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Posts with tag patch-4.3

The aesthetic consequences of new character models

This is neither a post excoriating nor exulting but rather simply contemplating the process of updating character models in World of Warcraft. I got to thinking about this when I realized that I'm always happiest when I get Well of Eternity because I like the night elf model. Tall, spare, muscular, it looks excellent in plate. There are certainly flaws to the model, but they're concealed entirely by my gear. Night elf males have large hands, but those hands look just fine curled around a weapon, and the faces are entirely concealed behind my helmet. As you can see above, the night elf male does an excellent job of showing off the textures and details of my armor set, especially the plated legs.

Redesigning these models will have a variety of effects. As a long-time player, I have my own stylistic loves and hates. Human females look astonishingly vapid and nigh-idiotic, and their animations in melee look ludicrous to the point that I expect them to fall over every weapon swing, while gnomes and blood elves have excellent combat flow. Female undead melee are awesome to watch, but I can't stand the bones poking through my gear. That's part of the complication here. The models you love, someone else hates, and the models you hate, someone else loves. That's often viewed as a cop-out -- but man, if you screw up my tauren, I will burn your world. (Note: Will not actually burn your world ... too lazy.)

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: Do it live

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

Warpaint is a band you just have to see live. This is a fantastic live version of Burgundy followed by Undertow.

Zaet asked:

Do u think there will ever be another Warcraft RTS?

Put plainly, I'd be incredibly surprised if we saw another entry into the main Warcraft series while WoW was running. Placing Warcraft 4 right after WoW gives Blizzard very little wiggle room when it comes to the MMO's story, but placing it long after WoW sort of invalidates the MMO's story progress altogether. Essentially: "Here's what's going to happen regardless of how WoW's story plays out."

Of course, I'd love to play as an older Arator the Redeemer or even a King Anduin Wrynn, mind you.

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Filed under: The Queue

Totem Talk: The ups and downs of playing enhancement in Dragon Soul

Enhancement shaman mid0Morchok fight
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Josh Myers once only tackled the hard questions about enhancement but has recently expanded his sphere of responsibility to all shaman DPS specs. (And no, two-handed enhancement is still never coming back.)

I've said in the past that enhancement is in a good place in 4.3, and that's the truth. Despite some really awful itemization and some as-yet-unresolved issues with the spec, enhancement is remaining a strong middle-of-the-pack contender. In non-cutting-edge raid groups that don't have multiple Dragonwrath-wielding casters, we're even better.

Dragon Soul is a great instance for enhancement in 4.3 because it offers a variety of fights. Some play to enhancement's strengths, some highlight its weaknesses, and some fights are Ultraxion and your DPS spec doesn't matter, provided you can push buttons and click a shiny purple dot on his screen every 45 seconds. For the purpose of brevity, I'm going to assume you're familiar with the normal-mode mechanics of these fights (and if you're not, some are conveniently covered by my frenemy Tyler Caraway in the Ready Check column) and just speak to how enhancement specifically fares on these fights.

Chopping Morchok

There's nothing particularly special about Morchok for enhancement, except if you're doing the fight on heroic. Shamanistic Rage and Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem make Morchok's Stomp damage negligible, but Stomps don't really hit hard enough on normal to worry about. However, if you have a healer in line of sight during a black phase (and you've done nothing in recent memory that would cause them to hate you), Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem and Shamanistic Rage will let you stay on the boss for most if not all of the phase. If you don't have a friendly healer, enhancement still fares better than most melee on this fight, as cast Lava Bursts and Lightning Bolts still hit hard.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Unleashing fury in the Dragon Soul

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 love fury. I raided in vanilla WoW with a two-handed fury DPS spec and also tanked, because everyone who played a warrior tanked back then. I tanked with a fury spec that worked very well for threat generation, but I eventually switched to an arms/prot spec for the Mortal Strike debuff.

When Titan's Grip was announced for Wrath of the Lich King, everyone who knew me knew what my reaction would be. TG fury became my DPS spec of choice until I became a main tank for my Wrath guild, and it has stayed my favorite spec throughout the talent's existence. Even now that I raid as arms DPS, fury is technically my main spec and arms my secondary. I even applauded when Single-Minded Fury was announced for Cata because I knew a lot of fury warriors missed the one-handed weapon playstyle.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm

The Queue: Gee wiz

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

I'm on the fence about some of the Diablo III system changes announced yesterday, but at least half of 'em are pretty good changes, so I'm definitely continuing to look forward to playing my wizard (best class) when the game comes out some time this year.

Erik asked:

What do you feel the odds are that Blizzard will still add the older tier content to Raid Finder? Have them on Normal modes, after the nerfs it should be possible for 25 random people to handle these days. I ask because if there really is no more content patches left, that is a long time to go until Mists.

