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The Daily Blues

Each day WoW.com will take you through all the blue posts and other Blizzard news from around the internet. From Ghostcrawler's latest posts to the lowdown on StarCraft II and Diablo III, we'll keep you informed.

There's a lot of blue comments today. And everyone should go participate in Zarhym's very scientifically accurate poll, it'll make him feel good. Perhaps we'll get another picture of him with that big plushie (insert your own jokes here, but remember, we love you Zarhym).

Also...

GC called ret offensive.

Table of Contents

Ghostcrawler

Ghostcrawler -- Vengeance is needed
Why then is vengeance needed?

If you've spent much time on this forum in the last several months, you'd have noticed a common theme is that tanks start to have threat problems again at extreme levels of gear. The problem really isn't that surprising. Say that tanks start out doing half the damage of DPS specs. All is well. But the DPS specs continue to improve their DPS stats while tanks continue to improve their survival stats. Even if tanks spend a little effort on threat stats (some of which they get naturally on their gear), they still can't keep up with the DPS specs. It's a gear scaling problem.

We considered, and rejected, many other solutions to the problem, such as increasing threat modifier or choosing to no longer make tanking gear. Ultimately we decided that there were good things about the way rage works on warriors and bears (translating incoming damage into threat) and the way the mage talent, Incanter's Absorption turned damage taken into damage done. It just provides the damage increase in a way that's controllable.

Vengeance is NOT there so that you no longer have to ever worry about threat. It's fine with us if you have to consider threat a little bit at the start of a fight. Again, if we wanted to make threat not a factor in WoW, we'd just remove it and have mobs always stick to you rather than just cranking the threat numbers up so high that you don't have to take it very seriously.

Vengeance is also not designed to keep tank dps high no matter what in any circumstances. It's designed so that when you're being hit, your damage stays elevated. The damage done scales with your health, essentially allowing tank DPS to increase as DPS specs DPS increases. It scales a little bit with damage being taken too so that you don't turn into a juggernaut if a rogue sticks you with a dagger in PvP.


Ghostcrawler -- A Warning
I'm warning you now that we still have a lot of work to do on the paladin talent trees. The preview will have the new spells and passive talent tree bonuses, but we can't provide many details yet on specific talent changes. We can discuss general goals, but not many of those should come as a huge surprise to regular forum readers.

As I've said recently, we didn't go with paladins last because we were saving the best for last or because we want to punish them or because we were at a loss for what to do. We just like to focus on one class at a time, and someone was going to be the last one. It's random.


Ghostcrawler -- Three spells? MADNESS
Here we have the common two extremes. Clearly there can be nothing in the middle!

How about?

/cast Flash of Light
/cast Flash of Light
/cast Holy Shock
/cast Flash of Light
/cast Holy Light
/cast Flash of Light
/cast Holy Shock

Now imagine paladins have another heal spell to throw in there too. Madness, I know.


Ghostcrawler -- Gear entitlement
I did 60 games last night on my druid trying to get my pr up to the team rating so I could get decent points this week. No such luck, my team rating ended the night at 2250 and I ended at 1950. I think playing for 6 hours is more than enough to entitle me to earn "decent" points for the week.

I'm tired of seeing PVE doled out like candy at halloween while its a long grind over few months to get into wratful gear. It makes bgs very frustrating to play in.


Did you earn any Honor? Then you earned "decent" points and are entitled to the previous tier's gear. The PvE equivalent is that you can run heroics and get some ilevel 251 gear, but if you want the best gear available, you're going to have to kill raid bosses, and if you want a full suit of that gear, you're going to have to kill a lot of raid bosses, or even heroic versions.

I've wiped on bosses for more than six hours and had nothing but repair bills. :(


Ghostcrawler -- Paladin mana design
The focus seems to be more on conserving mana, and not overhealing. Yeah. Paladins don't do that.

They don't today. They will in Cataclysm.


The design of "I never run out of mana, but I am very limited in the roles I can fill" isn't a really awesome one.


