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Russell Cox

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Posts posted by Russell Cox

  1. I'm still asking for rebuttal, not "o rly"s.

    "Under blood curse" does not mean "Free from any and all responsibility afterward".

    And all the quests I keep doing involving the Shadow Council point that way.

    Blackrock Clan was the CHIEF clan of the Horde. Orgim Doomhammer was leader of said clan.

    Theramore was built because Lordaeron was kind of consumed in an undead plague and the humans were lost in a foreign land.

    By "Works openly with demons", I meant the whole "Employs a Dreadlord", not "Has Warlocks".

    According to the History of Trolls thing, the only people the trolls tolerated at any point were the Kaldorei. After the explosion it was all downhill. And even so the troll descriptor say they pretty much distrust anyone outside their immeadiate tribe, and still don't like the Forsaken.

    C'mon, if I'm wrong, correct me. Don't just go "lol". I've been told too many good things about OCR to settle for that.

    lol

  2. Raiding viewpoint, this is the single best buff the Horde has gotten since day one. I wouldn't be surprised if their options for raiding advancement 60+ would have been either designing encounters that have the bonuses of Shamans AND Paladins in mind, or increasing the cap on raids to 50 -- and that would just cause a nightmare for the tighter knit guilds (i.e. usually the best, like Death and Taxes, Risen, Gentlemen's CLub, etc.)

    Right now, a lot of aspects of boss fights are starting to blend into another, just because they're tried their damnedest to keep each one from becoming stale. Granted, there are still new 'methods' like Anub'Rehkan, Thaddius, Instructor Raz, and Loatheb (aka Healbot), but most of the other fights are either compiled elements of previous boss fights and given slight tweaks (aka Noth, Heigan, etc.).

    While having both is a cop-out, I seriously don't mind; I'd rather have Paladins over Shamans for pure healing potential. Not having Windfury doesn't really hurt the Alliance. Not having the massive mana regeneration possibilities Paladins can offer to the raid as a whole really DOES make a difference when trying to figure out how much healing is needed and when, and when breaks are needed to give people medding time.

    I don't know about most other guilds, but to be honest the healers that are 'worried' about their spots right now are Druids, simply because you're going to need Shamans and Paladins, and with Paladins on the Horde side now, the only thing Druids offer now is Mark of the Wild, Thorns, and a Battle Rez every 30 minutes. Keep 2 in a raid for buffing/bomb healing, 4 Shamans, no more than 3 Paladins, and 6 Priests and you have a solid healing force. Plus, the raid also gets everything they need from four Shamans (tanking group totems, 2 Windfury for Rogue/Warrior groups, 1 GoA bitch for Hunters) and blessings from Paladins (Sanctuary/Kings/Might for tanks, Salvation/Might/Kings for DPS Warriors/Rogues, Salvation/Kings/Wisdom for Hunters and casters).

    Plus, encounters will *FINALLY* be fucking tuned for both sides, instead of writing a script for an encounter for one side, and having it nowhere near in tune for the other side (Vael, Broodlord, Viscidious, Twin Emperors, Patchwerk, etc.). Maybe now, just maybe, we'll get encounters that are hard because it's MEANT to be hard, not because it was tuned for one side based on all its abilities and not given another thought for the other's lack of said abilities.

    Oh yeah, it's funny to only point out the advantages of the otehr faction.

    You will realise that the alliance is just as annoying as horde...

    Just the racial spells. With the exception of fear ward, our priest spells suck. "OMG reduce ranged attack damage by 15!"

    Draining life and reducing foes damage as you reduce their attack power. Now there is a spell.

    You also forget that the shammy can dish out DPS 10 times better than a pally.

    And racial abilities: I can stop bleeding vs I can stop fear. I'll take number 2.

    I can detect rogues VS I can stun everyone around, I'll take 2

    I can escape a trap VS I can attack faster, I'll take 2...

    See what I did there? The best hunter now is a troll marksmanship hunter. +5 to bows and a second "rapid shot".

    The best rogues are undead or orc.

    Best mage is troll

    Best shadow priest is UD...

    The list can go on. We have the pally, you have a hell of a lot more you don't see.

    You're either stupid, or an Alliance retard trying to get a viewpoint: "OMG WE'RE NOT OVERPOWERED IN PVE AT THIS POINT IN TIME NO-SIR THAT FREE 36 MANA EVERY 5 SECONDS AND 59 MANA EVERYTIME YOU WAND, AS WELL AS DPS BEING ABLE TO GO HARDER AND TANK TRANSITIONS THREE TIMES EAISER DOESN'T MAKE IT EASIER VOTE FOR ME IN '07!"

    First of all, like any good troll, you forgot to notice I listed abilities only, and only in a PvE aspect. Congratulations, since you were talking in a PvP aspect (which sounds like you suck at, considering you think Alliance's racials aren't good at all), so your entire post was a moot point. Grats!

  3. i've officially rerolled alliance... i'm finding it very, VERY interesting. well over half the guys i've partied with are all former horde who are rerolling for the same reasons i am. if you've been paying attention to the WoW forums lately, people are abandoning horde left and right. i used to think the faction imbalance was a lot of hot air (outside AV where it's painfully obvious), however i've read some extremely enlightening and insightful posts over at the forums explaining in very clear and undeniable terms how alliance is clearly, CLEARLY advantaged. even Caydiem, one of the former CMs has expressed this, and is possibly (?) one of the reasons she quit.

    ps: shamans get nerfed again in 1.12.

    Hmmm...

    Mana Tide, or Blessing of Wisdom... #2 please.

    Strength of Earth, or Blessing of Might... #2 please.

    Tranquil Air Totem, or Blessing of Salvation... #2 please.

    Judgement of Wisdom/Light, or... well, Judgements please.

    Blessing of Kings, please.

    Healers that can take hits and absolutely never run out of mana, please.

    Massive spirit bonus to *our* priests, please.

    Endgame encounters that are attuned to us, before the other faction (*cough*Twin Emperors, C'Thun, Patchwerk*cough*), please.

    Armor that's actually tailored to fit our races, please.

    The ability for DPS Warriors to generate 95% less threat than the tanks without any effort on their part, please.

    So, yeah. Still trying to figure out why my fucking retarded guild decided to go Horde. "We're hardcore" my ass.

  4. Forums look fine to me.

    I wonder if Warrior is getting another review anytime soon. Yes, I realize there was one about this time last year and yes I realize Blizzard has stated numerous times they see no problem with the class, but as long as Tactical Mastery is a talent and things like Polearm spec are harder to get simply because there isn't enough room in the talent tree window to put it beside the other weapon talents, the talents are broken.

    I remember Drysc saying that Warriors would be getting a 'tweak' and Protection tree would recieve some major revamping after Rogues (only 2 tiers for full damage mitigation in the tree devoted to it 4tl), but not another full blown review.

    TM the developers said they're not going to change, ever. It's a personal decision to keep rage, since it's mostly for PvP purposes, so I doubt that will change.

  5. Curious, what boss fights do you consider to be the most fun, doesn't matter endgame or not AQ, BWL, MC whatever, post your thoughts.

    For me Nefarian is pretty fun, but no way near as fun as Twin Emperors fight in AQ40. Ah that was fun , (but not the repair bill rofl), nothing beats the exhiliration of caning those twins. C'thun's cool too, giant eye beams, and tentacles are cool.

    Instructor Razuvious in Naxxrammas. Our Priests finally get to do something else besides pure healing in a boss fight again. Anub'Rekhan is cool just because of his yells and the voice acting for him. Too bad they took out Thaddius's zone-wide genderbender voice acting ; ;

    Lethon was fun when he first came out, because people were still figuring out what his shadowbolt volley was synced to and people getting fucksmashed by it. Now he's more boring than Lucifron and Ysondre is arguably harder. Broodlord and Sartura are kickass for Hunters, because we can just go balls to the wall whereas other classes still need to be cautious (BL's uppercut for hate reduction/Sartura's whirlwind+Cleave on clothies).

    Chromaggus has to be the most fucking annoying fight yet (Azuregos being a close second); I hope he retains that title and nothing else in Naxxrammas we haven't killed takes his place.

  6. rude stuff

    I'm not talking out my ass, the devs actualy did say at one point that our swing timer does not reset after casting like shaman and paladins because we are not true hybreds. That was the reply we got when we asked why our swing timer resets.

    But yeah, I'm not the kindof person to "talk out my ass".

