The uneasy armistice between the Horde and Alliance is steadily cracking beneath the strain of Deathwing’s devastating return and the Shattering of Azeroth, heralding a new era of bloody conflict.
The clash between the factions has also never been so hotly contested: Battleground brackets now match up teams more evenly. The new brackets span five levels each, except the final bracket composed of level 85 players:
10-14 30-34 50-54 70-74
15-19 35-39 55-59 75-79
20-24 40-44 60-64 80-84
25-29 45-49 65-69 85
Fighters can also join the battle in Arathi Basin, Eye of the Storm, and Alterac Valley at an earlier level than ever before:
Level 10 – Arathi Basin and Warsong Gulch
Level 35 – Eye of the Storm
Level 45 – Alterac Valley
Level 65 – Strand of the Ancients
Level 75 – Isle of Conquest
Level 85 – Battle for Gilneas and Twin Peaks
These changes should offer players a more consistently competitive experience in the Battlegrounds as their characters level, as well as provide for more exciting PvP conflict than ever before. Are you eager to try 35-39 Eye of the Storm? How about 45-49 Alterac Valley? Perhaps you’d like to cut your teeth on a 10-14 Arathi Basin.
In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we’ll be making lots of changes and additions to class talents and abilities across the board. In this preview, you’ll get an early look at what’s in store for the mage class, including a rundown of some of the new spells, abilities, and talents, and an overview of how the new Mastery system will work with the different talent specs.
New Mage Spells
Flame Orb (available at level 81): Inspired by Prince Taldaram’s abilities in Ahn’kahet and Icecrown Citadel, this spell allows the mage to cast a flaming orb that travels in front in a straight line, sending beams that cause fire damage to passing targets. Once it’s cast, the mage is free to begin casting other spells as the Flame Orb travels. While the spell will be useful to any spec, Fire mages will have talents that improve it, possibly causing the Flame Orb to explode when it reaches its destination.
Time Warp (level 83): Grants a passive Haste effect much like Bloodlust or Heroism to party or raid members. It also temporarily increases the mage’s own movement speed. Time Warp will be exclusive with Bloodlust and Heroism, meaning you can’t benefit from both if you’ve got the Exhaustion debuff, though the movement-speed increase will still work even when under the effects of Exhaustion.
Wall of Fog (level 85): Creates a line of frost in front of the mage, 30 yards from end to end. Enemies who cross the line are snared and take damage. The mana cost will be designed to make Wall of Fog efficient against groups, not individuals. This spell is intended to give mages a way to help control the battlefield, whether the mage is damaging incoming enemies (Blizzard can be channeled on top of Wall of Fog) or protecting a flag in a Battleground. 10-second duration. 30-second cooldown.
Changes to Abilities and Mechanics
In addition to introducing new spells, we’re planning to make changes to some of the other abilities and mechanics you’re familiar with. This list and the summary of talent changes below it are by no means comprehensive, but they should give you a good sense of what we intend for each spec.
Arcane Missiles is being redesigned to become a proc-based spell. Whenever the mage does damage with any spell, there is a chance for Arcane Missiles to become available, similar to how the warrior’s Overpower works. The damage and mana cost of this spell will be reworked to make it very desirable to use when available. This change should make gameplay more dynamic for the mage, particularly at low levels.
We are planning to remove spells that don’t have a clear purpose. Amplify Magic, Dampen Magic, Fire Ward, and Frost Ward are being removed from the game, and we may remove more.
The ability to conjure food and water will not become available until higher levels (likely around level 40), as we’re making changes to ensure mages generally won’t run out of mana at lower levels. Once mages learn how to conjure food and water, the conjured item will restore both health and mana.
Scorch will provide a damage bonus to the mage’s fire spells. Our goal is for Scorch to be part of the mage’s rotation and a useful damage-dealing ability, even if someone else is supplying the group with the spell Critical Strike debuff. Scorch will provide the mage with more specific benefits, which can also be improved through talents.