Ghostcrawler & Moadebe -- Enhancement shaman concerns
Moadebe's original post:

Good Monday Morning everyone. My name is Moadebe and I am an Enhancement shaman. I have been reading the class previews and there are a few issues that I would like to iterate and possibly discuss with my fellow enhancement shamans. Perhaps I could even get the crab himself in here and we can get a concise and condensed thread for the discussion of these issues so that they will not be so spread out.
That being said, I would like to point out that this is really for Enhancement shaman discussion only, and I implore others to take a little initiative and post constructively and maturely about the issues they might have or any discussions they might be willing to discuss.

My first question is about the Enhancement tree "mastery" bonus that has been decided on "so far." I understand that you answered a portion of this issue with the following statement:

Q: Please make the "nature damage" for the enhance tree "elemental damage" so our bonus for putting points in isn't only affecting our nature damage.

A: We actually went with Nature damage for that reason. We thought all Elemental damage might end up just feeling like "damage."; Since Nature damage is only a portion of your damage, choosing between an item with say haste versus mastery (i.e. Nature damage) might be more interesting. With a lot of mastery, you might actually favor other talents or different spell rotations. All of this just theoretical at this point and the passive talent tree bonuses are likely to see much iteration in beta.

At the moment we only have two abilities that cause nature damage (three with chain lightning but it shares a cooldown with lightning bolt.) Are there any plans to change the number of attacks that cause "nature" damage or are you leaning towards something else and trying to change the disparity between our damage abilities. It just feels a little strange to be worrying about 14 buttons while dpsing and this mastery only really addressing 2 abilities at a time.

I would like to talk about something that was brought up within another classes preview. I am not meaning this as a "So and so class is getting this so why not me?" type of discussion. I am merely talking about it as a "You acknowledge that so and so has this problem in this area, but do you realize that we also have this relative same problem in the same area as well? If you do know then are you planning on addressing our concerns as well?" That being said lets get started.

In the PvP aspect of the game the following comments were made regarding rogues both in their preview and a statement later submitted:

-In PvP, we want to reduce the rogue's dependency on binary cooldowns and "stun-locks," and give them more passive survivability in return. One major change is that we'll put Cheap Shot on the same diminishing return as other stuns. The increase to Armor and Stamina on cloth, leather, and mail gear will help with this goal as well."

On the cooldown issue, another way to consider the problem is how reliant PvP rogues are on Preparation. That's the problem we're really trying to address: you feel invincible when those abilities are available and impotent without them. A rogue with Sprint and Vanish (maybe) feels impossible to lock down, but a rogue with neither feels immobile. We'd rather see a world in which rogues have a deeper bag of tricks, but are not as reliant on any single one of those tricks as they are today. As with all things beta, the cooldowns on the new (and old) abilities are subject to adjustment based on testing and feedback.

The above statements suggest that the issues of rogues relying strictly on cooldowns to be viable in a pvp setting are a concern and are being addressed in Cataclysm. That being said, are there any plans to address the same issue with Enhancement shamans in the same aspect? Currently we have a "IWIN" button in the form of Spirit wolves since they allow us to actually survive for a longer period of time and they allow us the mobility we need to stay on our target. Not to mention they allow us to deal damage comparable to our melee brethren.

The problem I am bringing up is the matter that enhancement relies too much upon this one button. Without this one button we must fall back to a pure support role and become more of a liability to our healers and team mates. Other than this one button we only have one other survival utility button in the form of Shamanistic rage, which is also tied to a core mana regeneration mechanic that is nearly a must also in a pvp setting. You can also say that a glyphed Stoneclaw totem is a survivability button as well (and it is,) but when you have so many abilities that you MUST use in order to be really worth while, a global cooldown can mean make or break.

Of all the classes I have experienced in a PvP setting, playing an enhancement shaman feels like it has the least amount of room for error from both you AND your partners. Not to mention with how spirit wolves are currently working and as big of a tool they are for the Enhancement shaman it almost feels like we are being told that "you must blow everything you have right at the start and burn down your target quickly or you will die." Much like how rogues must kill something within their "stun'lock" period or they die.

