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Posts with tag bornakk

The lost art of crowd control

The emblems changes are driving traffic back to the Heroics, and I love it -- 5-mans are my favorite thing to do in the game, and there's nothing more fun to me than sitting down with a group and trouncing a Heroic, reeling in all of the gold and loot we can carry. But there's something missing, still, even in these glory days of achievements and Stone Keeper's Shards and Emblems of Conquest. Yes, it's crowd control. Groups are still gung-ho on AoEing everything in their way, and Blizzard hasn't shown any indication, even in the design of the new instances, that crowd control is anything they want to keep around. I can't remember the last time I trapped something in a group on my Hunter, and I'm sure that the last time I did, some Death Knight broke it right open, Death Grip-ped it back into the group, and then AoE'd it down to nothing.

Bornakk actually replies in the thread that we're just being nostalgic for nostalgia's sake, and that even when CC was required, people whined that they needed to have certain classes in their groups. But what class doesn't have CC these days? Even Shamans got their CC, just as it wasn't actually needed any more. Crowd control added some semi-serious strategy even to trash fights in instances, and while we originally heard that it would come back at some point, Blizzard certainly seems to be done with it.

But we can be patient. The new instances in 3.2 are light to completely empty on trash, so maybe they're waiting for Icecrown to really put our CC skills and coordination to the test. I play a Hunter at endgame currently, so I might be biased, but I do love 5-mans, and I do miss the extra coordination and teamwork that a big CC-required pull provided. Hopefully they can find a way to mix that back in without requiring certain specs or classes to be along for the ride.

Filed under: Hunter, Mage, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding

Druid Q&A followup

In a somewhat surprising turn of events, the devs have decided to do a followup to the recent Druid Q&A, tackling certain things with more specifics rather than the general approach they took originally. The followup seems mostly aimed at Druid PvP, perhaps an omen of the future. It reminds me much more of the unofficial Shadow Priest Q&A that Ghostcrawler tackled, addressing very specific issues.

For convenience, the full followup can be read below.

Q: Players feel that the effect of Feral Cat Charge isn't as good as the Feral Bear Charge yet the cat charge has double the cooldown. What is the reasoning behind the cooldown difference of these two abilities?
A: Feral Charge Bear mirrors warrior Charge (15 sec), while Feral Charge Cat mirrors Shadowstep (30 sec). They are really different abilities. We just had to put them on a shared cooldown to keep the druid from using them back to back.

Q: Are we satisfied with the damage that Shred does without a bleed/mangle effect on the target compared to how much it does with the bleed effect?

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

2v2s will still be in Patch 3.2, with exceptions


One of the more controversial parts of the Patch 3.2 PTR was the decision to remove the 2v2 bracket from serious arena play. In the 3.2 patch notes thus far it was said that "The newest season of Arena gear can only be purchased if you meet the requirements with your 3 or 5-player team rating. Rating requirements from 2-player teams can still be used to purchase the previous season of gear."

That effectively killed off the 2v2 bracket.

However today, Blizzard has done an about face on the issue. Sort of. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you. They're listening to feedback and this patch is in testing. The fact that they're willing to make such a major change based on feedback they've received is a great thing.

So as of today, your 2v2 rating will count towards your ability to purchase gear, etc... It will mean something. However the following exceptions apply:
  • The current season's weapons will not be available for purchase with your 2v2 rating
  • The current season's shoulders will not be available for purchase with your 2v2 rating
  • Your 2v2 rating will not count towards the Gladiator title/rewards
The full announcement after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, PvP, Arena

New pet and mounts achievements coming soon

You're a pet and mount maniac. You've hunted down every noncombat pet you can find, gotten a lucky roll on every rare mount you can possibly pick up, and after long last, you've earned both the "Lil' Game Hunter" and "Mountain o' Mounts" achievements. But still, you want more for some reason. More pets, more mounts, more achievement points.

Good news: Bornakk says that there will still be more to find. While he says they won't be upping the achievements every time they bring out a patch that has more pets and mounts to collect, they will definitely add in new achievements periodically for collecting both noncombat pets and mounts (and, though he doesn't say so, we'd assume they'll add in extra rewards besides the achievement points, including extra pets or mounts to be earned at each level).

So if you are in fact a collecting master and have already earned the 75 pets and 100 mounts (a much easier feat than it used to be) for both maximum achievements currently in the game, just be patient. There'll be new goals to go after soon.

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Mounts, Achievements

Ulduar proto-drakes will get one-month warning for removal


The roller-coaster of "will they or won't they remove the Ulduar raid drake rewards" seems to have come to a definitive answer. The rusted and ironbound proto-drakes will be removed, but they will give us "about 1 month of warning" so you can make a final push if you really want it. The drakes are rewards for completing Glory of the Ulduar Raider (and the 25-man version).

