what? Nature’s Grasp has how many charges? Vitality boosts stamina by how much? Stay tuned to find out the answer to these and more questions!
What does this mean? No idea, but it appears as though the various class changes and tweaks that were announced for patch 3.3.3 aren’t set in stone just yet, which is what Ghostcrawler said late last week. This fluidity should be expected, after all, as it is a public test realm. Players on the PTR may want to keep an eye out for the changes, and possibly expect some sort of minor patch this week. When an announcement is made about the changes, we’ll let you know!
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Warhammer Online’s 1.3.4 patch has gone live as of today is coming soon. The update includes a torrent of changes with a primary focus on streamlining Scenarios — the game’s beloved-yet-flawed open-ended PvE encounters easy-to-access PvP instances — and City Sieges. These changes are aimed at pleasing the game’s community, who’ve been giving plenty of feedback to Mythic.
The original problem with Scenarios were a matter of player population. If you didn’t have enough people to complete a 5 or 10-person start a Scenario, well, you were waiting in queue forever. Hopefully, the issue of achieving “critical mass” should all be in the past with the 1.3.4 patch. While new weapon rewards are being added to Scenarios, not everything is making the cut. Less popular Scenarios have been removed, although Mythic is promising that some will return in special weekend events.