Couldn't say. Blizzard devs have expressed a desire to hook up the Raid Finder to older raids, but with cross-realm raiding, you don't really need the Raid Finder at all for really old raids. For stuff like Firelands or BoT or BWD, I'd imagine there are some issues with figuring out how many people you'd need for a "full" group -- 25 is probably overkill with BoT and BWD when everyone's in 378+ gear from 4.3. And would they need to have a Raid Finder difficulty mode as well? Would you just play them on normal mode? That would defeat the Raid Finder's purpose as raiding with training wheels on. If it did have a Raid Finder mode, what item level gear would drop? 346 would make the raids even more pointless than they already are; leaving them at 359 would mean no difference from the loot that already drops in normal mode.

Lots of considerations; no easy answers. As much as I want people to see previous tiers of raiding, I'm just not sure it's worth development time that could be spent giving us Pandaria, which will ship with all its raids hooked up to the Raid Finder.

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Filed under: The Queue

Ol' Grumpy and the Dragon Soul nerf

OK, I've had a day to think about the recent announcements regarding the Dragon Soul raid and the progressive nerfs that will be rolling out at the end of January. My thoughts on it have evolved from my initial confusion and even disbelief. I freely admit, when I first read that Blizzard was introducing an ICC-modeled debuff to the raid, I was incredulous. I didn't see why it was necessary, and I said as much. Several of you then upbraided me on Twitter, and frankly, you gave me things to think about that I hadn't considered. This dovetailed with recent statistics posted on MMO-Champion about who'd completed Dragon Soul in the Raid Finder vs. normal mode. This led me, inexorably, to the following conclusions:
  • The Raid Finder is head and shoulders above normal mode raiding in terms of popularity. 35% of level 85 players have completed Raid Finder vs. 4% completing normal mode; that's a huge, huge shift. Keep in mind that Blizzard has more exacting statistics available internally, but this serves as an indicator of a trend.
  • Fewer than 200,000 players have finished normal mode Dragon Soul. I'll admit, I found this shocking. With the exception of Ultraxion and Madness, I found Dragon Soul to be undertuned and figured many more players would have completed the raid than this. One commenter on Twitter even blasted me for my elitism, when I had been under the impression I'm a fairly middle-of-the-road raider. These numbers bear that out.
  • Over 1 million players have finished Dragon Soul in the Raid Finder. Both this statistic and the preceding one are as of the end of December 2011. But how ever they've changed and how ever the more precise Blizzard statistics play out, this is still a very strong indicator that normal mode Dragon Soul isn't the cakewalk some of us thought it was, myself included to some extent.
  • Almost 800,000 players finished normal Firelands, and the majority of them did so after the nerf to Firelands. I think this fairly well speaks for itself.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Cataclysm

Spiritual Guidance: The 10 best weapons for shadow priests in patch 4.3

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen comes from out of the shadows to bask in your loving adoration. All jokes removed to achieve SOPA compliance.

When we met here last, I spent a great deal of time calculating the power of trinkets, partially because it's an important subject and one that's not easy for a shadow priest to unravel without performing their own research (or reading someone else's). The real reason: WoW Insider data shows you guys absolutely love reading about trinkets. And why wouldn't you? Trinkets are the most compelling gear slot to fill. Instead of relying on boring, flat stats, they offer compelling procs.

But trinkets aren't the only pieces of gear that offer compelling procs -- not anymore. Game designers at Blizzard are finally living up to a promise they made way back in February 2010 to "make more proc weapons in the future."

The future is now, but that presents a new challenge to shadow priest. What exactly are those neat new procs worth? And what's our best-in-slot weapon?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

The Light and How to Swing It: The Fall of Deathwing, ret edition part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Well, here we are, the first two of the final four bosses of the expansion. That is, we think Deathwing is the final boss of the expansion -- it is still unclear whether Blizzard will pull another We're not done with the next expansion yet! raid on us like it did in Wrath with Ruby Sanctum. Regardless, we have a raid that needs a conclusion and a guide to go along with it, so let's get started!

Please note that this guide, like many others I have written, is for the normal version of each encounter. Some mechanics, like Fading Light and Twilight Sappers, either work differently or have been removed on the Raid Finder difficulty.

Ultraxion

I really wish I had more to say about this fight, but Blizzard isn't having it. Simply put, Ultraxion is this raid's Patchwerk with the addition of a button. Yes, you really do just stand in one place, run your rotation train on him, and hit a button when the situation calls for it. I honestly wish there were more to this fight, but there it is.

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Filed under: Paladin, Raiding, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm, Raid Guides

Patch 4.3 is the last of Cataclysm, Dave Kosak confirms

Dave "Fargo" Kosak, lead quest designer for World of Warcraft, recently confirmed in an interview with Videogamer.com that the recent content patch 4.3 will be the final content patch of Cataclysm. We will not be getting a Sunwell- or Halion-esque final patch before Mists of Pandaria. However, this does not discount the patches and updates that will most likely be coming to add Mists content or prepare for the next expansion's in-game launch events.

While the confirmation that there will be no more content patches for Cataclysm was definitely the big news of the interview, some other nice tidbits are buried within. Kosak confirms that the Raid Finder is something players are really taking to, and he discusses the community's response to transmogrification and the number of ancillary sites have popped up because of it.