Bornakk points out the parallel with the Arena mount rewards, and says that this is no accident: these are supposed to be rewards for the "top tier" of raiders, and letting people earn them with more powerful equipment from higher raids would defeat that purpose. Therefore, he says we should expect it to go this way in the future, as it was with the Naxx drakes.

As a side note, he says they may be removed when patch 3.2 comes out or some time after. This suggests to me that they think there's a decent chance patch 3.2 will come out less than a month from now. If they knew it was going to come out later, they'd just give the one month warning a month before they expected the patch to drop.


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, News items, Raiding, Mounts, Achievements

Crusaders' Coliseum details released


Bornakk just released some major details of the Crusaders' Coliseum, the new 5/10/25 man dungeon that will be released with Patch 3.2.

First and foremost, this will be the next tier of raiding. There was some speculation that this would be an interim tier of raiding, however that is not the case. The gear that will come out of the Crusaders' Coliseum appears to be Tier 9.

Secondly, the encounters will be unlocked one per week until all five encounters are available. This mirrors very closely the way the Sunwell Plateau was handled back in Patch 2.4.

Finally, there will be a new "Crusaders' Tribute" mechanic. The mechanic appears to track the number of times you attempt an encounter, and the fewer times it takes you to complete the encounter, the greater the loot will be for the final boss. A type of raid where you are going for the Tribute rewards will be called a "Tribute Run."

For further information about the upcoming patch check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2.

The full details of the announcement after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, News items, Raiding

Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite raid boss?

Here's a good question from the official forums: What's your favorite raid boss, and why? The original poster chose C'thun, from classic WoW's second-hardest raid, AQ40; Bornakk agrees. I haven't actually seen C'thun, but from what I hear it was both incredibly frustrating and incredibly awesome. Crygil picks Doomwalker, but he might be a little biased.

As for me, picking out of the fights I've done, I'm going to say Hodir. I don't remember classic raiding very clearly, and I only got through Karazhan and most of Zul'aman in BC. Ulduar is probably my favorite raid instance out of all the ones I've done, and the Hodir fight is really fun and demands a good amount of coordination from your group. What's your pick?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Raiding, Bosses

Brewfest mount probably easier this year


Oh, Brewfest mount. How much you have taunted me over the ages. I still recall last Brewfest, when a guildy of mine was quite distraught that he was not going to get the mount before the festival ended, only to get it on his very last Direbrew kill (and remember, we used to kill that sad dwarf five times a day). I've never gotten one myself, but that may change this upcoming Brewfest.

Bornakk has just announced that "there is quite a possibility that a change is in the works" for how the mount is acquired, and that "it will most likely be easier to get." A return to a token-based system, perhaps? Just a higher drop rate? A reward for the meta-achievement? I don't know, but we'll be sure to report as soon as we find out.

The token based system might be unlikely, actually, since earlier in the thread he said "I doubt we will make them purchasable with tokens, if we want to make changes to this we will likely go a different route" (comma splice!). How do you think they're going to make the mount easier?

Filed under: Mounts

Tuesday's in-game fixes


We love in-game fixes, right?

Blizzard blue poster Bornakk has announced a couple new in-game fixes. The updates are as follows:

First, the nerf to the Paladin's Vindication talent that set the Pally community on fire yesterday is now live. The nerf removed stamina and intellect from the 20% reduction that Vindication gave. All other primary statistics are still affected by Vindication.

Secondly, Maim, Bash, and Hammer of Justice will no longer cause a player's spell to be interrupted when they're immune to stun. They will still interrupt the NPC's spells however.

There have been a handful of other hot fixes that we've covered the past few days, and those are recapped after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, News items

Some realms suffer extended downtime [Updated]


Bornakk hopped on to the forums to confirm the fears of many players who don't happen to have their World of Warcraft clients handy to tell them the same thing: some realms are going to be down for a while and Blizzard doesn't know when they're coming back up. According to Bornakk, they are experiencing "additional issues" with some realms as well as issues with the launcher being unable to update game clients. They currently have no estimate for the return of the realms, which do not appear on the game client's realm list, but will provide more details at around 2:30 3:30pm PDT. A complete list of affected realms after the jump.

[UPDATE: Nethaera reports that Blizzard "encountered a serious error" with the listed realms and are working towards a resolution. Unfortunately, there is still no estimate for when the realms will come back up and more details should be available at 5:30pm PDT. The situation has a small silver lining, however, as Blizzard is considering "appropriate compensation" for the additional downtime experienced by players on those realms. Stay tuned to WoW.com for further updates.]

