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Posts with tag PTR-patch-3.1

The Light and How to Swing It: Patch 3.1 and you


With Patch 3.1 looming ever closer (there's a good bet it comes out this Tuesday or the next, but I won't promise to eat a hat it if it doesn't), it's time to examine just how the content will affect our favorite class. The patch is huge, with new features and a massive raid dungeon that should keep us all busy for at least a few months before everyone starts whining about having nothing to do. Except those freaks in Ensidia, maybe, who'll be paid to finish all the content in -- oh -- 27 minutes or something.

For the rest of us, it'll be a brave new world and a time to relearn a few things. First off, we'll all be getting free respecs, which is good because the talent trees have changed considerably, particularly Protection and a bit of Retribution. Holy didn't get shaken up too much, but it did get a solid nerfing, so some Holy Paladins might want to ditch the tree for something else. Or not. Patch 3.1 will also introduce Dual Specs, which will allow players to have two different, toggleable talent trees for the special price of 1,000 Gold. So yeah, Holy Paladins can grumpily keep being Holy with the option to switch to another spec like a Transformer. I suppose the best way to go about this is to look at what's in store for Paladins per spec, so let's get right to it.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Raid Rx: Healing Ulduar and what to expect


Raid Rx has returned from retirement! Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related. Ulduar is almost here! Are you prepared?

The patch for Ulduar is imminent. There's no release date yet. Personally I believe it will land sometime this month. Healing assignments has just gotten more complicated. Incoming damage is more than what's currently in the game. To cap it all off, mana regen's been slightly nerfed.

So here's a quick summary of what to expect and how to counteract for it. I've participated in some of the normal mode Ulduar raids and a few heroic mode Ulduar raids. It's tough. The level of complexity and effort required is somewhere along the pre-nerf Hyjal and Black Temple days.

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Filed under: Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Insider Trader: All about patch 3.1

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

This week Insider Trader will be discussing everything craftspeople need to know about patch 3.1. By the end of this article, you will know what you should be doing to prepare for patch day, what will be changing, and how the community is reacting to these changes.

I have been covering these topics to the best of my abilities as information has been released and altered over the weeks, but as we draw closer to patch day, the post-patch scene is becoming increasingly easy to visualize.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Economy, Jewelcrafting, Features, Making money, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription

New PTR patch notes

Blizzard has once again updated the PTR patch notes for patch 3.1. As usual, none of the changes here will be a surprise to you if you've been following all the action, but for the sake of completeness, I'm going to list them here anyway. Many commenters requested last time if they could just see what's changed between this and the previous patch notes, so that's what I have for you tonight. These are just the new things in tonight's patch notes revision. If you want to see the latest PTR patch notes in full, head over to the Blizzard PTR forums.
  • General:

    • Due to significant talent tree revisions, all players will have their talent points reimbursed. Several new spells and abilities have been added for select classes. Players will need to visit their class trainer to learn new spells.
    • The Argent Tournament, a permanent in-game event, has come to Icecrown. Players interested in taking part in this event should visit the Argent Pavilion located on the west side of the tournament grounds. Features include:
    • New ways of gaining reputation with capital cities.
    • All new daily quests, achievements and titles.
    • New rare and epic items, tabards, pets, banners, faction shirts and mounts.
    • Mounted combat, and much more to come!

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Filed under: Patches

Breakfast Topic: A feeling of dread


There are a lot of great features coming our way in Patch 3.1, from dual-specs, a massive raid dungeon with difficulty levels you can toggle, an entire event in Icecrown... Blizzard has called it their most ambitious content patch ever. And from the size of it, it looks like they weren't kidding. So even though sometimes we wish some things were added to the game, there are things that probably should never see the light of day.