    I actualy do heal when I'm in a team situation, you know like running with my guild or personaly friends. But if you think I'm going to heal in a pug where the people I'm healing aren't going to protect me for my effort you're saddly mistaken, and that is the same attitude most other healers be them shaman, priests, or druids take on Sargeras. Unless I'm with a group I know I will not be protected. I'm alot more likely to heal random people in a pug then most, but I'm not going to do it in my healing gear, and that's alot more then most other druids would do that play bg because they're sick of healing all the time in pve, pvp is their "I want to destroy something" time.

    I'll heal pugs full of random thankless jerks when they start paying my 17$ a month.

    And because of my spec (I'm resto) even in my not so healing friendly gear (which still has a fair amount of +healing and int for bear gear) I get a huge bang for my heals,I'll save all the mana regen and +healing gear for an encounter that actualy requires me to heal myself and others. I mean I can main heal an insance or raid with rank 4 and 6 heals (out of 11).

    And I'll say it again, I use a fairly "hybred" set myself when not in full healing gear. The discussion earlier was. "I FEEL SORRY FOR ALL THE OTHER DRUIDS THAT LIKE TO BE FERAL"

    Why? Because the old version of the rank sets was the only purely feral set in the game. All other druid sets are either healing/feral, or purely healing. And there's still not really anything good for balance.

    People like to specialize sometimes, it's okay for a druid to specialize in healing yet if they decide to shred peoples faces as a cat or maul things as a bear suddenly there's a problem?

    Actually, you ARE the type of person to talk out of their ass, as demonstrated above. Learn2ReadWoWSite; at no point did they ever say anything about our swing timer not reseting. Stop pulling shit out of thin air. Have you even played a Shaman or Paladin? Guess what, their timer doesn't reset either.

    If you're in a group for PvP, and you're not healing as a Druid or supporting anyone you're a fucking moron. Period, and it's not up for discussion. If you want to "shred faces" then go out into the world and wreck havoc in Light's Hope Chapel or Chillwind Camp. If you're in Battlegrounds you're playing for the TEAM, not for yourself; if it's not your cup of tea to heal then you're in the wrong place and in the wrong class.

    You are a Druid, you have heals, and you knew this before choosing that class. If actually supporting the team isn't what you want to do, then it's your own damn fault for being a moron and picking a class whose sole role is that. "Specialization" is a bullshit argument; don't even try that. Specialization allows you to have some variance from someone else, NOT completely ignore the roles you have in a group.

    There isn't going to be a new class. I haven't played Frozen Throne, but I assume Spellbreaker comes from there and it sounds pretty retarded. If they were to add such a think it would most likely mess up the game balance beyond repair.

    So what's the info on this spellbreaker class? What would make it different then the 9 classes there are already?

    When a friend of mine went to apply for a QA position at Blizzard, he said they showed him some of the behind the scenes stuff (i.e. he got to see the Kel'Thuzad and Sapphiron encounter before E3; and apparently even with 315 frost resist Sapphiron's still kicking the raid testers' asses), he asked them about Spellbreaker. Apparently, it was originally going to launch with Burning Crusade but then the class revamp system was implemented and they held off on the basis that the developers wanted to see how the changes to ALL classes pan out after every single one has a review.

    The way he described it though, I don't think it would fit in very well. He said the Blizzard guy showing him around during his 'exam' (yeah, you take an exam on what you know about Blizzard) was mentioning early conception of the class for WoW would have it absorb stats and effects from the monster and distribute it across the group or raid. They apparently still have it on the shelf and most of the abilities it'll train through leveling, but it's on the back burner.

    TBH, they've made each class cover so many roles that there's really not ROOM for any more classes without pushing in on another's territory.

  7. Actualy druids don't count as hybreds :( . If we did our swing timer would reset after casting a spell, blue has said a few times that we aren't considered hybreds, only shaman and paladins.

    Pretty sure you shouldn't talk out of your ass. Druids are the only hybrid classes in the games according to the developers. For some wacko reason, they don't consider Shaman or Paladins to be hybrids purely based on the fact that they can do all three tasks (tanking, healing, DPS) in one form, whereas the Druid can't.

    The hardest Shaman, Druid, and Paladin to beat are ones that are fully specced out in +healing gear and survivability talents. They use their strengths to channel the team and keep THEM going. Killing a single Paladin that's DPS geared is a joke; killing a Paladin that's keeping up an Arms or Fury Warrior and possibly a Mage is a fucking nightmare.

  8. I love Nurfed UI.

    Amen.

    Heh.. you don't need anything but a good tank and 8 healers (w/ consuambles) to beat Hakkar. You have have 11 other guys with green gear and still do it.

    *engage Hakkar*

    [Raid] [Giaz]: K, brb in 10 minutes, going to take a shower. Lemme know what dropped.

    Priests, for example, really need some work (though shadow priests seriously can kick ass in PvP). Their holy and discipline trees need... some major improvement, as many of the talents are lacking.

    Do you see where I'm going with this? Blizzard made a game where their classes were fucked to royal hell. They still need balancing until everything makes good sense. Honestly though, rogues have little to whine about. You're upset because you were nerfed, not because you were made weak. Rogues are still incredibly powerful and generally easy to play, and they're still the top DPSers in end-game instances. Damage counters in my guild instance runs always show rogues at the top, specifically Jubastar, who does like, 1,200,000+ total damage in MC.

    Attention whiney dumbass:

    It's fine, learn2play.

    There isn't anything wrong with Priests beyond stupid players -- they want to have everything but still bitch about parties dying. The power of a Priest is Fade, shield, and quick heals with the ability to drop bomb heals if need be. They team up solidly with Druids, who are bomb and HoT healers, and together each is greater than the 2 of the other classes. Priests want major +healing, instant regen, unlimited mana, and a lot crits, and that shit isn't going to happen.

    Secondly, "classes all fucked"? Go play Final Fantasy XI to see some fucked up classes. World of Warcraft is not *perfect* but the balance between the classes started off a hell of a lot better than other MMOs and gets better every patch.

    Learn2play.

    Here are our problems.

    1. Our primary defenses (Psychic Scream and Power Word: Shield) have been nerfed to the point of uselessness. The Fear only lasts for a short time, is on a long cooldown, and most classes can trinket out of it. Power Word: Shield is on a cooldown and now that it ignores armor, is a total joke. There are times when I will cast it and it will disappear in less than a second.[

    2. We are always the primary target in PVP and lack the defenses of other healing classes.

    Hint: You're a cloth wearer, and with Inner Fire your armor will exceed that of a leather armor class. Secondly, why are you trying to PvP alone? That's like hitting the can with the hammer, crying because it won't open, and then demanding the manufacturer make it so you can open the can with hammers.

    The game is built around group PvP, not solo PvP. Two people in tandom will wreck more havoc than each going solo.

    3. The Holy tree is next to useless. Most talents are total garbage, including the entire bottom half. For endgame, only about 3-4 talents are actually useful.

    Wrong, nice try though.

    4. The Discipline tree has about 10 points worth of abilities that all Priests MUST have or else they are totally gimp. Other useful abilities are scattered around. The 31 point talent is garbage (same with the Holy talent).

    Again, wrong, nice try though. With this outlook it's no wonder you're quitting -- the attitude here and your comments about Ragnaros put off the aura that you're a shitty Priest. No wonder it took you guys so long to take down Rag, when it's the easiest one inside the instance aside from Shazz and Baron Geddon, if all your Priests share your outlook.

    5. We are the only casting class to not have any method of mana regeneration. Because we are not hybrids (unlike Shamans and Paladins) we are totally useless when we reach zero mana. Mages can Evocate, Warlocks can Life Tap, Druids can Innervate (or just shapeshift and do something else) etc.

    6. Our main stat is supposed to be Spirit, which doesn't work in 95% of all combat situations.

    It's fine, learn2healrotate. 95% of combat situations? You get 3-4 healers on the MT, and do a rotation. It's not that damn complicated.

    Secondly, your classes gets 1 mana per 3.33 spirit, whereas every other class gets 1 mana per 4 spirit. You have the highest *BASE* regen rate for mana while medding. Stop crying and learn2play.

    7. Most of our spells are useless. Greater Heal has no utility out of 5/10 man instances, and even then, it is still rarely used. Prayer of Healing is good for basically one boss fight in the game. Renew is OK but Druids HoTs are better + more efficient, and you have to spec for it to be really worthwhile. We are reduced to spamming Flash Heal in most encounters.