New Talents and Talent Changes
Arcane Focus will now return mana for each spell that fails to hit your target, including Arcane Missiles that fail to launch. We want Arcane mages to have several talents that play off of how much mana the character has and give the player enough tools to manage mana.
The talent Playing with Fire will reduce the cooldown of Blast Wave when hit by a melee attack, instead of its current effect.
Pyromaniac will grant Haste when three or more targets are getting damaged by the effects of your damage-over-time (DoT) fire spells.
The Burnout talent will allow mages to cast spells using health when they run out of mana.
Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses
Spell Crit damage
Mana Adept: Arcane will deal damage based how much mana the mage has. For example, Arcane mages will do much more damage at 100% mana than at 50% mana. If they begin to get low on mana, they will likely want to use an ability or mechanic to bring their mana up to increase their damage.
Ignite: All direct-damage fire spells will add a damage-over-time (DoT) component when cast. The flavor will be similar to how Fireball works; however, the DoT component will be much stronger.
Deathfrost: Casting Frostbolt places a buff on the mage that increases the damage for all frost, fire, and arcane spells. The only damage spell that won’t be affected by this buff is Frostbolt.
If there’s one thing mages have been known for during the course of this fine game we all play, it’s mass murder. We have at our disposal a wide array of spells that wreak havoc over a large area, perhaps more so than any other class. When it comes to killing things in large numbers, mages are remarkably adept. It’s a role we embrace wholeheartedly.
AoE has evolved quite since the inception of the game. In vanilla WoW, AoE was a great way to get yourself killed in an instance, a method of attack that was mostly limited to solo farming and certain trash pulls. These days, with the ability tanks have to hold multiple mobs with relative ease, AoE has morphed into the go-to way to deal with multiple-mob pulls of all shapes and sizes. Crowd control has gone the way of Wand Specialization; it simply isn’t required in most situations in Wrath.
Cataclysm is bringing with it some fairly sweeping changes to the way we utilize our AoE repertoire. The developers have stated their intention to return us to a time when we actually had to worry about things like crowd control and pull-sizes, and though we’re not reverting completely, pulls on the beta certainly feel more like vanilla or Burning Crusade pulls than anything we saw in Wrath. Join me after the break and we’ll go over how our AoE spells will work in this coming era.
We’ll begin with some general changes, then move on to the arcane and frost trees. The fire tree demands its own column, really, and here at Arcane Brilliance, we always do what the fire tree demands. We’ll hit fire AoE next week.
The first change was also the most sweeping. Blizzard cut the base damage of all AoE spells in the beta by 50-60% for every class, pretty much across the board. The effect is pretty jarring. Seriously, if you’re a newer player who has cut his teeth on the “go, go, go,” rapid-fire, pull–everything, gib-fests that are standard in Wrath’s random dungeon-finder, the first 5-mans in Cataclysm are going to dramatically alter your world-view pretty much from pull-one.
The mobs have more health, they hit harder, the encounters last longer, and the mass-group pulls of Wrath will absolutely get you all killed. Crowd control isn’t an absolute necessity, but it does help. You won’t see a repeat performance of BC, when the trade channel was filled with groups looking not for DPS but for CC, but you won’t see groups turning down your ability to sheep things, either. Simply burning everything down at once, every time, just isn’t the go-to option anymore.
That initial AoE nerf may have been a bit too drastic for the developer’s tastes, and so the most recent beta build has rectified things somewhat. The base damage for AoE spells has been increased substantially, in most cases by 33 percent. The numbers aren’t back to where they were, but our AoE spells don’t feel gimped anymore. With the increased health of mobs, simply burning everything down still isn’t really a good option, but using your AoE spells no longer feels like a penalty, which is nice.
Another massive change affecting AoE is the implementation of Mastery bonuses. The problem lies in the 20% bonus you get for your chosen school’s spells, and the 20% bonus you don’t get for everything else. Arcane mage who wants to cast Blizzard? Good luck with that. The damage your spells do is balanced around that 20% increase, meaning that casting anything from an alternate school feels horribly throttled.