I mean, the Tempest Keep dance-off is obviously a joke, but I'm sure I don't ever want to see it in-game. As much as I know the change to Spiritual Attunement actually works better for the class, there was a point where I wish they never implemented it. Or even -- argh -- the bubble-breaking Shattering Throw. But these things are actually really good changes that will improve gameplay. So here we go... what feature in Patch 3.1 are you dreading the most? To be honest, I think everything's going to improve the game, but not everything will be rosy for everyone. I mean, I'm sure more than a few Death Knights will miss Shadow of Death, right? Engineers will miss the burst of the Lightning Generator (sorry, Arena guys...). Is there anything you're not looking forward to in the inevitable patch?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Shifting Perspectives: Ulduar class preview, part I


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, our author pretends to know more about Ulduar than she actually does, which makes a refreshing change from pretending to know more than she actually does about things that are already in the game.

Hail and well met, Druids. For the next three Shifting Perspectives columns, I'm going to take a look at Druid class roles on Ulduar fights. If patch 3.1 hits earlier than expected (I'm currently betting that it hits in late April/early May), I'll try to squeeze these in a little bit faster than once per week. But with luck (and, I hope, a parade of annoying bugs for Blizzard to hunt down and squash before they let the patch go live), we should have some information to chew on before we set foot in a live Ulduar.

Now watch Blizzard deploy the frickin' patch next week.

I have not gotten the opportunity to test all of these fights personally because I'm only on the North American PTR, and some fights -- like Yogg-Saron -- haven't been available for testing at all. What I write here is going to be a compilation of personal experience, details concerning boss abilities available on the PTR version of Wowhead, information I've gotten from pestering various people on both PTR's, and news available around the web, principally from WoW Insider's previous PTR testing, Wowwiki, MMO Champion, and World of Raids. Bear in mind that some things here may wind up being very different when Ulduar actually goes live, so take numbers and conjecture here with a grain of salt. I'm going to assume that basic boss mechanics are likely to remain the same or similar, so let's get started with the first three encounters.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Where will you be when Patch 3.1 arrives?


It's not coming today, we know that. Rolling restarts across all realms is a good indication that Patch 3.1 won't be coming just yet. On the other hand, we know they're getting pretty close to sending it our way, and Adam asked a pretty good question yesterday about whether or not your guild is prepared for Ulduar (mine is, thank goodness). On a personal note, what is the first thing you plan on doing when the patch arrives?

There are a few goodies coming our way such as Dual Specs and even a free respec. Of course, there's Ulduar and I know there are a ton of guilds itching to hit it once the realms are up. I'm pretty excited about Wintergrasp so I'm sure to play that as soon as a battle's up. Speaking of battles, I'm thrilled that I can queue up for any Battleground from anywhere in the world, so I can actually set my hearthstone back to Dalaran instead of Silvermoon City where all the Battlemasters are huddled together. What's your agenda? Which character are you logging in the moment Patch 3.1 hits? What are you planning to do? It doesn't hurt to plan ahead, after all.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Art of War(craft): Wintergrasp in Patch 3.1 and beyond


I love Wintergrasp. Five months into Wrath and I think it's still one of the most fun things to do in the game. Lag issues aside, I think the zone has been a great success if only by judging through the number of people on my realm who participate in every battle. The general impression that I get from forums, blogs, comments on this site, as well as fellow players is that Blizzard did a good job with Wintergrasp. It's fun, fast, and extremely rewarding -- Honor gain during one game is insane and the items you can purchase with the Wintergrasp Marks of Honor are pretty good (we'll get to that in a moment). Patch 3.1 is going to bring some improvements to the gameplay, as well, so let's take a look at those things first.

All players who attack a siege vehicle should now get credit if it is destroyed.
Previously this worked similar to tapping a mob, where the player or raid that first tapped the siege vehicle would get credit. This made it harder for multiple raids or ungrouped players to complete Stop the Siege!. This change should solve that problem neatly.

