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Patch 3.3.3 PTR: New info on Facebook

There's a new notice up on Warcraft's Facebook site with some intriguing new information:

Official Warcraft Facebook
Death knights, druids, hunters, mages, rogues, warlocks, warriors, oh my! For those participating in our public testing of the upcoming minor content patch 3.3.3, look out this week for a host of fascinating new adjustments to these classes. Chains of Ice innately does what? Nature's Grasp has how many charges? Vitality boosts stamina by how much? Stay tuned to find out the answer to these and more questions!


What does this mean? No idea, but it appears as though the various class changes and tweaks that were announced for patch 3.3.3 aren't set in stone just yet, which is what Ghostcrawler said late last week. This fluidity should be expected, after all, as it is a public test realm. Players on the PTR may want to keep an eye out for the changes, and possibly expect some sort of minor patch this week. When an announcement is made about the changes, we'll let you know!

Filed under: News items

Patch 3.3.3 PTR: Warrior changes

There's only two, but they're reasonably important.

  • Revenge: Damage done by this ability (base and scaling) increased by 50%.
  • Rampage: This effect is now passive instead of being a proc from critical strikes.
We talked about Revenge this week, and while this change is fairly unexciting, it's still a sizable buff. 50% more base and scaling damage to the ability will definitely make it attractive to use again. I may even change my spec back to take Improved Revenge again. Then again, since I used to spend 2 talent points to get 20% more damage on Revenge and now I'll get 50% without spending them it may still be better to put those points somewhere else. The stun isn't terribly useful for boss tanking in most cases, although when it does work it's nice.

The Rampage change, on the other hand, is what the ability always should have been. While a talented Leader of the Pack will still be better with its healing benefit, Rampage is now exactly as good as the baseline ability. I never understood making Rampage, an ability you have to spend quite a few talent points to get, inferior to one 10 points cheaper. Sure, it's nothing that's going to make or break the spec and it really should have been what we always had, but at least it's finally here.

Filed under: Warrior, News items

Patch 3.3.3 PTR: Major changes to the auction house and game economy

Patch 3.3.3 is going to the PTR soon, and there's a bunch of stuff that will affect those of us who play the auction house. I'm going to list them in the order I see them, and then we'll go into some analysis:

Professions

Runed Orbs: Recipes which require this item have had their material requirements significantly reduced.
Frozo the Renowned has moved into the Dalaran Magus Commerce Exchange and will be trading your Frozen Orbs for various other trade goods.

Update: Omega points out in the comments that Zarhym posted a list on the forums of what we'll be able to buy :

Crusader Orb (6)
Runed Orb (4)
Eternal Fire
Eternal Earth
Eternal Water
Eternal Air
Eternal Life
Eternal Shadow
Frost Lotus
Pattern: Frosty Flying Carpet [Tailors Only] (6)

Inscription
  • Most recipes that required 2 inks now only require 1.

Read more →

Filed under: News items

Patch 3.3: Fishing pool guarantees and what it means for the market

Wryxian has written a book on fishing over on the forums -- he originally responded to the thread with a quick link that affirmed in patch 3.3, you will never ever catch trash from fishing pools, regardless of your fishing level. If you put the bobber in a pool, you'll get what you're supposed to, no matter what (presumably to allow even low level players to do the fishing quests). But players have problems with that. First, there's the old issue of things always getting easier as the game changes -- people are complaining that they had to level with missed catches and trash, and those who level fishing after 3.3 won't. For that, I don't have a better answer than Wryxian does: that's just the way it works. The game is ever-changing, and most changes make things easier. That shouldn't devalue what you did before.