    Good thing you quit and don't go into Blackwing Lair then if you think Greater Heal is useless. Renew stacks with Regrowth and Rejuvenation fool and does more healing over the course of the spell than the former two, so yeah it's 'worthless'. Prayer of Healing is used in almost any fight where a C O M P E T E N T priest notices his group is all low on health and pops one off -- since it ignores line of sight it's perfect for almost every boss fight.

    You are reduced to spamming Flash Heals because you are too lazy to learn how to properly play your class. Cry more, please.

    8. We are the only class where if you spec for PVE you lose all PVP utility and damage dealing capabilities. Holy spec priests can barely heal better in PVP than a Shadow spec priest yet they are totally defenseless, have less damage reduction, and cannot do damage. WTF?

    Get more dramatic, please? Yeah, if you go PvE you *REALLY* lose all PvP aspects since no one heals in PvP. Nope, no one.

    Get a fucking grip.

    9. Paladins, Druids, and Shamans can all meet or beat the healing efficiency of a Priest. Shamans especially can match us with their Lesser Healing Wave which is basically identical to our Flash Heal. They also have better armor and DPS capabilities if need be.

    More garbage from a garbage Priest. The efficency of heals goes as follows:

    Priest > Druid > Shaman > Paladin

    Don't believe me? Go get a calculator.

    Lesser Healing Wave? Lawl... They can cast that 6-7 times per mana bar, you can Flash heal almost 20 times with 6-7K mana with decent +mana regen. Yeah, it's really 'equal' :roll:

    10. We do not benefit from +crit gear unlike most clases. +crit generates more aggro and causes overhealing. Even in PVP, our damage comes from channeled spells and DoTs, thus all of our gear has to be stamina, +damage, or +damage/healing, which is hard to come by. You have to gimp yourself in some way to get it, or have full MC/BWL-level items that are very hard to collect.

    Wrong. Your Flash Heals benefit the MOST from +crit gear as you have a high chance of crits as it is, have a talent for +5% crit, and most of the gear tailored for Priests is loaded with +crit.

    Secondly, overhealing does not generate more aggro, nor does a crit heal draw more aggro per point healed based on the fact it's a crit. You only draw aggro for the amount that you heal, not the full amount of the spell. If you healed for 900 and he's only missing 500 HP, you only get threat for the 500 that was actually healed, not the 900. Where do you get this bullshit?

    You're not a fucking damage dealing class, get over it -- You're a H E A L E R. If you haven't learned that after hitting 60 I question your intelligence. You're a support class; use that knowledge to the fullest when PvPing, and perhaps you'll actually learn something. Find someone that CAN live long enough to decimate the opposition, and watch the HKs flow in. GGTHXKBAI.

    Trust me, we have problems.

    No, you don't. Learn2play.

  9. Rag was bugged for awhile. he got a lot harder at Rag 3.0, so I'm not surprised people beat him early.

    Err, how was he bugged? The only problems off the bat with his fight were lockout issues with raids, and the Majordomo and Ragnaros event would not complete, so you could never attack him and have to try again the next day. The lava surges hit for about 3-4K but it was rare it did -- they lowered the damage to around 700-1,000 and made them a hell of a lot more often. Wrathfire (ranged BOOM shot) would go off randomly, and they changed that so he doesn't do it unless there is no one in melee range. He resisted spells a shitload until they lowered resist rates for mobs 3 levels over and raised HP of bosses in MC; that was a double edged sword as he gained a good 10% HP but now that Mages and Warlock weren't being resisted over and over the health increase didn't amount to much.

    The only real major bug occured when BWL went live, and it was Sons of Ragnaros spawning 10 seconds into the fight so you had them + him to deal with and it wasn't pretty (why the hell you'd do something as sensitive as Ragnaros on patch night I have no fucking clue) and even that was hotfixed the next day or day after that when they were messing around with the controller controls for Razorgore and latency issues.

    So, where's the "ultra hard" Ragnaros 3.0? Onyxia is the one that got major, major buffs over time. She kept getting buffed even past the introductions of Lord Kazzak and Azuregos. Ragnaros has been ninja nerfed all along, and Dark Iron gear just made the fight easier.

    Vael in addition was also made harder recently. Finally, Razoregore is going to be made more difficult for Horde as they are going to make the mobs unkitable - that's why my guild is trying non-kiting strats, which makes it tougher.

    Uh, Vael has been made easier as the hotfixes were implemented. When he first went live the fire pulse was around 1-1.2K a second, Essence of the Red didn't activate half the time, you could only take him once every 12 hours, the explosion portion of Burning Adrenaline sometimes went off right away and caused an instant wipe, and he often went into evade mode for no apparent reason. No, he hasn't gotten harder as time has passed, he's just slowly gotten easier for people to wedge room into BWL.

    The boss that has gotten harder is Broodlord; when he first went live his Mortal Strikes were like they are now (4-6K) but sometime about 3 weeks after release something fubared up and his MSs were only hitting 1-1.5K; they saw it and fixed that issue. Chromaggus was also a bitch before when his breaths were stuck on EZMOAD, and with people actually dealing with Time Lapse now he's a nightmare.

    And I'd love to see who told you they're making Razorgore non-kitable. Not only are they wrong and there's been no report of a hotfix, but I've actually been IN Blackwing Lair on the test server. We couldn't get into AQ today on test servers due to that instance server having some major lag problem and we went into BWL to see what's changed and find out any nerfs -- nothing has, though it seems like the trash pulls after Firemaw are harder and the Foot Soldiers seem to be using Brood Affliction: Green more often. Sadly, the server or instance servers crash as we were fighting Ebonroc so I don't know any changes to his fight (though he seemed normal), Flamegor, Chromaggus, or Nefarian. Whoever got their information about Razorgore is wrong.

    Who's DRAMA? I've never heard of them.

    EDIT: Wait, I remember that debacle. Supposedly A) they climbed onto the terrain in the room and basically went into evade mode themselves and nothing could attack them and B) they logged out tons of members in Nefarian's chamber, so when someone died to the Risen Constructs, Corrupted Infernals, or a random Rogue that was nailed with Shadow Flame after teleport they just switched them out. Half the guild says "no we didn't" and I'm pretty sure I believe them (because nothing spells MMO like thousands of people shouting someone exploited on a kill they haven't done) but ironically DRAMA is the only guild I've heard being accused of exploits on a boss fight (though you hear it in battlegrounds all the time from whiney 12 year olds) and a hotfix was immediately applied that night after they killed it.

    Anywho, lots of luck on Razorgore without kiting (this assumes you're taking out Hunter kiting dragons via aggro holding, which BOTH sides do). We tried it with the Priest Mind controlling Legos and using their special to slaughter the dragons while Rogue/Warrior/Mages kill the Mages, but apparently Priests freak out when they're not healing and have brain farts, so we scrapped that after a few semi-successul but sloppy attempts.

  10. Post whoring:

    http://mammae.org/images/1.9/1.9Loot_page1.jpg

    http://mammae.org/images/1.9/1.9Loot_page3.jpg

    http://mammae.org/images/1.9/1.9Loot_page4.jpg

    http://mammae.org/images/1.9/1.9Loot_page5.jpg

    http://mammae.org/images/1.9/1.9Loot_page6.jpg

    http://mammae.org/images/1.9/1.9Loot_page7.jpg

    Some of the new stuff the static guild we signed up for with a lot of other officers from their guilds to learn the instance before release. So, while Blizzard 'lied' in that they won't have sets in Ahn'Qiraj for classes, I think they meant full 8 piece sets. Each class has a 5 armor piece set, and a 3 piece set that includes a ring, weapon, and cape.

    Also, take good, long look at the mace that boosts Druid attack power in animal forms -- think someone goofed up hardcore? lol.

  11. According to several guilds I know, Razoregore and Vael are the hard fights in BWL. Nef is apparently a disappointment, and easier than Rag. Most other BWL fights appear to be easy from the people I talk with.

    Yes, well, most everyone else says it's impossible to tank the new ED dragons with one tank tanking and we do it that way better than rotations. Ragnaros isn't a hard fight, no matter how much you'll disagree with me on that -- learning it and not being able to spend all the time in the world on him like you can Lucifron are two different things. If people have trouble with Ragnaros, they're never getting anywhere in Blackwing Lair and beyond until they hammer him out.

    Razorgore is technical like Majordomo -- the 'hard' part is only in learning and executing your tailored strategy. The actual fighting of Razorgore is onpar with General Drakkisath in UBRS, except Razorgore occassionally throws out AoE fireballs for 700ish. Razorgore is slightly harder for the Alliance (horde has Earthbind totems and can kite cleanly), Vael is slightly harder for the Horde (Paladin's BoS ensures healers never get on the hate list until late for Burning Adrenaline).