Daily quests Slay Them All! (Horde) and No Mercy for the Merciless (Alliance) have had their PvP kill requirements reduced to 10 from 20. NPCs defending the fortress and south towers now count toward these dailies as well.
Enemy players have the same tapping mechanic as mobs, so even though a player can get Honor from a tapped enemy, they wouldn't count towards completion of the aforementioned quests. Similar to the vehicle problem, ungrouped players or those in smaller raids would often come up short of the requisite 20 kills during one battle. Obviously, changing the tapping mechanics for players isn't the solution, so Blizzard made the kill requirement lower and included NPCs as valid targets. The latter change is probably aimed at lower population servers or realms where Wintergrasp participation isn't too high, as well as realms where there's a distinct faction imbalance.

The number of NPCs defending fortress has been increased.
Again, this should make it easier for players to complete the daily quests as well as move up in Rank. The NPC guards don't hit hard and have very low hit points, so they're really just cannon fodder for quest and rank requirements. I'm not a big fan of too many NPCs in a PvP zone, but this change seems to have been necessary. Players on defense often hole up in the fortress, slowing down offense's rank gain. Having more NPCs lowers the effectivity of that delaying tactic.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds

Noblegarden tentatively rescheduled for April 26th

All of you achievement fiends better be prepared for the end of April through early May. It was reported earlier that Noblegarden was being delayed until patch 3.1 was ready, and we have a new date for it according to the latest PTR build. While it could change again, the current date listed for the holiday is April 26th and it will last until May 2nd.

I warn you to be prepared because Children's Week begins (May 1st) before Noblegarden even ends (May 2nd), so you're going to be working on two sets of holiday achievements at the same time for that brief overlap period. Since Noblegarden's achievements are a part of What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been now, you'll have your work cut out for you for those two weeks.

Make sure you don't get too desperate, though. You could get yourself into some pretty serious trouble. Remember that the gals need to be 18 (levels) to Shake Their Bunny Maker for you. Also, I used that picture of the Paladin in a pink dress again because that guy is a friend of mine and I love making him cry.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Achievements

The Queue: Soul Shard parade

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

In yesterday's intro, I mentioned WoW Insider's April Fool's joke. Sillily (it's a word now), I didn't actually include a link to it, and there were people writing that they had no idea that we even did a joke and couldn't find it. Well, here it is! Now, let's begin, shall we?

Sorano asked...


"In the Argent Tournament, is it possible to champion other cities than the ones attached to your race and faction? Could my Tauren Warrior try and earn the favor of Gnomeregan to obtain a sweet Mechano Strider? I've always wanted one of those for my tauren warrior."

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Arena Season 5 to end as soon as April 14


Bornakk posted a tentative date for the announced end of Arena Season 5, indicating that the season can end "as early as April 14" or a week after. It should be noted that the first four Arena seasons had no breaks in between, with one season beginning immediately after the last ended. Arena seasons were only suspended upon the release of Patch 3.0 leading up to Wrath of the Lich King, with the first season of Level 80 Arena play beginning on December 16. This time around, however, Bornakk makes it clear that the next Arena season will not begin immediately but have at least a one week break before Season 6 begins.

This should also be taken as an indication of when Patch 3.1 will be released. Blizzard has stated that they plan to unleash Season 6 almost simultaneously with the new raid content, so if Season 5 ends within two or three weeks, it should be expected that Patch 3.1 is just around the corner. It might even come sooner rather than later, as Blizzard has noted that Season 5 would "end with or shortly after" Patch 3.1 goes live. All of the necessary files such as Season 6 items are contained in the patch, so this only makes sense.

Bornakk reminds all players who feel they will be eligible for end of season rewards, such as titles and the Deadly Gladiator's Frostwyrm, should refrain from transfering their characters to another realm until after Season 5 ends (or until rewards have been handed out to be safe). During the break between seasons, all ranked matches will be disabled and all Arena points and ratings will be wiped [EDIT: Arena points and ratings will continue to be available during the one week break to allow players to spend their points, but will be wiped when Season 6 begins.]. However, players will retain their matchmaking ratings and Honor points.

Filed under: News items, PvP, Arena

Shifting Perspectives: A 3.1 miscellany


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, our author ferrets around her inbox for several unanswered questions concerning patch 3.1.

