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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4.7 official patch notes

Blizzard Community Manager Rygarius has posted the patch 5.4.7 official notes on battle.net. This is in anticipation of the patch's arrival on February 18, as Blizzard Customer Support tweeted on Monday.

The key points are summed up in our patch 5.4.7 roundup post, and Timeless Isle weapons are being upgraded, but other than that it's really mostly PvP related news with a new season arriving and the changes to Alterac Valley and Dampening. The Krasarang rares have also had a nerf, now dropping honor just once per day. What's more, the PvP vendor guards have had a buff to their health and damage dealt.

There are also several class changes, which are laid out in full after the break in the Official Patch Notes.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Oops, I queued as tank again

I've tanked a few LFR's lately. The thing is, I didn't mean to.

I don't mean I pulled aggro. I mean that when I queued, I forgot that I had tank selected alongside DPS. I do this in five man heroics I'm running for justice points as well. When I find myself selected to tank the dungeon (often only noticing after I get in and no one else is the tank) I usually shrug and put on my tank set and do it. It's not the group's fault I keep forgetting to uncheck that box, after all. And there's a bit of an up side. The other day my wife and I were talking in game and I said "I think I'm going to ride my blue dragonhawk" which surprised her, because I am not a mount collector. "Wait, you have a blue dragonhawk?" Well, yes I do, and I can thank forgetting to uncheck that tanking box for it.

I'm under the impression that I'm fairly rare in this regard. I don't know how true that is, because I've really only talked to a few people about it, and some of them don't play hybrids, so there is no other box for them to check. I'm sure all the warlocks I know would select tank if they could, for instance. But at least some folks seem to do this from time to time.

Being an opinionated cuss, I have some thoughts on this whole phenomenon I'd like to share.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4.7 roundup

Patch 5.4.7 is upon us, barring catastrophe we are expecting its arrival tomorrow, February 18. But what's actually coming with the patch? Is it really just a PvP season? Well, not quite. The key changes in patch 5.4.7 are as follows:
We're also tentatively expecting to see the pre-orders for Warlords of Draenor sometime after the patch's release, and the much-discussed buy-a-90 feature, although this has not been officially confirmed by Blizzard. Boosted level 90s will get 483 gear, and if you're boosting a level 60+ character they'll also get maxed professions.

What does this all mean if you're not really into your PvP? Why should you care about the patch? Well, if you're a PvE-er leveling a brand new level 90 character, or maybe boosting one, the best way to gear it straight to 522 is now to grind out honor gear. But don't worry, the best way to do that is still via PvE. Same applies if you've still got slots below that ilvl.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: Destruction 101 at 90 in the end of Mists

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill mentions in a quick announcer voice that green fire spells are sold separately.

So, you just boosted to 90 on your warlock and...now what? This whole pet deal is bananas to you and maybe you've heard that destruction (often abbreviated as "destro") -- is a simple spec, so you figure you'll try that one out first. but where do you start? And how can you learn without embarrassing yourself?

Let's start, shall we?

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

PvP Season 14 end confirmed, patch 5.4.7 likely February 18

The official World of Warcraft Twitter account just confirmed the end of PvP Season 14 would take place as estimated, on Tuesday February 18.


As Brian Holinka has tweeted in the past, the end of the PvP season has, in recent instances, indicated the release of the coinciding patch. Throughout Mists of Pandaria, this is the pattern that has been followed, so it seems likely that patch 5.4.7 will be no exception. You can check out all our patch 5.4.7 coverage in the meantime.

WoW Insider also put together a short guide to what you should be doing to prepare for the end of the PvP season, so get those wins in for that mount, cap out that honor by killing those rares, and be ready!

Filed under: News items, PvP, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4.7: Targeted nerfs to Garrosh on 10-man Heroic

Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has made a characteristically excellent post on the US forums, detailing targeted nerfs to Garrosh on 10-man Heroic difficulty. Watcher's full post is, as ever, after the break, but the main details are as follows.

There were several encounter mechanics where the numbers scaling for 10-man meant that the difficulty was higher than in 25-man. Watcher particularly notes the interaction between Malice clumps and Iron Star triggering. In 25-man, the Malice groups, a total of six players, were never large enough to trigger the Iron Star, when they inevitably overlapped with Bombardment in the fourth Malice. On 10-player heroic, the Malice clump size of three in total would also trigger an Iron Star in the fourth Malice. Now, in 10 Heroic, the Iron Star trigger clump size is four, bringing it in line with 25 Heroic.