This wouldn’t be a huge problem, except that …
… arcane AoE is just awful now. Arcane’s best AoE spell has long been Blizzard, but casting it without the Mastery bonus feels like punishment. Arcane has no ranged or targetable AoE, which is a problem.
Arcane Explosion is arcane’s sole AoE spell, and while it’s a useful little spell, it is severely limited in its raid viability. It isn’t ranged, and it’s centered on the mage, meaning it can’t be cast on a target or a specific area. Arcane desperately needs a way to damage multiple targets at range, and currently that simply isn’t a real option.
Blizzard is still what the frost tree ’s all about. It’s still our best and most reliable AoE spell, it still does excellent damage, it can still crit, and it still looks pretty. It’s the AoE spell every other mage will now wish he could use properly, and the spell every warlock will cry about in his room while he listens to AFI and cuts himself.
Ice Shards has adopted the functionality of Improved Blizzard, adding a 40% snare to Blizzard and making the spell an excellent mass crowd-control option. More importantly, the talent also includes a range-increasing component for Ice Lance, tying the snare utility to an almost mandatory raid talent. This means almost every frost mage will have a slowing effect for their best AoE spell, which is just splendid.
Cone of Cold is still an excellent instant short-range option, doing respectable damage to mobs in front of the mage and slowing them by 50%. It’ll still get most of its use in PvP, but it’s also a great kiting tool in any situation. The utility of this ability goes through the roof with Improved Cone of Cold, a new talent that adds a 2/4 second freeze to the spell. This adds control and additional Shatter opportunities. The talent will mostly feature in PvP builds, I suspect, but there will undoubtedly be some raiders who find room in their builds for the added utility this would provide.
Piercing Chill should probably also be mentioned. It’s a second tier frost talent that spreads Frostbolt’s chill effect to up to two nearby targets. It can be awesome for multiple-target pulls, but can sometimes become dangerous, in that it’s difficult to control which targets are affected.
Curtain of Frost is frost’s new hotness coldness. We haven’t really talked about this yet, so let me tell you how the spell works:
You train it at level 83, and it’s available to any spec. It’s targeted, and casting it will bring up a standard circular reticule, which you can then place anywhere on the ground within 20 yards of yourself. Once you place it, it conjures a white line of frost on the ground in that spot that stretches for ten yards perpendicular to the direction you’re facing. That white frost line persists for 15 seconds and does two things to any and every mob that crosses it:
It does a rather substantial amount of damage (at level 83, I’m getting pretty frequent 6-7k crits with it)
It applies a powerful (70% movement speed reduction) but short (4 seconds) snare
It operates on a two minute cooldown and costs a relatively meager 7% of your base mana. It’s absolutely fantastic for kiting, especially when multiple mobs are involved. Sadly, it only works on each mob once; you can’t run a mob back and forth over it multiple times. Apparently, that would just be too awesome.
At two minutes, the cooldown is probably too long for the spell to be a real game-changer in PvP, but I could see some pretty effective uses of this spell with Cold Snap. That snare is just so freaking powerful. In PvE, this gives frost mages one more kiting tool in a box already brimming with them, and provides a very effective way for them to keep mobs in other ground AoE for longer. Pull a group with Piercing Chill, strategically place a Curtain of Frost in their path, then fall back and Blizzard away. If the mobs get too close, Improved Cone of Cold is the reset button. Given enough room to work with, a skilled frost mage could keep a fairly large group occupied all by his lonesome, pretty much indefinitely.
So that’s about it for frost and arcane. Arcane needs some work, and frost is pretty solid. The real star of mage AoE, though, is the fire tree. Targeted Blast Wave with no more annoying knockback? Flame Orb? Flamestrike that’s actually useful? Come back next week for as much hyperbole as I can fit into 1,000 words.