Also of note is Kosak's response about subscription numbers. After reading his sincere "we don't obsessively track subscriptions" sentiment, I couldn't help but remember that in the back of my head, no matter what goes on with the numbers, what works, and what doesn't, these guys are real people who believe in this game.

You can read the whole interview on videogamer.com.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: News items, Interviews, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Thank everything for transmogrification

If not for transmogrification, my worgen would look like he escaped from the bargain bin at a dirt mall. Now, my worgen is an alt and one I can't spend the time with to gear up like my main, so in the past, I was simply used to having a mismatched set of gear. Some of it looked cool, but even when I was in full epics, the pieces often didn't match like when I had two pieces of tier 10, two pieces of DK look-alike gear and the rest from various 5-mans.

Now, thanks to transmog, I always look how I want. I cycle between three or so sets on this guy (tier 2, BC-era PvP gear, and tier 10) and am perfectly happy with them. Others use transmog more proactively than I do to create a specific look. I just use it so I have a unified look. I absolutely love my complete BWL set look; it makes me so happy. If you know me as Ol' Grumpy, writer of bitter, trenchant cynicism and curmudgeonly scowls, you may not be aware that I can feel happiness. I was surprised too!

So how about you? Are you making use of transmog? Do you use it to design unique looks, or are you like me, just happy to finally not have to wear mismatched pieces of gear?

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Queue: Gangsta

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

I can't guarantee you'll like this song, but I'm embedding it anyway because, by golly, I have a platform with which to provide people with weird-ass music.

Adam asked:

Do you think we'll see another raid after the big bad boss raid this expansion as we have with others (Sunwell after Black Temple, Ruby Sanctum after Icecrown Citadel)?

Blizzard reps did say that this was the last major content patch before MoP, but I think the wording on those statements has been altered slowly since the patch was originally previewed, so we honestly have no idea at this point. I hope we don't, but only inasmuch as it would mean Pandaria would be here sooner.

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Filed under: The Queue

WoW Insider Weekly News Update for Jan. 13, 2012

The WoW Insider Weekly News Update is your source for all the biggest stories from the past week wrapped up in a neat little video package. Mathew McCurley hosts your quick look at this week's biggest news.

If you haven't already subscribed to the WoW Insider YouTube channel, you should!

News this week:

Filed under: Podcasts, Podcasting, WoW Insider Show

The Queue: The serviceman and the "guide dog"

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

Seriously, guys, if you didn't read Lisa's article yesterday about the British Army serviceman who lost his eyes in combat and still raids with the help of his guildmates and his "seeing-eye dog" death knight friend, you really should right now.

Glorfindan asked:

is blizzard ok with guild buying/selling. With in game gold I mean. And will they enforce the deal if one side doesnt?

I'm asking cuz my brother is thinkin of buying one and I couldnt find anything on Blizz's page. I'm assuming they are as there are adds on the forums for it, but I wanted to be sure


As guilds are technically the property of the guild leader, yes, it's allowable to buy them with in-game gold. Just make sure the transaction is documented with in-game chat so GMs can help you out if something goes awry.

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Filed under: The Queue

How could tanking design be changed?

Tanking is designed around holding threat and using abilities to stay alive. The current paradigm, wherein tanks work hard to passively gear themselves for predictable incoming damage in order to make healing them easier, has its drawbacks. Tanks usually ignore stats that contribute to threat generation (to a degree that baseline threat generation has repeatedly been increased, currently sitting at five times damage dealt by the tank), which has led to the discussion of active mitigation in the tank design of Mists of Pandaria. The goal is to make tanks desire threat generation stats such as hit and expertise by making them not just threat stats, but also to tie them into survivability.

By making threat gen stats also generate resources that are used to actively mitigate incoming damage, the goal is to make tanks want those stats, rather than simply aiming as close to complete coverage of the combat table as they can get, reducing incoming damage to something as reliable and easily anticipated by healers as possible. Tanks currently value dodge, parry, and their mastery stats well over any potential threat generation from hit and expertise.

Since we've already seen quite a bit of the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator, we know that design of the new tanking system is probably fairly well advanced. We also know that the monk, another tank/DPS/healing hybrid class, will be debuting with the expansion. Therefore, it's worthwhile to examine tanking changes that could be implemented, even to stretch our vision of tanking significantly past where it is now and most likely past where it will go in Mists.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight, Monk

Patch 4.3 hotfixes for January 9, 2012

It's been a while since we've seen a hotfix announcement, but now that the holidays are over, the hotfixes are back in full swing. Today's list is a short one with no class changes, but it does include some much-needed Darkmoon Faire fixes as well as adjustments to instances and raids.
  • Darkmoon items The Captured Journal and The Enemy's Insignia should now be able to be completed, even if they've been turned in in previous months.
  • Darkmoon Tonks and Darkmoon Zeppelins will no longer become a Horde Balloon after faction-switching from Alliance to Horde.
  • The proc damage from the Vial of Shadows trinket should now be increased by ranged attack power for hunters.
  • Killing bosses in a guild group while using the Dungeon Finder should now award guild reputation and experience.
Follow after the break for the full list of hotfixes.

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Filed under: Hotfixes

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