For PvE rogues you stated

In PvE, even accounting for active modifiers like Slice and Dice and Envenom, a very large portion of the rogue's damage is attributable to passive sources of damage. Yes, they are using abilities for the entire duration of a fight, but we want to reduce the percentage of rogue damage that comes from auto-attacks and poisons. More of their damage will be coming from active abilities and special attacks.

Are you aware that Enhancement shamans have the same issue and that it feels really frustrating having to press so many buttons to DPS in a boss encounter, yet our auto attacks (white hits) comprise of 50% or more of our damage? Also are you aware that although we are a melee class mobile fights really decreases Enhancement shaman's damage dramatically? If so then what are the possible plans or perhaps is this tied into our "mastery" for Enhancement being "Plus Nature damage?"

In the Death knight preview you announced the following:

Necrotic Strike (level 83): Necrotic Strike is a new attack that deals weapon damage and applies a debuff that absorbs an amount of healing based on the damage done. For context, imagine that the death knight can choose between doing 8,000 damage outright with a certain ability, or dealing 6,000 damage and absorbing 4,000 points in incoming heals with Necrotic Strike -- the burst is smaller, but a larger overall amount of healing would be required to bring the target back to full health.

Now at one point in time you debated about giving Enhancement shamans an "MS effect" by allowing us to talent into one. The problem with it was that too many classes and specs already had the ability and you felt like it was just watering it down. Which I completely understand. The problem though is that we still have a major problem against a healer. We simply cannot provide enough of anything really to kill one ourselves. Is this ability that is in the planning phases for Cataclysm a new mechanic that very well might be a new tool that might address this issue for Enhancement shamans?

I finally have one more concern, and this concern is on the fingertips and lips of ever shaman out there and not just Enhancement shamans.

From the mage preview:

Time Warp (level 83): Grants a passive Haste effect much like Bloodlust or Heroism to party or raid members. It also temporarily increases the mage's own movement speed. Time Warp will be exclusive with Bloodlust and Heroism, meaning you can't benefit from both if you've got the Exhaustion debuff, though the movement-speed increase will still work even when under the effects of Exhaustion.

I am FINE with another class obtaining a Bloodlust/Heroism type effect (perhaps a different class other than mages but...) I understand that Bloodlust is a very good buff for everyone in both PvE and PvP. My question though is this: Are you planning on adding a movement increase mechanic to the shaman's bloodlust/heroism or is this merely a mage mechanic? I am just curious is all since such a mechanic would help enhancement stay on his target better in both PvE and PvP. Especially since we are a melee spec and not ranged.

I would like to thank anyone who took the time to read these issues and an even bigger thanks to anyone who decides to post any feedback or fellow concerns below these.

I implore to everyone. If you plan to post in this thread, please do so constructively and positively.

To the crab if he decides to skitter this direction to enlighten us about the future of this beloved spec, thanks for any and everything that you do provide. You catch a lot of flak on here for simply trying to be involved, but a lot of people do not realize that in a game of this magnitude you simply cannot "flip a switch and see what happens."

Thanks for listening. I am Moadebe, and I am an Enhancement shaman.

Note: I am posting this here in the damage dealing forums because I could not quite figure out solid place to post it and did not want to multi-post. I apologize ahead of time if it is in the wrong spot.

---

Ghostcrawler's Reply:

The previews have only been out a short while, and we're not ready to go from there yet to going into a lot of detail on every talent tree. There are some Enhancement mechanics you haven't seen yet.

To deal with two specific concerns....

We agree that Enhancement benefits too much from just auto attacking. This isn't a "nerf shaman" issue. We just think having more yellow damage makes the spec more interesting, a little harder to master (in the sense of letting really good players eek out a little more dps) and ultimately easier to balance.