Additionally, Garrosh's health is reduced by around 5%, and Minion of Y'Sharrj health is reduced by 10%. DPS checks for 10 Heroic were causing guilds to try to single-heal the fight, and 25 Heroic players are able to kite the adds while 10 Heroic guilds don't have the spare manpower. These changes show the process Watcher has discussed in the past, specific targeted nerfs, and will bring the two sizes in line. Hit the break for his full post.

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Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Characters of Warcraft updates with Mists, Hearthstone heroes

A new selection of characters have been added to Blizzard's Characters of Warcraft page on the official website. For those unfamiliar with the page, it's a collection of brief profiles on various figures in Warcraft lore, featuring a little background information, artwork, screenshots, and links to related characters and pertinent short stories or fiction that involves the featured character. In other words, it's a pretty handy little quick reference guide for those wondering who's who in lore.

The new additions include heroes from Mists of Pandaria such as Shaohao, Sunwalker Dezco, Taran Zhu and more. In addition, players can now find profiles for heroes that have been featured in Hearthstone's class decks. It's a pretty good addition, particularly for characters like Valeera Sanguinar, who plays a prominent role as the representative rogue deck in Hearthstone, but doesn't really feature all that much in World of Warcraft itself. I was also happy to see both Uther and Rexxar have been added as well.

Although the Characters of Warcraft page is by no means complete just yet, the new batch of updates is pretty reassuring to see. Hopefully it's an indicator that this feature won't be left in the dust, and will continue to be updated and filled out with characters that are both pertinent to the expansions we're currently playing, and those that have were important in expansions past as well. Check out the page for the new additions, and while you're there, don't forget to look for short stories you may have missed along the way.

Filed under: News items, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Current Challenge Modes to become Feats of Strength

Challenge Mode Entrance
WoW Insider posted recently about Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas' tweet regarding Challenge Modes, and now an official Blizzard Blog has surfaced regarding the fate of the current Challenge Mode dungeons.
  • The current challenge modes will no longer be available come Warlords pre-patch, when the item squish, stat squish and other changes also appear, rendering the scaling invalid.
  • The achievements awarded by the current challenge modes will become Feats of Strength
  • The current reward items will remain available for those who qualified prior to the end of the season -- which is when the pre-patch launches
  • After the pre-patch launches, new players will not be able to earn the Mists challenge mode achievements.
  • New Challenge Modes are coming with Warlords.
If you want the transmog gear, or the title, or the mount, you'll need to hurry up and get started on Challenge Modes! WoW Insider also has some class-specific guides and further information to aid you in your quest for glory.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 5.4.2 hotfixes for February 12

A new, short round of hotfixes for patch 5.4.2 has been released and posted to the official blog. Included in the list is one adjustment to the Galakras encounter in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid -- but more importantly, a few changes have been made to drop rates that may have an impact on players that are currently farming Lovely Charms for the Love is in the Air event.

Rygarius
February 12

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Galakras: Resolved an issue where Dragonmaw Grunts were attacking the wrong Demolition Crew on Heroic difficulty.

Love is in the Air

  • Players entering the instance for The Crown Chemical Co. now spawn inside the main courtyard.
  • Lovely Charms should no longer be incorrectly awarded from Unstable Corruptions or Mutant Parasites.


Filed under: Hotfixes, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4.2 Hotfixes for February 10

Another small round of hotfixes has been applied to patch 5.4.2 following the last set on February 5. The couple of changes we're seeing relate to some terrain changes in Battle for Gilneas, making hills lower to reduce sight lines. There's also a change to Siegecrafter Blackfuse on all difficulty levels, indicative of the targeted Siege of Orgrimmar nerfs Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas has described in the past.
Rygarius
February 10 Quests
  • The Battle for Gilneas City: Reduced Sylvanas and Gorerot's hitpoints. Rapier of the Gilnean Patriots no longer heals enemies.
Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Siegecrafter Blackfuse: Significantly reduced the damage of Blackfuse Sellsword's Envenomed Shadowstep on all difficulty modes.