The other issue is that this may destroy the fishing economy -- if even low level characters always get the fish they want 100% of the time, that means more fish in the market, which means any money high-level fishermen would have made off of rare fish will probably go bye-bye. But Wryxian says that's OK -- people will still use fish for themselves, and he believes that the pain of losing that AH sale will be solved by the bonus of always getting the fish you want. We'll have to see -- it's true that between the updates to cooking lately (and the future fishy updates we're expecting), Blizzard is making sure the secondary professions are much less exclusive, which means there has to be the balance of also making them less lucrative.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Fishing, Items, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Potential character model revisions in Cataclysm

WoW's fifth anniversary and the interviews surrounding it have ended up providing us with some previously-unknown tidbits of information -- which is a good thing, especially when it comes to stuff we've been wanting to hear about for a long time.

This particular tidbit comes from the Warcry network interview with J. Allen Brack and Samwise Didier about the game's anniversary, and it's about a subject near and dear to our constantly-complaining hearts: new character models. They might even be coming in Cataclysm.

Says Brack:
"Even though things would be better with new (character) models, we'd probably spark a lot of player outrage. So we've talked about giving players a choice between the classic models or the new ones, but it might not be something we want to take on at the same time as we remake Azeroth."
That's pretty big news.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Expansions, Interviews, Cataclysm

Patch 3.3 PTR: Epic ammo

Here's some good news for hunters in the next patch that I don't think we've covered on its own yet. Huntsman's Lodge points out that there are two new types of craftable epic ammo on the PTR for us to load up. Iceblade Arrows and Shatter Rounds are both learned by engineers who rep up with the Ashen Verdict, the new faction to go along with the assault on Icecrown. Both add a whopping 91.5 damage to ranged weapon DPS, and of course they're BoE, so all you'll need is an engineer buddy honored with the new guys. One catch: arrows require Gnomish engineering, and the bullets require Goblin engineering. Interesting choice by Blizzard, but it shouldn't be too big a problem, especially since mats are pretty cheap anyway (two Crystallized Shadow for the arrows and two Crystallized Earth for the bullets).

Sounds good to me. Still no sign of those great ammo plans we heard about way back when, but more damage (especially some so relatively easy to get) is never a bad thing.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Hunter, Engineering, Patches, Items, Factions, Wrath of the Lich King

Blood Sport: Patch 3.3, part II


Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.

David Byrne and The Talking Heads are a personal favorite. Miles Fisher seems to love them as well. His cover of This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) is homage to one of the most beautiful, striking melodies I've ever heard, and as such, it will be your listening music for the day. (NSFW Warning: The video is a parody/reenactment of American Psycho, so view carefully.)

Last time, we went over the Will of the Forsaken nerf, 100% pet resilience, death knights, and druids. The patch looks to be a very interesting bag of surprises for arena enthusiasts, we're getting major changes to the way some races work, as well as nearly every class is getting a pretty substantial change or two which will probably help them in PvP. We don't normally see patches where most classes are buffed, but this could be one of them.

Read on to find out what's up with hunters, mages, and paladins in Patch 3.3!

Read more →

Filed under: Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Features, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

Blood Sport: Patch 3.3, part I

Ahh, lovely Radiohead. The entirety of Scotch Mist (which is In Rainbows played live) will be our listening music, as I expect today's article to be somewhat...lengthy. Starting out with "Weird Fishes" is a nice touch -- you gotta love Radiohead's set order diversity. By the way, I'm going to continue supporting the Blood Sport column with listening music, due to overwhelming positive response. If you have any suggestions for songs, please let me know in the comments below!

Instead of talking about minor changes, I'm going to try to only hit the major ones here, as this is a giant patch. If you think I skipped something important, please let me know via the comments below and I'll reply.

Today, we'll be covering pet resilience, the Will of the Forsaken nerf, death knight, and druid changes, and what they hold for arena combatants. Expect the other classes and item/glyph changes soon! You can find all about Patch 3.3 here.

Check out what the last major patch of WotLK has for gladiators and challengers alike after the break!

