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Posts with tag ptrs

PTR build 13033: Restoration shaman update

Another PTR build is on the way with patch 13033. With it, there are several tweaks and changes all over the place. Earlier today, we heard about the changes warriors are receiving in the patch -- but what about restoration shaman?

We only get one change this time around, but it is a big one. Back in build 12984, Mana Tide Totem was changed from adding back a percentage of your base mana to increasing your spirit by 200 percent for the totem's duration. This was a fairly significant change that mirrors the shift from MP5 to spirit. It placed the ability firmly in the camp of healers only, and instead of giving us a flat amount back, it increased our mana regeneration based on whatever it was at the time of casting.

The cooldown remained at 5 minutes, which was a bit long, considering the effect. In the latest PTR build, though, the cooldown is being reduced to 3 minutes. This change should also be applied to the Cataclysm beta pretty soon, as well. This is a fantastic change and one that will make us that much stronger in the months to come. An average boss fight right now in Wrath lasts roughly around the 5-minute mark, meaning that you can only use this cooldown once per fight in most cases. After 4.0.1 drops, though, you will be able to use it more than once per boss fight. Pretty sweet deal, if you ask me.

Also consider that in the Cataclysm beta, healer mana is at a premium. Every heal has a right and wrong place, and we consume mana so much more quickly than we have previously. This change allows us to use a very important regeneration cooldown much more often, and so we can keep healing for longer. This will give us a distinct advantage early in the upcoming expansion. Anything that gives us mana back is a good thing. Things that give it back to us faster are even better.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: Shaman, Cataclysm

Patch 3.3 PTR: Blizzard tweaking nameplate visibility

Zarhym has posted information about an interesting change in effect on the PTR right now. Blizzard is tweaking the way that character nameplates (those names that you see floating above everyone's heads) works. First, nameplate vision has been extended, so that you can see player names from farther away. They've also adjusted some line-of-sight issues, and players will no longer be able to see nameplates through anything that blocks line-of-sight (so no nameplates of players hiding behind doors or walls). And multiple nameplates in one space will now overlap -- we'll have to see exactly what this looks like on the PTRs, but it sounds like a big group of the same mobs (i.e. Onyxia whelps) will now just have one nameplate to share.

Interesting stuff (and I didn't realize that some of this stuff, especially the nameplate overlapping, was even possible). Zarhym has a few other notes in the thread about how you can change or update the options on the PTR, including a checkbox to turn on or off totem or pet nameplates. Elsewhere, Ghostcrawler says that it's not just line-of-sight, as Arena pillars and other "objects" won't affect the nameplate view, but doors and walls will. If you're on the PTR, keep an eye out for these changes, and note that Blizzard is still asking for feedback. It's unknown which of these changes (or others) will end up on the live realms in the future.

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard

3.0 won't break everything

A lot of people (including some folks here at WoW Insider) are super concerned that when Blizzard does release a 3.0 patch early, it'll basically break everything we're doing now. Potion sickness on the live realms? Shield Block cooldown extended? With those changes, it seems bosses like Illidan would be basically unbeatable.

But Blizzard says, as they always do: don't worry. The latest word is that 3.0.2 is heading to the PTRs, and it's pretty clear that if 3.0 is going to break everything in the game, that's where Blizzard will find out. Don't forget that we've got months until the expansion comes out (and likely even a few months until the actual patch hits the live realms), which means there's tons of time to tweak and twist and get all of the new changes working with the old content.

This doesn't mean that things won't be broken -- we're curious to see, especially in even older instances like AQ and Molten Core, what things are like with all of the 3.0 updates. But it does mean that they'll likely be broken on the PTR -- in a few months from now, when this patch finally goes live, Blizzard should have most of the wrinkles evened out.

Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

3.0.2 PTR imminent

We haven't seen much PTR action in a little while (although I guess the beta realms are really a PTR for Wrath). That may change soon, though: the European PTR forums were just wiped, and Tigole recently said "3.0 will be on the PTR's soon." Disregarding his apostrophe abuse, and Blizzard's colorful history with the word "soon," this does conspire with the forum wipe to indicate that the PTRs will probably be up with this pre-Wrath patch within, I'd say, a week or so.