Greetings, Druids. For a while now I've been adding to a list of questions I've had for the upcoming 3.1 patch. Some of these are questions I got from other players, some are questions that occurred to me while reading various versions of the 3.1 PTR patch notes, and others are mostly-illegible bits scribbled in the middle of testing Ulduar fights --

dasiewlerjewDIFEEIRKdfklsd? 3349FHDFHDIOJKfkdsfadioer. REIOWEL?


Must've written that one on Kologarn. I believe it is a super-secret, devilishly clever guide to the fight that brilliantly exploits group positioning to produce a clean, one-shot kill on the first attempt, but alas, we will never know. Such are the dangers posed by bad handwriting, people. Study your Palmer Method!

This evening, I will attempt to answer all of the following questions, or to point you in the direction of other bloggers who have. These deal with all three Druid specs, so let's get started!

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

PTR schedule updated

As you all probably noticed, there was no patch 3.1 today. Evidently they're not doing testing Ulduar yet - three more hard mode tests are scheduled for tonight and tomorrow night.

On the North American PTR:

  • Hodir (hard mode): tonight, 7 PM EDT
  • Iron Council (hard mode): tomorrow night, April 1, 7 PM EDT. Daelo specifies that they want Steelbreaker done last.

On the European PTR:

  • General Vezax (hard mode): tomorrow night, April 1, 7 PM CET

Shirts of Uber will once again be available to simulate the raid having Ulduar gear.

Do we conclude that they're more or less done testing normal-mode fights, and that therefore the patch is pretty close? Everyone seems to be thinking the patch will be here in the next few weeks. If I were to guess, I'd say two weeks from today.

I haven't been playing on the PTR much, so I don't know myself: how hard are these hard modes? If you were going to compare them in average difficulty with a pre-LK fight, what would it be?

Filed under: Patches, Raiding, Bosses

Chef's Hat introduced in patch 3.1

One hundred Dalaran Cooking Awards. One hundred. That's how many Cooking Awards it takes to purchase the statless vanity item being implemented in patch 3.1: The Chef's Hat.

I would be excited if it didn't mean I would need to do a few rotating dailies every single day for the next few months, and I would be excited if the hat didn't completely remove my character's hair texture and make her bald like those Winter Hats did. Unfortunately, it does both of those things and thus looks really, really stupid.

I wish they would float these sorts of hats over/around the head, not clamp the hats to the scalp. I would quite like wearing this chef's hat if it was larger and went over the hair texture, rather than removing the hair texture and clamping right around the top of the head. Some of this stuff just looks awful on female models. Sure, a chef should keep their hair under their hat, but I don't know many that keep themselves shaved bald for it.

Oh, and there's an achievement for getting this thing. Have fun with that.

Filed under: Cooking, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

Pet Bombling and Lil' Smoky available to all Engineers in patch 3.1

With the Patch 3.1 patch notes as long as they are, even we miss a lot of the little things that crop up in them. Luckily, I was reading Kaliope's WoW Crafting Blog (which is fantastic) and happened to spot this little tidbit: All Engineers, regardless of specialization, will be able to get their hands on both Lil' Smoky and the Pet Bombling. You don't need to do the repeatable quest(s) for them and pray to the RNG gods anymore, either.

The schemata for Lil' Smoky and the Pet Bombling are now Bind on Pickup drops from Gnomeregan. I know, I know, Gnomeregan is terrible, but most pet collectors are so overleveled for that place that this new method of getting the recipes should be dramatically easier. The Pet Bombling appears to be a 100% drop off of Thermaplugg, the final boss of the dungeon. Lil' Smoky is slightly less reliable, but not by much. He drops off of the Arcane Nullifiers and only the Arcane Nullifiers, as far as testers have found. That makes sense, considering Lil' Smoky shares their model.

If you're going to be hunting down these bad (and smelly) boys come patch 3.1, Gnomeregan is the place to be. Kaliope even has some further advice on tracking down Lil' Smoky, should you need it. Good luck on your hunt!

Filed under: Engineering, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Instances

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