Read more →

Filed under: Undead, Druid, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

Blood Sport: Patch 3.2.2, the times they are a-changin, Part II and a half



I don't care for a lot of music that was made in the last decade. The Killers are something of a breather for me. They're one of those bands I'm glad exist. When I'm forced to listen to a terrible radio station, and hear change your mind sandwiched in between auto-tuned, unoriginal dross -- I'm satisfied there is still music being made that can intrigue. (Brandon Flowers has some epic bard tier 10 shoulders there too)

This is part two of part two of a three part article. Confusing? Join the fun! Surprising Patch 3.3 timing, i.e. wrenches in cogs, is a blast!

In our first installment, we covered pillars changing shape in great detail, and also mentioned a few other tweaks. Our second article dealt with five classes -- paladin, priest, rogue, shaman, and warrior. Warlocks were left out of the 3.2.2 patch notes. This article is going to talk about the other four classes - death knight, druid, hunter, and mage.

Being "TheArenaGuy" here at WoW.com lends to forcing myself to a very balanced perspective on classes. It makes me feel guilty if I understand armor penetration less than spell penetration. Well, actually, it doesn't because ArP is confusing. The main thing I'm trying to say here is that I don't want to write anything that is opinionated without being grounded in something. I don't want to make any mistakes when it comes to reporting to our viewers what changes will impact arena games (and how).

I'm satisfied to critique changes instead of having the responsibility to make them. The developers have very difficult decisions to make with regard to arena balance and we should applaud them for making decisions in the name of equity, even if some of them might be unpopular.

With that, let's get into the juicy, juicy 3.2.2 patch notes.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

Blood Sport: Patch 3.2.2, the times they are a-changin, Part II


In keeping with our musical theme, here's David Bowie's Changes. Most of you have probably heard it, but most of us have not really listened to it. Take some time to enjoy one of Bowie's most renowned pieces with the article today.

Last time, I went over a few significant arena modifications that 3.2.2 brought us. Square pillars for line-of-sight, the armor penetration nerf, focus frames, flying in battlegrounds, and the Onyxia loot table can be found here.

This article is going to talk about five of the nine classes discussed in the 3.2.2 patch notes (warlocks were left out). The reason we won't be talking about the other four is sheer article size. I'm not getting blamed for breaking anyone's scroll wheel today! We'll go over death knights, hunters, druids, and mages in the second part of this part II (which should be in a day or two).

I'm giving analysis on class changes; I hope we will agree on most things, but if you disagree or decide I don't understand a mechanic properly, please let me know in the comments below. I read all your comments and am often stunned with how gracious our readers have been towards me. Thank you for all the kind words, those of you who took the time to write them!

Please don't assume that I don't care if I don't write a large amount about the horrors of nerfing or the glories of buffing your main character's class (triple negative hooray). I probably don't know enough about the intricacies of the change to make an educated prediction, and would say little rather than proclaim "this will gimp class X vs. class Y" and have it fail to come to fruition.

I'm going to be ignoring all non-pvp related notes. If you think I left something out, please post a comment below and I will (most likely) edit the post accordingly.

Also, 3.3 patch notes are out already! Next week, part III will be merged with the 3.3 patch notes that are coming; there's a lot to talk about!

So, without further ado, here's what 3.2.2 is cha-cha-cha-cha-changing in the arena world.

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Patches, News items, PvP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

WoW Insider Show live at a special time tonight


Because I'll be out of pocket this coming weekend (and by "out of pocket," I mean driving a Uhaul with all of my earthly possessions in it through the Rocky Mountains), our podcast is going live at a special time this evening -- we'll be on the air over on Ustream at 6pm Eastern time. I can't tell you exactly who'll be on with us, but it'll have all the things you've come to expect from the show: some silliness, your emails (email theshow@wow.com if you have something to tell us), and lots of insight about the latest news out of Azeroth. This week, we'll talk about shady Arena team ratings, the controversial change to Bestial Wrath, the Abyssal Maw and what we know of Cataclysm's dungeons, and if we have time, we'll talk about how being in a guild can actually make you calmer.