What does this say about the Wrath release date? Well, I'd say nothing, really. In the same post, Tigole mentions that some patches were on the PTR for over two months (which is good because a lot of the new talents are really half-baked right now). Additionally, 3.0.2 could come any amount of time before LK. 2.0.1, the pre-Burning Crusade patch, came a bit over a month before BC was released.

There is one notable advantage to bringing 3.0.2 to the PTR as soon as possible: more testing. While a fair number of people are in the LK beta by now, everyone who wants to (and had an active account the last time the PTR authentication server was updated) can access the PTR. As I mentioned above (and as Tigole agreed in his post) none of the classes is done yet, and the more people we get play-testing them, the better.

Filed under: Patches, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Things Considered interviews Vis Maior

As scheduled, our good friend Duncor (and his co-host Cadwallion) on WoW Radio's WoW Things Considered podcast sat down for an interview with three guildies from Vis Maior, the guild that's been rolling through the PTR so far. It's a good interview -- Duncor and Cadwallion go through Vis Maior's (not Vis Major) history, how they've moved on to the PTR and begun raiding there, and what they think of the new content.

It's interesting to hear not only from a guild that has been around for a while, but is just now coming into the spotlight. And it's also cool to hear what the GMs are doing for the guilds testing the new content on the PTR -- they've deathtouched trash a few times, and even spawned "flaskators," which are NPCs which will give out consumables and other raiding standbys.

They also tackle the debate of whether "world firsts" actually count on the PTRs. Vis Maior does agree that PTR kills don't necessarily count if they're just being tested, but a world first kill of a "final" version of a boss should count. Duncor and Cad don't press them on this, unfortunately, but I'd disagree -- the only way you know a boss is final is if it is on the live realms, so only live realms should count. Still, Vis Maior sound like a great bunch of people (they sound like they really love to raid, which is always good for a high-end guild), and what they've done so far on the PTRs is definitely impressive. Kudos to them, and nice job to WoW Radio on the interview.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Guilds, Interviews

Enter... Entropius!

[Warning: Possible spoilers ahead! -- sorry, Arturis!] The shaping-up-to-be-über-sweet Patch 2.4 has a few more surprises stored in its files. Some folks were able to dig up the model for a unique-looking demon boss named Entropius. While no more raid bosses have been announced -- it's just M'uru and Kil'jaeden left to kill in Sunwell Plateau on the PTR -- there is much speculation as to the relationship between the formerly chained-up, payback-seeking M'uru and this so-called "Void God". Entered into the wowhead database as early as February 13, it looks like this anorexic voidwalker has more in common with the Dark Naaru than originally thought.

The folks at MMO Champion certainly seem to speculate that M'uru and Entropius are pretty much one and the same, or at least that Entropius is pretty much tied into one of the rumored phases that the M'uru fight will have. You can check out the images above to see them superimposed over each other. See something familiar? It looks like Entropius and M'uru go to the same haberdashers for their shoulder gear. Lore fiends are debating on their relationship now, but in the meantime, it's really nice to see that Patch 2.4 isn't just bringing changes to items and game mechanics, it also seems to promise a lot of developments to World of Warcraft lore.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Lore, NPCs, Rumors

Nethaera announces progressive testing, and an update on shared test servers

And it seems to me you lived your life...Everyone's favorite candle has some news for us about the PTR. She reveals that the development team is changing the way they test by adding content progressively to this patch, and changing the patch notes to match. As the testing goes on, they may add or remove test notes or various functions they wish to test.

At this least, this could make monitoring the PTR process exciting as we try to figure out what Blizzard may add and take away. In addition, although Blizzard has said that they don't plan any major classes changes, this might mean that we can still hope for the tweaking of some abilities. Nethaera's already made it known that she's watching a few well constructed shaman threads about the changes to the class or lack thereof, at least.

In other news, Bornakk has updated his post on International PTRs with the news that Blizzard now plans to make the servers accessible over multiple regions for 2.4.0 only. So unfortunately, if you were planning any raiding or PvP tourneys to see which region reigns supreme, all bets may be off.