    Vael is a DPS burn fight; it's not hard at all. Like every single boss fight you figure out positioning, boost FR for his fure pulse, then go to town on DPS. The only reason it took people so long to beat him was the cockblock before patch 1.8 -- you only had one hour every 12 hours to fight him.

    Broodlord is the third hardest fight in the instance, with Chromaggus taking the lead and Nefarian second, and even Firemaw matches Broodlord in stress factor. Broodlord's hate is very, very, very touchy the entire time. He hits with Mortal Strike for 4-6K non crit, and knocks back the tank which in turn reduces their hate by 75%. You do a tank rotation with at least four Warriors; if more than one dies it's game over -- once the surviving two get knocked back and lose that 75% hate healers and DPS immediately go topside; instant wipe. Hate is literally so shaky that wanding is literally the only way to go with him, and even THAT *WILL* pull hate if you take too long; Hunters are the main source of DPS on Broodlord because they can go balls to the wall and then FD -- if it gets resisted they stop and wait until they can perform it again.

    Plus, you're still in the 'active' suppression room while fighting Broodlord, so you're dealing with respawning groups of whelps, Dragonkin, and Taskmasters (think mages with Warrior hits). Plus, the actual units reduce attack, movement, and magic speed by 80% so if the ROgues aren't on top of the units the tanks get slammed hard.

    Chromaggus is... a bitch. It is a very fun fight, but it's incredibly difficult and *VERY* long, and yes I would rate him higher than Nefarian (which seems to be a pattern; Majordomo and Chromaggus are fights that take excessive control and really attentive crew and are before the final bosses, whereby Ragnaros and Nefarian are more encounters to entertain you that while are still hard, are more technical in nature than groundbreaking stuff). Healers are constantly dispeling magic, removing disease, abolishing poison, and uncursing -- AND they're trying to keep the tank alive during Affliction: Bronze, which is an AoE stun for 2-8 seconds with random timers. The types of breaths he uses really determines how hard he is; for the longest time he wasn't switching breaths and was only using Shadow and Frost. If you get Fire (Combustion with Conflageration) and Arcane (Time Lapse), it's damn near impossible to get past him that week.

    Nefarian is most definitely hard due to the fact that you're essentially dealing with the opening of Razorgore event to a degree (but with mobs twice as difficult, and twice as many), as well as Onxyia +2. Depending on which classes are 'gimped' repeatably determines how much easier the fight can go for you -- you get Priest gimps a lot and the tanks are going to die because Druids and Shamans/Paladins alone can't keep the MT(s) up due to the massive damage Nefarian puts out. He's still touchier on aggro than Broodlord or Onyxia, and you're constantly dealing with the chance of enemies if Warlocks get gimped, plus at 20% you'll have to deal with 50+ 60 elite Constructs (remember how hard those fuckers hit in Scholomance? Yeah.).

    So, yeah, Nefarian's easier than Chromaggus, but he's not easy at all. People were up to Broodlord by the first few days, and his first death didn't occur until 2 weeks after release of the dungeon even by the elite guilds, the drakes go by pretty fast though Firemaw is a bitch, and Chromaggus wasn't kill until the 6th or 7th week after launch. Nefarian fell the first time to Pacifist or Elitist Jerks the first time almost a month after Chromaggus went down (though, to give them credit back then you could only attempt phase 2 Nefarian (Lord Victor Nefarius > Nefarian) once a week). So yeah, 2 and a half, nearly three months before the final guy fell, whereas people were at Ragnaros within 3 weeks in MC, and he fell to Ascendent Sky a month and a half after release -- before Dark Iron gear came into play -- and some people want to say that a boss where most of the raid was still in blues is harder than one where most 1everyone in the raid has their tier set completed is harder? I don't think so.

  12. The problem is that it is so ridiculously hard to get to rank 14 that only a handful of players typically do on any given server. You have to play for at LEAST 8 hours a day, every day, for weeks to months at a time to even have a shot at it. I've heard of people skipping school and taking vacation days from work just to get closer. To suddenly introduce some PVE content that is (apparently) not THAT difficult that easily beats out their hard work is bs. The PVP gear all needs to be scaled better. The nature of the PVP gear is that it is absolutely the best, or very close to it, for PVP. And with AQ, it's not even going to be close to the best. That's ridiculous.

    The 20 man AQ is on par with ZG, the 40 man starts off as hard as BWL and eventually gets as hard as Nefarian fights halfway through, with the final boss being 'twice as hard as Nefarian'. I seriously doubt it's as easy as you're thinking. Hardly anyone calls BWL 'easy' even though the first two fights are as hard as Ragnaros/Majordomo.

    Uh, and where did Blizzard state that PvP gear is supposed to be 'the best' for PvP? They never did. They DID, however, release a statement that it's not a replacement for high endgame raid content gear -- it's an alternative, nothing more. It's fine. Not everyone's going to get into a guild that kills Ragnaros, Emerald Dragons, Nefarian, and other raid content, but everyone CAN PvP solo.

    It's why they're moving away from the drop system for set pieces in the future and instead doing them via quests for people that don't have stable guilds and don't want to leave them -- to prevent item rotting and for casual players; Nexus Crystals are one part, the token system for sets is the other. One part you have to be in the instance for, the rest are able to be bought on the AH if you can't find a PUG (dunno about your server, there's usually 1 ZG PUG a week, at least).

  13. The fact that they made stuff better than Rank12-14 pvp gear (and Rank12-14 takes hundreds to thousands of hours to get to of VERY INTENSE PLAYING) is a massive blunder. Also, now there is really no incentive to do BWL, where the loot is barely better than MC, which is vastly easier.

    Four months from now, put up a new PvP rank with matched rewards. Problem solved.

    People want their gear to last forever and it's not going to happen. Rank 14 crap's been out since Battlegrounds first came in, so the gear itself has had nearly 6 months to sit at "supreme" at the top of a lot of people's lists. I'm surprised nothing's knocked it down already, and with Ahn'Qiraj loot it's about time.

    Also, notice the Druid mace on that list of weapons. Nice fuckup on their part; needs to be 2 handed. Ironically, MC = BWL loot, ZG epics > BWL epics, and AQ > * -- the ZG part's kinda fubared. The fact that Blackwing Lair's loot is on par with Molten Core actually makes sense. Both are set designs that boost different attributes in your role; Nightslayer's about improving your raw stats and buffing Vanish whereas Bloodfang is about improving your crit percentage and chance to hit (where later bosses in BWL get up to level 66, that *IS* a big deal) -- Cenarian is built around a balance of mana regen and +healing and making your group spells better, while Stormrage is designed for solo play and stats are all focused on raw +healing. Molten Core has the better neck and ring items, BWL has better wands, trinkets, and weapons (for the most part).

    Grats on Ragnaros finally zircon :) (Sorry I didn't say so earlier; we moved into a new house and I developed pneumonia, hooray!) It's pretty sweet when you get that fight that just clicks and everyone's on a high. One thing I've noticed is that you either win with most everyone alive or you wipe -- due to the nature of all the PvE encounters usually trying to salvage a situation is pointless most of the time.

    (and I was conked out on medicine when I posted under you on Bloodlord strats -- you said 30 yards so I guess you meant be near the entrance; a berserker spawns in the little 'village' part when you engage Bloodlord and wanders nearby, so I don't usually reccommend people standing there).

  14. Suzu, grats on your kill. But here is a strat that will make things easier for you.

    --

    Start Positioning: All melees about 30 yards from the "Speaker", a weak elite mob at the base of the stairs the boss is at. The casters hide themselves behind the fence made of spears - you can't miss it, it's an enclosure that houses a group of raptors when you first enter the room.

    Strat: The Speaker gets pulled and killed quick. An offtank will then tank the raptor pet of the boss, who is relatively weak. The MT tanks the boss. Please note that every time the boss kills someone, he has a good chance of gaining a level. He gets harder to kill every time this happens, and hits harder too. So DON'T let anyone die. Melees should back out and bandage if they need to. This is a relatively long fight (5-6 minutes) and is all about controlled DPS. All melees/DPS focus on the raptor pet first, kill it, then start dps on the Bloodlord himself. He will be temporarily enraged, healers need to watch for that. He has some standard Warrior abilities like whirlwind to watch out for, otherwise, nothing significant on the offense front.