On the mastery talent tree bonus, it might very well end up as all Elemental damage. We're not really trying to get Enhance to shift from Fire damage to more Lightning Bolts or anything at higher tiers of gear. We didn't go that way initially because it looked odd for Enhancement's bonus to be "Elemental damage" and also because Survival's bonus was also Elemental damage, and we want all 30 to be unique. But there are ways around that, including doing a different one for Survival.

On the broader topic of whether more creative or more passive mastery benefits are more fun, we just need to get players in there in beta and trying them out. The risk of more passive bonuses (like the current Enhancement one) is that it's just a little dry. Since your spell damage tends to scale roughly (roughly) with your gear, it risks just feeling like more damage. On the other hand, bonuses like Shadow and Balance affect gameplay an awful lot and may end up being just one too many things to monitor. We wanted to split the difference for now and see what feels the best. It could be that we spice up some of the passive ones or it could be we tone down some of the crazier ones, or we continue to offer a mix and let players gravitate towards what they like. I can see how the more creative ones might just sound more exciting, but then again getting 12 new abilities might sound exciting too until you're struggling with how to learn the nuance of when to use each one (if that lousy analogy makes sense).


Ghostcrawler -- Heroic leap and cooldowns
The challenge with previews is to provide enough context so players understand the goals of the abilities without providing so much detail that players get over-focused on the minutiae.

Imagine Heroic Leap can be used in any stance, in or out of combat, hits for very serious AE damage and applies the Thunder Clap debuff. We keep it under control with a 2-3 min cooldown. This means warriors will sometimes be zipping in and out of melee, but that's kind of the warrior thing, and again the cooldown can help balance it.

I don't think these concerns are hard to address. We screwed up in the preview, I think, by making it sound like Heroic Leap was supposed to be a replacement for a Charge / Tclap macro. That wasn't the intention.

--

Tell me why I would want to use a 2-3 min cooldown when I can use a 15 sec cooldown, generate rage, and choose to TC/SW at my destination (or not)?

Because it's more powerful. We do this everywhere in the game. You have two abilities, one of which is weaker but gets used a lot, and the other of which is more powerful, but has a cooldown so you can't use it all the time.

I get that having an ability on too long a cooldown can make it too precious to where you're always saving it for a special occasion and never actually busting it out. The opposite problem is you never think twice about the ability because it will be available again before you miss it. On the other hand, longer cooldown abilities can do a whole lot more since they're balanced around not having 100% up time. Something in the 2 min frame seems to be about the sweet spot between "never used" and "used on cooldown" but it depends a lot on your class and other abilities.



Ghostcrawler -- Ret is offense
"... We want the dps to likewise be thinking about ways to minimize damage on themselves, not because they'll die in a global (i.e. before they could respond anyway) but because the healers are going to risk running out of mana."

...

"... A defensive dps spec just doesn't work really well in WoW."

So are you saying that you want DPS to be more aware of the damage they're taking, and based on that damage, do what they can to minimize it, moreso than they are now?

Paladins provide a large amount of really great tools that can be used by a raid to redirect/eliminate damage on one or multiple targets.

I'll happily say that Paladins have the best raid defense abilities than any other class while not in a healing spec.

Can you clarify what exactly your goal is for healing, raid damage, and how much of a role the DPS is going to be expected to play in it? Are you taking some Paladin defenses away, and giving other classes similar abilities?

There is a difference between dps specs have some defensive cooldowns and / or some passive survival talents or spells when compared to a dps spec that is designed inherently to have strong defenses but fair offenses.

The latter works fine as a tank. :)

--

Yeah, I agree, that wording was hard to parse.

Okay: having defensive cooldowns and / or some passive survival talents or spells.

Okay: a defensive spec (e.g. Prot) that is supposed to do its job by playing defensively.

Not cool: an offensive spec (e.g. Ret) that is supposed to do its job by playing defensively.


In before "GC called Ret offensive."