With this new progressive testing announcement, we'll be sure to keep an eye on the notes for you and tell you as soon as we see any changes, so keep us in mind here at WoW Insider for your patch news needs.

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

Bornakk announces region free test servers

Bornakk announced last night that we can expect what could be a fun change for this and future PTRs: the US, Korean, and EU servers will share test realms. We might speculate that this could be delaying the release of the PTRs despite the fact that we have the notes and the patch in hand, though it is, of course, possible that it's the problems with the live servers right now as well.

Regardless, it'll be interesting to see how this changes the test dynamic as testing goes forward. There's been some questions in the past over which region's raid groups are better, so it might be fun to see if they decide to duke it out over the new Sunwell content face-to-face. It might be fun to see if some multi-region arena tourneys get set up as well. Even on the casual side, some of us have overseas internet friends who play on different servers than us by necessity, so it should be great to meet up with them and kill a few monsters or do a few dailies together.

Of course, before we get to see if anything fun comes out of this, we'll have to make it on the PTRs. We'll be sure to tell you as soon as we see them up and running!

Filed under: Patches, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items

Patch 2.3.3 live on the PTRs

Patch 2.3.2 has been out on the live realms for a while now, which can only mean that it's time for patch 2.3.3 on the PTRs! Late last night Blizzard launched the 2.3.3 PTRs to little fanfare. No pre-mades are available this time around, so expect to see more testing and less random dueling with epic'd out level 70 characters on the 2.3.3 PTRs. The patch notes are sparse, containing a couple of bugfixes and some improvements to load time, but as with all patches, you never know what unintended (or unmentioned!) changes might have slipped in. MMO Champion has the latest on the patch notes, though their version differs very little from the official version.

Interested in trying the test realm out for yourself? Head over to the official site to download the client and copy one of your existing characters! (Having trouble getting on -- WoWWiki has a great guide to setting up the PTR client.)

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Bugs

PTR Notes: New Arena weapons, Fanatacism tweak, Hunter dead zone

A new build of patch 2.3 has landed on the public test realms with a few notable changes, as follows:
  • Three new Arena weapons: A caster staff, a gun, and a bow.
  • The Retribution Paladin talent Fanaticism has been changed to decrease threat only when Righteous Fury is not active.
  • The range for a Hunter's ranged attacks has been changed from 1 - 41 yards, eliminating their dead zone.
  • The Mage's Ritual of Refreshment now requires 2 arcane powder instead of a rune of portals.
  • The 4-piece bonus on the Mage PvP set has been changed to 2 seconds off the cooldown of Blink.
  • Sorry, Hunters, but those cool-looking Zul'Aman bears are no longer tamable.
  • Mats for the Adamantite Arrow Maker reduced. Was: Adamantite Frame, Simple Wood x10, Fel Iron Bolts x2. Now: Adamantite Bar, Simple Woodx4, Fell Iron Bolts x2. However, the schematic no longer specifies that the item has multiple charges. Whether this means the new version of the Adamantite Arrow Maker is single-charge or if that particular information was cut off the tooltip for some reason, I can't say. Any engineers out there want to hop on the PTRs, make one, and let us know if the item itself has been changed?
  • Darnassus has its own guild bank now.
  • Ogri'la potions buffed.
  • New Sporebat pet for exalted Sporregar faction.
  • New level 70 elite guards outside Zul'Aman. However, these guards certainly aren't graphically themed for Zul'Aman (and why would Tauren and Orcs be guarding a Troll temple?), and I wonder if they've been added to the PTRs to curtail the PvP-fest happening outside.
[Thanks, Paldyn!]

Filed under: Patches

Are you going to use voice chat?

Kachra from Ursin asks a question that I'd like to know the answer to: are you going to use the voice chat feature? And just like the guys who built the Six Million Dollar Man, we have the technology. We can find out. So here's a poll. And hopefully, we can get a good, somewhat scientific reading on the community-- are you going to use the voice chat feature or not?

Keep in mind that TS and Vent aren't going anywhere, and as I said in my Voice Chat hands on, it's very likely that a lot of guilds (especially bigger guilds), will keep using those. But my guess is also that a lot of people will use both-- TS in raids, and the builtin voice chat in PuGs or more private groups. So if you're planning to use voice chat at all (even if it's in conjunction with a third party voice program), mark yes below.