    He DOES cast something called 'Threatening Gaze' on random people. If you get this debuff, you can't do anything. Stop whatever you are doing. If you do things while he's watching you, he'll kill you. So don't do anything. Very simple! This is one of the easiest fights as long as no one dies (which should not be a problem, as he will not assault the casters who are behind the spear fence).

    --

    The fight is a joke if you do it this way.

    That'll work, but here's what we do (we run it mainly for enchants -- it's what every single one of the Primal Hakkari are used for in our guild -- and the chance of epics, as well as the ring sets):

    1) There is the little platform to the right/south of the stairs where Bloodlord resides that houses a group of humanoids and a group of raptors -- kill them all. EVERYONE but the main tank should be standing on the platform railing (i.e. fortified posts by the wall part).

    2) Kill the Speaker, melee just stand still on the platform and use ranged attacks.

    3) MT engages Bloodlord about 20-25 yards on the ground in front of the rest of the raid. There are no LOS issues. A second Warrior will pull the raptor onto the platform, and everyone but the MT on Bloodlord will focus on the Raptor. 2-3 healers focus on the MT (2 Priests and a Druid/Shaman, Druid, Priest), and any remaining healers can spotcheck the melee/tanks on the raptor.

    4) If the Raptor dies quickly (20-30 seconds) then give the MT another 10-15 seconds of hate building; if the Raptor takes a while, melee will bandage themselves then engage Bloodlord. Do not hold back on DPS; he has no threat reduction techniques so the tank's hate will always be greater than yours (unless you somehow land every backstab/Mortal Strike/spell as a critical hit).

    5) When Bloodlord uses Whirlwind, melee will back away for 3-5 seconds, bandage/tuber up, then go back in to DPS again. As long as you don't die from his Threatening Gaze, and the MT stays alive, this is an easy fight.

    I'll post the rest of our guild's strats at another time and zircon you can compare yours to ours. And yes, Hexxer is a fucking PITA.

  15. Ahn'Qiraj...

    *mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm*

    Too bad I'll be in the middle of moving, so I'm literally going to miss the entire opening ceremony/weeks and the first few bosses :\

    I'm loving WoW and more each day endgame. The green dragons are a nice distraction and gearup for AQ, and the Nefarian fight alone makes the suppression room and Chromaggus fight worthwhile.

  16. we're doing a guild ZG raid today. i'm not sure what to expect because i know so little about it. i hear there's epic mount drops there though which is awesome.

    If you find any, tell about it, and post picture if you can.

    We've had the epic tiger mount drop (horde side). It's reddish with brown/white hue stripes. Really kickass looking.

    We haven't seen the raptor one drop yet, though.

  17. Today's extended maintenance was supposed to fix these problems, but it obviously failed.

    Gold farmers on a lot of realms are exploiting Dire Maul again somehow. I don't know if it shows on your AH, but on Proudmoore, Garona, and Stormscale Horde side there's always a single Rogue, level 60, in DM. He also has at least 2 of every class book on the AH, and just today on stormscale he put up 4 books for Quel'Serrar for 5,000G a pop. The names are different for all servers, but it's one person on each server selling the items.

    Someone's found a way to exploit the king in DM and solo him as a Rogue, and the goldfarmers found out. It's just like the dupe trick with Maraudon a few months ago. They'll figure out how they're doing it and neutralize the problem. Though, it's their own damn fault because DM has to be one of the most poorly built dungeons in the game -- aside from shitty graphics almost everywhere and tears in the terrain, when it went live half of the bosses didn't even drop loot :\

  18. That's...exactly what I meant. In MC, ZG, or BWL it's plain out suicide for a non-hunter to pull. It's even safer to let the hunter pull in all other instances. However, it doesn't matter in most 5-man instance groups, and thus the warrior ends up doing it so that you can just roll from pull to pull the fastest.

    Nah, I still use them in 5 man if one's in the group. Then again, I usually only instance with guildmates unless we're on a recruiting streak -- like now -- and we always, always, always take a Hunter. They can put out sick, sick DPS then just FD it away if they don't get resisted.

    I'd rather have a bear tank than let a Warrior pull in a 5 man group. At least the Hunter won't pull when we're OOM since he has mana issues as well. Plus, with a Hunter we've got that extra AoE every what... 60 seconds?

    Anyway, I guess theres a time and place for each class. They need to incorporate something that makes rogues mor wanted for endgame but eh, i got my priest to play for now.

    Rogues consist of 80% DPS on almost every boss fight with rare, rare, exceptions. Anyone that told you they're not desired for endgame is an idiot. Anyone can play a Rogue; not everyone can be good at it.

  19. Plus, Un'Goro is where you can start the "Legend of Zelda" series of quests.

    wait what? i thought i did all the quests in un'goro... must have missed something.

    anyways what did the GM guy mean by stuff that will rot? and what do they mean the hunter epic quest was a mistake? that quest is INSANELY hard to complete. you have to down domo, get a super rare drop from onyxia, and solo 4 elite demons WITHOUT A PET. i think anybody who can pull that shit off deserves a decent bow.

    It's in a wrecked ship in one of the 'ponds' in southern Un'Goro. You can't see it unless you're underwater, but it sends you to talk to Linken. The steps of the quest and storyline will show you what I mean by LoZ.

    He meant that it was a mistake in that they only did two quests and left everyone out; in other words it wasn't fair. And yes, Hunter epic is *definitely* the most difficult quest in the entire game.

  20. No, no one has used fraps yet. I guess I can ask them to use it next time.

    Prz do!

    One thing I can suggest, if they don't do it already, is have the Hunters go literally fucknut-ballstothewall-krazy DPS on Ragnaros and then Feign Death. I mean, crit heaven, Arcane Shot laden, Aimed Shot Saturated, DPS goodness. They're going to end up have to DPS like this on everything afterwards if they don't already do it. A lot of Hunters save it for "emergencies" when they shouldn't; a full aggro wipe if non-resisted should be utilized every damn 30 seconds to push every bit of DPS out of them you can get.

    Hunters and Rogues really end up being tied for highest DPS on Ragnaros. It just depends on how many of each class you have that determines which walks away home the leader.

  21. Fucking shit. ANOTHER Rag attempt. Got him to 35% - sons phase went better, we still can't do it. It pisses me off every time I read "Rag takes no skill" or "Rag isn't a real raid boss" or "MC is training for REAL dungeons" when my guild is putting their blood, sweat, and tears into this fight.. farming consumables, watching videos, reading strats, etc. It's NOT AN EASY FIGHT.

    Can you get me a video of it? I can maybe see what's going wrong.

  22. K, that one is long enough, so double posting for her Husband's comments.

    (this is not pretty formated or edited by my wife... we had a long day today... so this is the rest of day 1... raw... working on day 2 right now... someone buy me a drink! my head is still rining from the offspring concert... i did meet and talk with some of the euro CMs... go figure... very friendly and easy to talk to... maybe i play on the wrong side of the pond?)

    Expansion Playable Demo

    I did not get a chance to play the demo yet… the line was huge and I only had 30 minutes before the next panel. I did get to ask some questions, and watched some blood elves play. First off… the blood elves are close to night elves in model and movement, but there are a lot of subtle differences that make them two races. First off… they don’t flip when they jump. Occasionally when you jump… you spin in a circle. The starting area and the races are very bright. The playable classes for the blood elves are Warrior, Warlock, Mage, and Priest.

    Dungeon Panel

    (THIS IS NOT FOR RAIDS, but mainly the 5 man instances)

    With the dungeons, the level range is the first choice of the developer. The first time they expect the players to begin venturing into dungeons is level 15. The best loot and experience is supposed to come from dungeons. For the gear, they mostly got that right, but for the experience, they messed up slightly. Mathematically it is supposed to be better, experience wise, to grind dungeon 5 mans… but they failed to take into account the vagarities of dealing with 4 other people, the amount of time to travel to the dungeons, and the time to form the groups. Dungeons are supposed to have an epic sense to them. Elite mobs were originally added for dungeons, giving the designers a way to boost the combat potential of the mobs up, with out messing with the balance of levels and resistances.

    Players want a sense of progression in a dungeon. They want to feel that they have a large goal, and easily understandable “mini goals”, or bosses on the way.

    Designers want to vary the points of interest through a dungeon. The dungeon should have a unified theme or style, but the background should not feel cookie cutter.

    They like to mix up the pulls. Not every pull should be exactly identical. They want the strategy to have to adjust to the moment, and for the players to have to adapt… not go afk or /pizza.