Other

Wryxian -- Racial changes
Generally we're of the mind that the changes made to racials in WotLK brought a pretty decent balance. But yes it is definitely possible that we might look at some changes to the racials of the existing playable races in Cataclysm or elsewhere in the future. For example, we'd like to make the profession based racials a bit more fun, if we can.


Vaneras -- EU Forum watch
This week on the WoW Europe Community forums:

The 110th episode of Pimp My UI has been posted, and as usual this is a great thread to expand ones awareness about addons and Interfaces.
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=13179987992
The author of this thread, Xenoronin, has also updated the UI Sticky Compilation Thread to include more information.
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=12947129751&sid=1
If you are interested in winning some nice WoW TCG loot cards, then you might want to take a look at his UI Competition thread as well.
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=12947129544&sid=1

Have you ever fought and slain a powerful mob alone, either purposefully or by accident, where the chance of survival was practically non-existent and the prospect of doing another corpserun was almost guaranteed? What is your most epic solo kill?
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=12947103569&sid=1

Here is in interesting question: Will players in a PvP guild be more likely to have a better sense of community and team work, which in turn can help them to perform better in PvE?
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=12947163921&sid=1

Speaking of guilds, what does your guild do on Sunday evenings?
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=12947134058&sid=1

Most of us have probably done something embarrassing at some point in our lives, but have you ever embarrassed yourself in World of Warcraft?
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=12947164001&sid=1

Guides, Guides, Guides!

People who are new to, or interested in, roleplaying should most certainly find this neat character guide quite useful, because it provides a great insight on how to properly create a character as well as how to properly communicate in character.
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=12947281068&sid=1

Do you know it how to be a bear? If no, do you want to know it? If yes, do you want to know more? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you should take a moment to read the very extensive and detailed Bear Tanking in 3.3 and beyond!!! Thread
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=12947130631&sid=1

A very handy Shadowpriest PvP guide has been posted on the forums for your benefit, and it contains useful information on pretty much anything from stats and gear to talent builds, macros and addons... Everything a Shadowpriest will need to know in order to perform well in PvP.
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=12947128166&sid=1

Community Events!
Cool events created by players:

On Argent Dawn – April 16th
Loch Modan Fishing Contest
Compete in a timed contest to gather the most fish with the most unusual methods!
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=12947242687&sid=1

On Argent Dawn - April 17th
To'Jo Ixil (Festival of the Beast)
Ja'ca To'jo Ixil Chol - Glory and Joy for the Festival of the Beast
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=12947157660&sid=1

On Moonglade – May 8th and May 15th
The City Watch
Enlistment of the troops for the Stormwind City Watch regiment
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=12947162941&sid=1

If you have any in-game events you'd like to bring to the Community's attention, please be sure to post up the details of the event in the Events and Fan Creations forum
http://forums.wow-europe.com/board.html?forumId=110221&sid=1



Wryxian -- EU PvP to PvE Realm Conversion: Mazrigos
As part of our continued efforts to balance the World of Warcraft player population across all realms, we will be converting one of our lower-population European PvP realms -- Mazrigos -- to a Normal PvE realm. For players on Mazrigos, we will be offering free Character Moves to alternate PvP realms both before and after the conversion takes place. This will allow us to continue to support healthy communities on the realms and help new players transition easily into the community.

The conversion will take place on April 21, with the Character Moves opening on April 14 and lasting until May 19. Upon being converted to Normal PvE, Mazrigos will be given the "New Players" flag to ensure an influx of players over the coming weeks.

The following realms are the destination realms for the Mazrigos Free Character Moves:

Ahn'Qiraj of the Reckoning / Abrechnung battlegroup
http://forums.wow-europe.com/board.html?sid=1&forumId=1076

Vashj of the Rampage / Saccage battlegroup
http://forums.wow-europe.com/board.html?sid=1&forumId=1160

Deathwing of the Cataclysm / Cataclysme battlegroup
http://forums.wow-europe.com/board.html?sid=1&forumId=1095

For any questions, please refer to the main thread in the Mazrigos realm forum:
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=13179988162

Blizzard

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