Filed under: Hotfixes, Mists of Pandaria

Warlords of Draenor: New Challenge Modes coming, with new rewards

Challenge Mode Entrance
Lovers of Challenge Mode dungeons may have been feeling a little uneasy with all the talk of how 5-mans are going to be a bigger part of WoW again in Warlords of Draenor. Simply because the popular opinion seems to be that Challenge Modes weren't a great replacement for difficult heroic mode dungeons. But fear not, Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas' tweet will put your fears to bed:


Along with the greater frequency of 5-mans, we'll be seeing new Challenge Modes appear too, and they'll feature new rewards. I'm wondering what the rewards will be -- were the transmog sets and a little Valor enough for players to feel motivated to do Challenge Modes? Or should there be additional rewards for the most tricky of difficulties? Too much good stuff and they become "mandatory", too little and the proposed harder heroics will replace them.

We will have to wait and see what happens to the Mists Challenge Modes. Personally I hope they're scaled up to max level, or altered to reward big chunks of XP, or they will be abandoned forever. Bumped up to level 100, with new gear scaling added, they could continue to be enduring content for Warlords.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Blood Pact: So you want to play a warlock

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill explores the beginning of MoP.

The next thing is to write a "how to warlock" at 90 series, but I feel like I've done this before. The deja vu is strong with this one topic.

Oh right! I wrote something like it back in 2012, when the big patch 5.0 first came out. Not all of the same advice is relevant -- well, Soul Link isn't what it was anymore, for one -- but the basics are all still there. I'll go over the specs in detail later, so let's start with the general introduction to warlocks.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Courting Critical

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

I'm going to tell you a story.

I recently spent a coin and got a pair of heroic warforged DPS shoulders. And yet, they are currently in my bank. Why is that? Because using them will cost me almost 2% critical strike chance, and I simply cannot afford it, instead sticking with the non heroic, non warforged shoulders that do have critical strike chance on them. And that, in a nutshell, is exactly what's wrong with warrior design right now.

See, I like crit. I think crit should be good. But it shouldn't be so good that nothing else can compare - that the heroic warforged pieces (a solid 19 ilevel better, when both are fully upgraded) simply cannot come close to competing. I current have two heroic 2h, but only one of them has crit. So I have to use a normal mode offhand rather than (again) a heroic upgrade. When you start to realize that all you're doing is piling crit on top of crit - and that something as seemingly simple as an upgrade can be massively higher in ilevel and still not be an actual upgrade - it starts to become maddening.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 5.4.2 hotfixes for February 5

A small set of hotfixes for patch 5.4.2 were released yesterday and posted to the official blog. All three notes are minor bug fixes and adjustments to NPCs on the Timeless Isle -- including one welcome change intended to prevent players from intentionally griefing others via the use of cross-realm Ordos raids.
Rygarius
February 5

Creatures
  • Huolon's spawn point has been moved to the ground.
  • [Requires a realm restart.] Ordos can no longer get stuck channeling Eternal Agony indefinitely.

Timeless Isle

  • Players under the effects of the Censer of Eternal Agony no longer gain Blood Coins for defeating players in their party or raid.

Filed under: Hotfixes, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: The Dangerous Enlightenment

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

This Tinfoil Hat post is not meant to be taken as established lore, but merely as an exploration of what that lore could mean.

Sometimes an idea starts small. I was musing about Saronite, the literal blood of an Old God, which as we all know was used as the material that created Icecrown Citadel. Then I thought about how the last dying breath of an Old God became the Sha, actual embodiments of corruption.... and how, even after the death of that Old God, the Heart of Y'Shaarj could taint the entire Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The very substance of an Old God... its blood, its flesh, even its last breath can taint, warp and corrupt the world.

Then I started thinking about the madness the Old Gods engender. Upon first arriving in the Howling Fjord, members of the Explorer's League were driven mad by the thoughts of Yogg-Saron, trapped within the Whisper Gulch. Yogg-Saron, after all, was massive - his tendrils extend all the way across the continent, from Icecown through the Storm Peaks and down into the Dragonblight, the Grizzly Hills, into the Fjord itself. And this got me thinking something else.

Northrend is dominated by Yogg-Saron... but the Old Gods predate the Sundering, and so when all continents were part of the great original Kalimdor, that means that the Old Gods lay submerged beneath it as well. The Old God N'Zoth most likely lay beneath the center of the primordial landmass, ancient C'thun lay to its west, and before its death at the hands of Master Ra and the Mogu the south was the domain of Y'Shaarj whose seven heads consumed hope and begat despair. But many were the Old Gods, and powerful (or so the Klaxxi maintain) and this leaves me to ask - was there a god to the East? And what became of it?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Goblin, Mists of Pandaria

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