    They want to make groups move through the dungeon. “Pulling” is a very valid and smart tactic, according to the dungeon designer. What he did not want was things from other games… where the healers and main part setup camp at the beginning of the dungeon, and the pullers basically feed all the mobs in the dungeon back to the original safe point. He wanted the full party to explore through the dungeon with the pullers.

    Every class needs places to shine. Warlocks shine in Dire Maul and Marudon, being able to banish one demon and enslave another, for example.

    Boss pacing is important. There should be bosses spaced evenly through the progression of the dungeon. Red side strath was an example of how they failed at this.

    They want to let skilled players shine, by adding short cuts and hidden buffs. This is important! They know about the shortcut in lower black rock spire, and approve of smart players using it. They know about getting buffs from mind controlled mobs, and put those there specifically as hidden treats and bonuses for smart players. They specifically mentioned the mind controlled mobs in more details, saying how it was one of his favorite ways to reward creative players was to put great buffs on various mind controllable mobs, they were not accidental. The fire buff in black rock spire was put there intentionally, and is not an exploit, but instead a valid and encouraged strategy. Apparently, one GM, way back when, did not have the right info, and it has been corrected.

    Stealthing through a dungeon is a completely valid tactic. They are aware of the rogues and druids ability to stealth, and the designed gave the example of three rogues and two druids stealthing through a dungeon and killing each boss as a smart and valid thing to do. The 5 instance cap per hour was added to “balance” stealth runs, but they are still allowed and encouraged.

    Instancing was heavily implemented for a couple of reasons

    • Player collision (players don’t grief bosses)

    • The boss is always up

    • Being able to script encounters (this was a big one)

    • Best elements of a traditional RPG can be integrated

    The public areas provide a freely moveable area… to make sure the players never feel trapped in pockets. There is content added to these public area to reinforce that the players have a choice, and are not forced into the instances.

    Micro dungeons are scattered through out the lands. These are basically the non instanced caves, towers, and other places, normally used in quests. They typically have a single named boss, and are not meant to force the player to party, but to encourage it. The instanced dungeons are meant to force partying

    Dungeon caps were added, mainly due to the path of least resistance. Dungeons are tuned and seeded based on the amount of players envisioned for each, and the ability to zerg a dungeon makes the experience easier, less of a challenge. When the design cap is exceeded, the perception of the dungeon goes down. With a smaller group, each player feels more important. This was a tough choice, but one that was overall good for the game.

    What is interesting… Oobers is considered a 10 man instance as far as tuning is concerned. A story was told about how when the designer is playing on the public realms anonymously, he was in a UBRS group… that would not move until they filled all 15 slots. He kept trying to hint that the 11 people they had at the time would be fine… but could not outright say it with out blowing his cover.

    One big lesson they learned is to keep a very tight level range in the dungeon. Deadmines was a big example of how they failed with this. The beginning of the dungeon is level 14 I believe, while the end is level 22. The players that find the beginning a challenge will fail at the end… and players who find the end a challenge will breeze through the beginning.

    They apparently have fallen in loved with the winged design for dungeons. Winged dungeons allow you to define you own style of playing. If you want to do only one wing, you can easily and still have a sense of accomplishment. If you clear all the wings, it’s a grand thing, and you feel that you have done something bigger and better. Scarlet Monastery and Dire Maul were listed and successful examples of winged instances. Uldaman, Gnomeragon, and Stratholme were listed as the failed attempts at winged instances.

    The level range of the dungeons is also a huge consideration for the design of the dungeon. A lower level dungeon is primarily a quest and XP source for the players. They will quest inside of it, for short term items and for experience, but quickly move beyond it. Higher end dungeons are primarily for loot, and expected to be ransacked again, and again, and again, and again.

    They wanted each level range to have a choice of dungeons available to the player. The player as they progress should have 3-4 dungeons to choose from, and not be forced into the same one all the time.

    They also said that they enjoy the random bosses, such as the arena in BRD, and will be implementing things like that more and more.

    There is 4 phases when designing a dungeon

    • Concept

    • Design and Layout

    • Spawn and Scripting

    • Playtesting

    The concept is the first part, and many times directed from the lore director. “I need a dungeon inside of a volcano”. The beginning of any design is the who/where/why questions. Who is the dungeon for? Where is the dungeon at, and why is this dungeon being designed. The art team comes up with some concept sketches, and the designers brain storm various cool ideas.

    Design and layout is the second phase. They figure out where the bosses are, figuring out how they want the pacing. They add in various points of interest, things that are in the background, but important for story or ambiance. The quest and trade skill team is engaged, making the quests and trade skill items, recipes, and “stuff” an integral part. BRD with the dark forge and dark anvil was an example of the trade skill team integration.

    Once they are beginning to flesh things out, they start with a 2D model of the instance. This allows them to get a sense of flow and placement for the mobs. It allows them to get their first ideas down, and to have something to work with the art team with.

    The second phase is a low polygon version of the map. This is a simple set off blocks and the like, done to specifically test scale and play feel. A 2d map can be deceiving for scale and visual issues, the 3d map compensates for this.

    The final step in the design and layout is passing the items to the art team for them to finish the assets and visual design. Some of the images given here of unreleased dungeons was breath taking.

    Spawning and scripting is the third phase of the dungeon. Here is where they place the creatures in the dungeon. Pathing and AI is designed for the creatures, as is the scripted encounters. This third phase is the longest of the four phases, and requires many iterative steps.

    Spells and abilities of the mobs inside this new dungeon are added at this point. It is important to the designers that the bosses in a dungeon be unique, each a different challenge. Spells and abilities can be shared in a dungeon, to provide cohesion and a sense of belonging, but the individual details are tweaked to make the abilities different when they are shared.

    The final phase is the play testing phase. This is hard because there is no way to adjust the time of this. A 4 hour dungeon takes 4 hours to beat, and can’t be condensed. Many important things are learned here. Bloodlord originally did not have a le vel cap, and during one play testing, made it to level 72. The public test realms are the final part of the play testing.

    Player caps will be used extensively in the expansion pack.

    It was re iterated that stealth runs were not exploits, and a smart use of abilities and skill.

    They will be moving to small caps, and “tighter” dungeons to emphasize the player over the group. In a smaller group, the actions of one player are more critical.

    3rd party UI mods are never considered when designing a dungeon or encounter. They do not count on anybody having any mod, and do not tune for them. Internal play testing is done with the stock UI.

    The idea of Diablo style random dungeons was brought up, but was quickly nixed. The current dungeons are all hand crafted, each mob and each boss placed exactly where they want. There is no quality control in a random dungeon. They will be adding more and more random elements, but there will be no random dungeons in the for seeable future.

    Rest of the con

    I had planned on attending the battle grounds panel… but hunger made me re choose otherwise. I returned for the 7pm contests and mixer. The contests were a mix of brilliance, and pain… which is normal. The mixer afterwards was awkward and poorly planned. The designers and coders did not stand out versus the normal blizzard employees, and it was very hard to figure out who was who.

    Overall the first day of Blizzcon felt more professional, but less friendly and inviting than the Anime cons I had attended in the past. This is not a bad thing, but mainly an observation.

    Plus, we have a Hunter in our guild that works as a GM (hence why we never see him anymore ; ; ). He specifically told us the second he got home "The cat's out of the bag so I can tell you this. Stop giving out loot to people that's going to rot -- Warlock and Druid gear in particular -- and *save* them for disenchants past 1.9. You're going to need them, and I have a feeling the necessity of the enchants that use the Nexus Crystals will require DKP to regulate. They're literally that awesome compared to ZG enchants guys, even though they're on separate slots."

  23. This beez a bery bery rong reply. Lots of shit from people I know that heard this from developers and Blizzard employees firsthand from Blizzcon. Also, this will put your fears to rest about the UBRS buff Zircon.

    Alright, Both my husband Quutar and I are here in Anaheim, Calf, at Blizzcon.