Sounds like a packed show, no? That's because it is. And if you can't make it to listen live tonight (you can jump right after the break if you like for another embedded feed), then worry not, because as always, we'll have the show on the iTunes feed for your listening enjoyment. But if you are around, do stop by -- I'll guarantee it'll be a good time. See you this evening!

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Humor, WoW Insider Show, Cataclysm

The evolution of a UI


I love this post over at Hots and Dots, and it almost makes me wish I'd done the same thing with my UI (though truthfully, I don't get too complicated, so most of my pictures would look like her first one). Lathere has collected a series of screenshots of her UI, showing off how much its changed over the years, from her first raids in Karazhan up to the current raids in VoA and Ulduar. And it's very cool to see how things have changed -- early on, she really adhered to addons and what they did as a default, and as time passes, you can see that not only are the addons getting better at giving you the tools to lay out the UI the way you want it (not to mention that other tech has gotten better as well -- she goes widescreen about halfway through), but she's getting better at customizing things exactly the way they should be. The UI gets much more abstract and simplistic as time goes on, though you'd presume that it actually lets her do more in terms of her character.

In fact, aside from the actual graphics in the background and the icons, it's almost hard to tell this is the same game. Of course, Blizzard has to keep a lot of things in the default UI the same, so they leave a lot of the really creative edits in the UI to the addon developers (and then, of course, steal the most interesting back). And they can get very creative indeed -- when you put these screenshots over a period of years up against each other, it's interesting to see how both the addon code and the player has changed the interface they use to play the game.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Add-Ons, Screenshots, Raiding, Leveling, Hardware

Is WoW being run by its B-team? Is that bad?


This post by Eric Heimburg on the excellent MMO design blog Elder Game, alleging that WoW is currently run by Blizzard's B-team, has ignited a fair amount of controversy around the blogosphere. The general argument appears to be that the people previously in charge of WoW, like Jeff Kaplan, have moved on to other projects. As a consequence knee-jerk changes are being pushed through very fast, without being sufficiently tested first. "Back in the day," claims the article, "QA held the game to a higher standard."

My reaction to these claims are mixed. Kaplan may not be in charge of WoW anymore, but I don't think that "the steady hand has left the rudder," or if it has, maybe a less straight-ahead course is a good thing. Changes may be getting pushed through very quickly - Ghostcrawler routinely refers to players getting whiplash from the frequency of balance changes - but in many cases, I think this is for the best.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

The Queue: Crossroads


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

This queue is certified Panadaran free.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

Today's reading music The Crossroads by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Every time I'm in the Crossroads I think of that song.

Yokumgang asked...

"Why can't we bandage while bleeding?"

Read more →

Filed under: Warlock, Instances, Raiding, The Queue

Clarification on upcoming Engineering changes in 3.2

Hot on the heels of yesterday's great news about Engineering in Patch 3.2, Community Manager Zarhym has clarified a number of changes and what they mean for Engineers.

The first clarification was for those concerned about how to acquired the schematic for Jeeves, the new multitalented robot butler. The list of changes indicated that the schematic could be acquired from "inside" another Northrend mechanical. Zarhym expounded when pressed about it:

Just to clarify, the Jeeves schematic has a chance to be "skinned" by engineers off of any level 70+ mechanical units. The drop rate starts incredibly low, but increases substantially based on the level and difficulty of the mechanical unit. So Ulduar bosses that can be "skinned" by engineers have a much better chance of dropping the schematic than lower-level mechanical units found in Northrend.

That's great news! It's available for non-raiders at (Zarhym says) a very reasonable drop rate, but since raiders will get the most use out of it, mechanical raid bosses are much more likely to drop it than a mechagnome in Borean Tundra.

Following that, he also announced a number of changes, which are listed after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Engineering, Patches, News items

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