[UPDATE 2:
Nethaera updates her post to explain that the network improvements intended for all realms resulted in a connection error which has taken some time to identify and fix. While she notes that the connection error itself has for the most part been resolved (which is why some of the affected realms now show up on the realm list), the affected realms have yet to undergo the regular weekly maintenance and patching procedure. This means a much, much longer downtime than anticipated. Nethaera hopes to give further updates by 7:30pm PDT. Time to reroll, I guess.]

[UPDATE 3:
Looks like they're doing a little more work tonight on all realms to address a few issues. More information in our post here.]

Read more →

Filed under: Realm News, Bugs, Realm Status, Blizzard, Forums

Bornakk clarifies rage generation formulas

In a response to concerns on the forums about warrior rage generation, Bornakk replies that the formula is working fine - it's just using different numbers than the players who tested it. Two of the more interesting parts of his statement were as follows:

  • In the formulas people are using, there is a constant value which is labeled as 'c'. At some point in the past, someone calculated a formula for determining c based on their level and that formula is not correct past level 70 as this value needs retuning from time to time like when a new expansion comes out. The value listed for c is 320.6 when it is actually 453.3.
  • Some of the testing was done with ungeared characters hitting for very small amounts. There is a component to the calculation we haven't previously mentioned that will make the rage gained from those attacks sometimes not match the formula. Basically, the normal formula is Rage = (7.5d/c+f*s)/2. However, that result can never be larger than (7.5d/c)*2. This essentially means that very low damage attacks have a limit on how much they can be averaged up by the f*s component of the equation.
It seems odd to me that this change to 'c' was left hidden for so long and only came to light following the changes to warriors in 3.1: one possibly explanation would be that rage generation via damage before the nerfs was good enough to obscure the issue. Nevertheless since I posted about the issue this week, I felt obligated to mention Bornakk's explanation of the discrepancy.

Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Insider Trader: Jewelcrafting nerf incoming

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

Bornakk just announced on the forums that Jewelcrafters are about to see a new nerf, and as a result, people are already beginning to weigh the benefits of switching to a different profession for min-maxing, or working out how they are going to re-itemize their gear.

Bornakk:
In the next major content patch we will be removing the prismatic quality of the jewelcrafter-only Dragon's Eye gems. Like other gems, they will have to match the socket color to receive a socket bonus. When this change occurs, players with qualifying jewelcrafting skill will be provided a yet to be determined amount of Dalaran Jewelecrafter Tokens as compensation.

This probably won't be enough to entice players to drop the profession, but it is a bit of a blow. Stratfu points out that because Mage T8 is equipped primarily with yellow and blue sockets, the only way to actually meet socket bonus requirements will be to use sub-par gems.

The JC-only Runed Dragon's Eye offers +32 spell power, and currently fits into any socket, conforming to meet the necessary color requirements. This is compared to the +19 spell power that the rest of us folks get from Runed Scarlet Rubies. While Jewelcrafters will still be able to use these gems, they won't be able to stick them just anywhere.

Read more →

Filed under: Mage, Paladin, Enchanting, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions)

Your video settings have changed

Upon patching and opening up WoW today, many players were greeted with the only marginally helpful message "Your video settings have changed." The first question that leapt to my mind when I saw it was "what settings, and why?" It would have been nice to tell us that, I think.

Fortunately, Bornakk knows (I sometimes suspect he knows everything, with that manly beard of his). The answer is that the Projected Textures option, in Video Effects, now defaults to on. I assume players that had it turned off - like myself - had it turned on for us. What the option does is display things like the rune circles for Blizzard and Rain of Fire, which many players were confused to find disappear when patch 3.1 hit. So if you're wondering what the change was, or wondering why you suddenly see spell details that you didn't before, now you know.

Filed under: Patches

Wintergrasp disabled

We noted an error earlier this evening which was causing the Lake Wintergrasp PvP zone to be reset prematurely. Since ending epic battles early is a bad thing, Blizzard has gone ahead and "shut off Wintergrasp" completely for the time being.

This change is affecting all realms.

There is no word when a fix will come through, but we're hopeful it will happen sometime soon. Disabling an entire part of the game is a big thing, and an error that usually is corrected quickly.

Some speculation points to the change in daily (now weekly) quests that just went in, however there is no evidence to support this.

Filed under: Bugs, News items

Forum post of the day: Go blues!

Snaboo of Greymane shouted out to the Blizzard posters on the forums. He appreciates that they are being customer focused and social. This elicited positive responses from a handful of blue posters, except Bornakk, who's still grumpy.

Some posters disagreed about the attention the blues pay to the community. That they are slow to respond to "serious" questions or that they seem disrespectful of players. Crygil pointed out that in many cases there are several threads on a particular subject. The blues try to address at least one of them, but aren't able to respond in all of the threads on a single topic.

Read more →

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Forum Post of the Day

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