    Yesterday was the first day and was a total blast. We walked from our hotel at about 9:30am to get in line for the opening ceremonies.Luckly we arrived pretty early, because apparently the line ended up wrapping around the block. Quutar and I started talking to the people around us and had fun meeting a couple and their neice from Uldum and a group of guildmates from Destromath. Sometime after 10am the doors opened and we were all ushered inside the beloved con. We looked around for a bit but not long before heading straight over to the big auditorium for Opening Ceremonies. We got good seats right off the asle and met up with our new friends form Uldum and enjoyed the excellent opening remarks then then new WoW Expansion Demo movie. (look below for Quutar's excellent notes)

    After there we headed up to the "realm meet" but were sadly disappointed because, while they went through all the trouble to make this nifty schedule and set up tables, the con forgot to NUMBER said tables so it was total chaos. Sighing in defeat, Quu headed over to nab us some food while I waited in the exceedingly slow line for the Blizzcon store. Sore feet and a sandwich later, Quu headed off for his Raid panel while I continued waiting. (look below for Quutar's excellent notes) Two hours later I got my phat l00t and even got my Well of Eternity book signed by Richard Knaak before heading over to the Lore and Quests panel.

    Sadly i had to retire for the night, but Quutar wandered around and had fun. The Cocktailes and Contests shindig was ok. The contests were painful as most convention contests are, but the supposed mixer afterwards was sadly disappointing since all the well known Blizz staff disappeared as soon as the contests were done.

    Overall the whole thing is really exciting and I'm betting today is going to be a blast (more panels! yea!).

    Now.. as promised, Quu's excellent notes from the con:

    ======================================================

    Interesting quote from the line to get in:

    “WTB Murloc pet… $30!”

    Opening ceremonies

    The opening started with the president of blizzard doing a future talk… talking about how good things will be. This was the first Blizzcon, and got 8,000 people in attendance. He loves the fans, blah blah blah. The Zerg are playable in the Ghost multi player, and other Ghost things that I did not pay much attention to.

    The name of the expansion is the “Burning Crusade”. The producer for WoW came on, and talked about community. The community of WoW is what makes it strong; In the future… for the free “patches” they will be adding

    • Noxtramus (sp?) (The place above Stratholme)
    • Linked Auction Houses in all major cities (HUGE cheer)
    • Ahn’Quiraj
    • Weather effects… real effects, not just pretty fluff

    And the highlights from the expansion was:

    • Burning Crusade
    • Blood Elves for Horde
    • Primarily in outland, through the dark portal
    • Medhiva(sp?) Tower
    • Caverns of Time
    • The Black Temple where you will fight and kill Illdian
    • Flying mounts in the outlands
    • Gem Crafting/socketed Items… new profession

    They then showed a demo movie for the new expansion. It was a lot of concept sketches that looked awesome… some in game scenes from Medhevas(sp?) tower, and from the Blood Eleve starting area

    The burning legion is exacting revenge on the people beyond the dark portal. They are punishing the outland. The concept art… looks awesome.

    The caverns of time will deal with the lore of WoW. Three instances listed were:

    • The raising of thrall, before he became war chief… something about hillsbrand
    • The opening of the dark portal for the very first time
    • The defense of the world tree… final battle in War3

    And… the level cap is raised to level 70. Talking to a blizzard employee afterwards (they had a “B” on their badge)… they will be giving us ten more talent points… and increasing the “tree” to a 41 point talent. No details were giving on the filling in from 31 to 41… but the idea is one of balance… if someone gets the 41… they can’t have a 21 from another tree…

    Raid Panel

    Definition of a raid: Entrance into another territory for phat l00t.

    They focus on the end game for raids. “Heat only rises” which means… I think… that they have to keep things going up and harder, since the challenges have to remain. Raid targets provide something to aspire to… something that makes the world feel bigger, even if you don’t do the raids, you hear about them.

    Low level raids are not really their focus. It is possible to ten man the dead mines at level 15… but they don’t focus on balancing it for that.

    The 1% myth. They talked about how on the forums they are flamed for making “content” that only 1% of their player base is playing. According to blizzard, during the week… during peek hours… at any one time there is

    • 500 Molten Core instances
    • 1500 Onyxia instances
    • 250 BWL instances
    • 700 Zul’Gurub instances

    All going at the same time. If you consider that this is all week long (for instance 800 MC on weeknights) that is far more than 1% of their gaming population.

    Onyxia was born August 13 2004. She was the first end game raid targeted instance/mob for WoW. She was designed to break the mold for previous games raid encounters. She borrowed “stages” from other RPG games and brought them into WoW. Her stages, as described by blizzard were:

    • Introduction
    • She can fly!
    • All hell breaks lose

    Onyxia became a template for the mindset of later raids. They ask themselves for each raid:

    • what should each class be doing
    • Mix things up, try not to keep it static
    • Have a duration in mind
    • Pacing is important
    • Keep Challenging the player
    • Raise the bar

    There was some discussion about “smart” mobs. Nefarion, in Oobers, says to go after the one in the skirt, but when you finally fight him, he gets tanked like normal. Where are the smart mobs that go after healers first? That use smart tactics? Simple answer:

    “We can kill you any time we want!”

    A smart raid boss is not fun. Killing the player is easy, challenging the player is hard.

    They had some interesting stats up. In a one week period… the most deadly raid bosses were:

    • Vaelstraz(sp?) 24,182
    • Bloodlord 11,242
    • Firemaw 10,363

    Then the most deadly “mobs” in the game outside of raid bosses:

    • Gadjetstan Bruiser 19,254
    • Defias Pillager 17,162
    • Tauren Mill Death Guard 8,298

    Testing the raids is very hard. A guild that works together will do better than a pickup raid almost always. Previously, internal testing was basically done via pickups. They would get some internal testers, CMs, and other blizzard employees… all of which are very good raiders on their own, and have them test things out. The problem was that all of these people were not used to raiding together… so they are working on a “Strike Raid Team” of dedicated raiders. A group of employees who test raid content… and work together… mimicking a guild.

    Blackwing Lair was not put on the public test realm at the request of the player base. They wanted to be surprised… and well… it was a mistake. Zul’Gurub was in the PTR, and the difference showed… all future raid instances will be on the PTR.

    WoW was in Alpha/Beta for over a year. The average turn round now for content is 3-8 weeks. That is why the older stuff is far more polished than the new stuff.

    The CDC (Center for Disease Control) in Atlanta contacted blizzard about the ZG plague in the game. The CDC had read that Blizzard had simulated a plague spreading through the world, and was interested in how they simulated it. They were disappointed when they found out it was a bug.

    They also previewed some of the raid content. Ahn’Qiraj was the focus of the preview. There is going to be a massive war with the Qiraj, and it will involve the entire server. Previous raid locations were bereft of quests, that is going to change with AQ. There will be a large amount of quests interwoven with the raid instances. Story is highly important with all new raid instances coming out, AQ being the first with this it seems.

    AQ will require a world event to open. Both sides, alliance and horde have to complete “stuff” to open the gates. Once they are opened, then they are forever opened, it’s a permanent server change. All level ranges will be involved, as there will be supply gather and processing quests for the lower levels, and stuff ranging the spectrum. One side and/or the other will have to gather the four parts to a scepter to open the gates. It will take the average server 3 weeks to open it. If nobody does stuff, eventually the gate will open on its own.

    The 20 man instance of AQ is an outdoor instance at the difficulty level of ZG. It is an exterior instance and will be non linear, just like ZG.

    The 40 man instance of AQ is HUGE. They showed a scale map of the 40 man, and showed the cathedral section of the scarlet monastery. The cathedral section fit inside of one of the boss rooms. They also showed some play scenes (one of the devs hopped on the computer and explored with an invulnerable dwarf)… and it looks beautiful… and creepy. It sets the mood, and just makes you feel like the miniscule invaders.

    They showed the map of the Naxxram(sp?) which is the instance above stratholme. It will have multiple floors. I think I saw they had multiple wings, and that is something that blizzard wants to move to for future dungeons.

    They are really pleased with the “wing” experience with dungeons. A group can do a single wing, and feel accomplishment.

    Kazzazhan (sp?) medhiva’s tower is going to be a 10 man raid instance. It is massive, larger than all of blackrock spire (upper and lower) combined. The opera house inside of it was very cool.

    The caverns of time will have 4 instances. Two normal instances, one battle ground, and one battle of mount hijal from the end of WC3.

    Tempest keep was talked about. It is the home of Kael’Thas (sp?) and will have 4 wings. There will be three 5 man wings, and one raid wing at the level of Molten Core.

    Hellfire Citadel is the home of Magtheredon (sp?). It will be modeled like Onyxia… a few trash mobs, then right to the boss.

    Illidan will be the final boss of the black temple in the outlands. He is the big bad boss that is planned for the expansion… expect him to require 40 level 70 players.

    The ultimate goal of the raid team is to keep hard core raiders busy all week. They want to provide a menu of raids available, making the raid lockout a background issue, since there are so many to choose from that by the time you get back to raid XXX, its timer is up anyway.