And if you don't think you'll ever touch it, either because you're sticking to third party, or you don't want to voice chat, mark no. Who knows-- maybe Blizzard's overestimating demand for the feature in the first place.

Will you use the Voice Chat feature?
Yes3050 (69.7%)
No1328 (30.3%)

Filed under: Patches, Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Current issues on the 2.2 PTRs

On the Test Realm Forums, Hortus has compiled a list of all known issues on the PTRs. While bugs are never fun, the good news here is that they're all being investigated by Blizzard QA, and we can hope they'll be fixed well before patch 2.2 hits the live realms. Items of note include:
  • Many items have pink textures.
  • Orc Shoulders are too small -- yes, it is a bug!
  • Resilience is reducing dot damage by more than indicated
  • Druid Cat form range is inconsistent.
  • Rogue Seal Fate is not working.
  • Hunter Feign Death is not immediately dropping aggro.
But for a full list, you'll want to see Hortus' post!

Filed under: Patches, News items

Patch 2.2 on the PTRs

The next patch, 2.2, has just gone live on the public test realms. So for your reading pleasure, I present you with the terribly exciting patch 2.2 notes. Primarily, this patch seems to be a number of bug fixes and minor tweaks, but it also includes the infamous DoT change and a number PvP-related tweaks (reduction in CC times in PvP is what stands out to me). The patch notes are extremely long, so I won't try to summarize the rest -- check the whole things out after the break.

[Thanks, Boubouille!]

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Bugs

A case for patience on the PTRs

You'll forgive me for trying to inject a little reason into a nerf debate (an impossible task, probably), but that's what I'm about to try and do anyway.

Yesterday, mages, warlocks, and shadow priests were up in arms about the changes on the test realm to the tailoring epic outfits. Blizzard was experimenting with adding ability stats to the armor while nerfing spell damage, and tailors went ballistic over the changes. And so, within a matter of hours, Eyonix announced on the forums that the changes had already been reverted and would not go to the live servers.

Now, yesterday I said the nerfs weren't that big a deal, and since then, I've seen some good points that say they were-- lots of people spent lots of time and gold getting just these recipes together (some even leveled tailoring for just these pieces), and it definitely presents a problem to make serious changes to gear that people have already sacrificed a lot for.

On the other hand, there were good reasons behind the changes as well. As even a few tailors have said, these crafted pieces matched up to the Tier 4 and 5 pieces, and I see problems with basically requiring clothies to be tailors to be competitive in the endgame. Many warlocks cried the most about the changes, but because +spell damage doesn't translate directly to most of their DOT spells, in many cases, they would actually be the least affected (Update: In hindsight, I shouldn't have judged how affected anyone was by this change. But that's not the point of this article-- read on.)

But my point now isn't to argue whether these sets should have been changed or not. What I want to point out now is that being outraged on the forums and yelling at Blizzard about something that's happening on the test realms will actually impede the developers' abilities to make good changes on the live ones.

Read more →

Filed under: Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Latest changes on the PTR

As you may or may not be aware, a patch was rolled out on the public test realms yesterday, bringing us all sorts of cool screenshots of Hyjal and Illidan. However, these weren't the only changes the patch brought us. On the test realm forums, Kainazzo has been kind enough to compile a list of changes for us.

Of course there's the expected bug fixes:
  • (Hunter) Viewing Pet Details no longer results in a fatal error
  • (Hunter) Using aimed shot and steady shot no longer results in turning 180 degrees
  • (Other) Alliance epic flying mount animation has been fixed.
  • (Items) The meta gems bought with Spirit Shards now function properly.
  • (Items) Almost every set bonus was reworked to stack properly with other set bonuses
However, perhaps the most interesting changes were to Paladins:
  • Illumination now returns 60% of base mana cost, up from 50%.
  • 1h weapon spec is now working, and is causing 5% more damage to spells like consecrate and holy shield while a 1 handed weapon is equipped.
Is illumination still worth it at 60% instead of 50%? Blizzard, how about you push the numbers to 75% and we'll talk.

Filed under: Patches, Bugs

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