    Linear progression is no longer desired in raids. One example of this was Onyxia->BWL where her cape is needed… I think they listed another… but I don’t remember what it was.

    Smaller raid sizes are planned in the future… they want to make more 10 and 20 man instances. They will still add 40… but the focus will be on 10 and 20 man instances for the raid team.

    The dire Maul tribute idea they like a lot. It provides at least two ways to approach and experience the same raid. Expect them to do similar things in the future with multiple ways to play a dungeon besides just killing all that walks.

    Q:“How will level 70 effect current spic gear?”

    A:”You will have a head start on the new stuff”

    Itemization was addressed. Items for specific builds is lacking, and they plan on adding more. They will be, eventually, adding stuff for specific builds… like more fire mage gear, more shadow priest gear… things like that.

    The big raid change

    The biggest, to me, change they said they are doing… probably in the 1.9 patch, is how they handle the raid lockout timer. Currently, the timer expires in XX amount of hours/days after the first boss kill. They are going to be moving that to a calendar system. For instance, molten core would reset on Tuesday during server maintenance for everybody… even if you entered it for the first time on Monday. It means that all the instances will reset at certain times… not a set time after you first kill a boss. I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing. This also was not something they were “thinking of” but something that they are doing soon.

    The idea of loot tokens, like with ZG was brought up in a question. Blizzard really likes the tokens more than the pure random drop like BWL/MC. Expect them to move to things like that for all future set pieces. They would have implemented something like that before, except that the quest department was to busy. Its time vs effort.

    The random seed for loot is random. It is not seeded from the raid leader, or who ever enters the raid first. There is no mystic voodoo on what loot drops when. They did a two week study on what loot actually did drop, and found it to be random and approximately average… the way it was supposed to be.

    They will be adding more scripted encounters in raids… they really like them a lot.

    Any thoughts on cross faction cooperation should be squashed. More horde vs alliance in the future… the two sides will hate each other more and more

    What is the role of druids in a raid? It was said that each class is tasked and thought about when they design encounters… how is druids considered. They added more crowd control into encounters to compliment druids, and are going to add in the future times where a feral druid is needed. But for now, we are healers with unique crowd control for encounters.

    Mods where discussed. Blizzard looks at the top mods found on curse gaming, and evaluates each one. Does this mod provide functionality that is sorely lacking from the base UI, and should it be implemented. Does this mod do something we don’t want it to, and should we remove that functionality from the API. Is the mod great, but purely 3rd party and should stay as such. They basically adjust things based on the players needs.

    A quick aside… thunder clap was mentioned in a way that made it sound like it works on bosses… can anybody test this?

    Rogues in instances was brought up. They acknowledge that there is not much for a rogue to do in earlier instances, which is why they added traps to BWL. In the future they will do more for the special abilities of the various classes. As far as rogues being vulnerable to AE attacks, they are doing more directional AE attacks… cores and such, as not to decimated rogues as often.

    They want skill to be more important than gear and level.

    Items and Professions Panel

    20 million items are crafted each day. Number one is the copper bar, number two is the heavy rune cloth bandage. They want professions to be simultaneous, be done while questing, and be for everybody.

    They listed some barriers to professions that they avoided:

    • Complex invention (you just make the stuff, no complication)
    • Repetitive behavior. (to make one item should not be a grind…)
    • Scary interface (click and make)
    • Focus on item creation
    • Creation failure (it does not fail and you lose your materials)
    • Item quality (if you can make it, you make it at full quality)
    • Items need to be fun to make

    Not quiet sure the explanation on all of them, since I don’t like the crafting interface all that much. But overall it was an explanation on why the current crafting system is the way it is, something to be simple, accessible, and intuitive.

    They are going to be adding more gear with a random enchant… like wild leather and green lens.

    They are adding more consumable items

    They allow tradesmen to differentiate themselves through world drops, specialization, and other methods. Specialization is obvious, but the world drops was surprising. Basically the patterns that have rare drops are there to set apart one crafter who has it, from another.

    They want to let the hardcore players shine, to reward the hard core players. Enchanting is considered the hardest core of the hard core professions. They have no plans on making “enchanting crystals” allowing enchanters to sell their enchants on the AH. Having to spam the trade channel in the cities is a conscious choice, and intentional. They will be adding something to the enchanter for the auction house.

    Wizzard oil. There is at least two types of wizard oil, which acts on weapons just like sharpening stones. One of the adds +24 to spell damage and healing to a weapon for 30 minutes… another adds to mana regen. There are consumables, and applied to the spell casters weapon.

    Each profession is supposed to cover different needs, no duplication. An example was the “scribe” profession people ask for. The ability to make the scrolls of agility and the like. The problem is that is what alchemy does, so the scribe won’t be made.

    The future of fishing looks interesting. Macro/bot fishing was a big upheaval early in the game, and caused many of the current adjustments. The biggest change for fishing is the targeted fishing, like in the tournaments. They will be doing that for all fishing in the future. There will be schools of oily blackmouth, schools of stonescale eels, shipwrecked items… that you target and fish for. They want to make fishing use nodes, just like herbalism and mining.

    Dis enchanting items are “cool” according to the items person. It allows a useless item to become useful. In the future, when you dis enchant an epic (level 60 epic or any epic was not said)… you will get a nexus crystal instead of a shard. There will be new very powerful enchants that use these crystals.

    The expansion will add specializations to tailoring and alchemy. Transmutation was one specialty in alchemy. Jewel crafting will be added also. It will allow people to make rings and necklaces, crowns and “gems” for inserting into socket able items.

    When ever a item is made, four questions are asked:

    • Who is it for
    • What else is available
    • What makes it compelling
    • How difficult is it to obtain

    There is a math formula on how items are made, when balancing the various stats and abilities. It is item level and quality which is put together to find what stats it can have. The slot also matters, with some slots getting more than others. Special abilities also cost stat points. 1% crit cost 14, while 1% dodge costs 12 stat points. Spreading stats allows for a higher overall value. But even with this hidden formula… the item creators are allowed to fudge things.

    Design flows into art. When something is designed, then the concept art is made for that item

    In 1.9 there will be a lot of new procs for casters. Spell casters are getting a massive itemization boost in 1.9. There was one proc on a weapon that when ever a successful spell cast, there is a chance to lower the targets resistances to the spell. There is a lot of caster itemizations coming.

    Socketable items are a concession to the player. They will allow the players to pick and choose the abilities that they find important, fitting the gear they have to their playing style. Gems will be available through various ways. Crafted, quest, and drops.

    The tier two art is very very nice. The paladin art is incredible… make up for all the banana jokes ever. The tier two items will undergo a review stat wise… but mainly for the set bonuses… the stats for the items will not likely change.

    There will not be a caster legendary any time soon. If they make a caster legendary item, they will have to make one that all casters (except hunters!!!! Specifically) would want and could use.

    Do not expect any epic quest items for other classes individually any time soon. The current epic quest items for hunters and preists where a mistake. There are items in AQ that are better than both of the epic quest items for those classes. If they do make new epic weapon quests… they will release all 9 at the same time.

    Warlock shard bags are a long way off.

    wowxp17.jpg

    Left = Shaman (The Ten Storms), Right = Paladin (Judgement Armor)

    wowxp11.jpg

    Warrior (Battlegear of Wrath)

  24. Before I start getting negative feedbacks from people saying this is FAKE, I do believe the same thing, but I thought I would give the forum something to talk about =)

    Actually, that picture *is* fake though Blood Elves are the race for the Horde. This was confirmed at Blizzcon (love my Murloc baby, btw, cute as a button). The new Blood Elf models that will be used on Horde model don't have the "blocky" look that the current Night Elves do, plus there are artist differences in the way they look, move, and attack.

    I seriously, seriously, seriously doubt it will be Panderan. For one, the Chinese populace may consider it a slap in the face due to Blizzard's own description of them on the WC3 site is "A race of Warriors whose single ambition is to find their next drink." -- they portray the Panderans as Drunkards.

    Draeni is more than likely going to end up being the Alliance race. Blood Elves were trapped in Outlands just like Draeni and the Vjashl tribe of Nagas; it's not unforseeable that Draeni calls upon an old favor with the Night Elves. The orcs decimated the Draeni in Outland, the Alliance shuns the Blood Elves, and both factions despise the Naga. Lorewise it'll end up being Draeni more than likely -- how else is Illidian/Burning Legion going to keep tabs on the Alliance side?

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