Profit Sharing – Loot 50,000 gold from creatures.
Time To Open A Savings Account – Loot 200,000 gold from creatures.
Extended Storage – Purchase the 7th guild bank tab.
Critter Kill Squad – Kill 10,000 critters
A Class Act – Reach level 85 on each of the classes listed below.
Stay Classy (Horde) – Complete the classy achievmenets listed below.
Classy Orcs – Reach level 85 of each of the Orc classes listed below.
Classy Tauren – Reach level 85 of each of the Tauren classes listed below.
Classy Trolls – Reach level 85 of each of the Troll classes listed below.
Classy Blood Elves – Reach level 85 of each of the Blood Elf classes listed below.
Classy Undead – Reach level 85 of each of the Undead classes listed below.
Classy Goblins – Reach level 85 of each of the Goblin classes listed below.
Stay Classy (Alliance) – Complete the classy achievmenets listed below.
Classy Humans – Reach level 85 of each of the Human classes listed below.
Classy Night Elves – Reach level 85 of each of the Night Elf classes listed below.
Classy Gnomes – Reach level 85 of each of the Gnome classes listed below.
Classy Dwarves – Reach level 85 of each of the Dwarven classes listed below.
Classy Draenei – Reach level 85 of each of the Draenei classes listed below.
Classy Worgen – Reach level 85 of each of the Worgen classes listed below.
Raids & Dungeons
We Are Awesome – Obtain three of the legendary weapons listed below.
We Are Hardcore – Obtain all of the legendary weapons listed below.
Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros – Guild Edition – Wielder of Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros.
Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker – Guild Edition – Wielder of Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker
Warglaives of Azzinoth – Guild Edition (WIP) – Wielder of a set of Warglaives of Azzinoth.
Thori’dal, the Stars’ Fury – Guild Edition – Wielder of Thori’dal, the Stars’ Fury
Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings – Guild Edition – Wielder of Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings
Shadowmourne – Guild Edition – Wielder of Shadowmourne
WoW Classic Raids
Guild Classic Raider – Complete the classic raid achievements listed below while in a guild group.
Molten Core Guild Run – Defeat Ragnaros.
Blackwing Lair Guild Run – Defeat Nefarian.
Temple of Ahn’Qiraj Guild Run – Defeat C’Thun.
Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj Guild Run – Defeat Ossirian the Unscarred.
The Burning Crusade Raids
Guild Outland Raider – Complete the Burning Crusade raid achievements listed below while in a guild group.
Karazhan Guild Run – Defeat Prince Malchezaar in Karazhan.
Zul’Aman Guild Run – Defeat Zul’jin in Zul’Aman.
Gruul’s Lair Guild Run – Defeat Gruul the Dragonkiller in Gruul’s Lair.
Magtheridon’s Lair Guild Run – Defeat Magtheridon in Magtheridon’s Lair.
Serpentshrine Cavern Guild Run – Defeat Lady Vashj in Serpentshrine Cavern.
Tempest Keep Guild Run – Defeat Kael’thas Sunstrider in Tempest Keep.
The Battle for Mount Hyjal Guild Run – Defeat Archimonde in The Battle for Mount Hyjal.
The Black Temple Guild Run – Defeat Illidan Stormrage in The Black Temple.
Sunwell Plateau Guild Run – Defeat Kil’jaeden in Sunwell Plateau.
Wrath of the Lich King Raids
Glory of the Lich King Raider – Complete the Northrend raid achievements listed below while in a guild group.
The Twilight Zone – Guild Edition – With all three Twilight Drakes still alive, engage and defeat Sartharion the Onyx Guardian while in a guild group..
Alone in the Darkness – Guild Edition – Defeat Yogg-Saron without the assistance of any Keepers while in a guild group.
Just Can’t Get Enough – Guild Edition – Defeat Kel’Thuzad in Naxxramas while killing at least 18 abominations in his chamber while in a group group.
You Don’t Have an Eternity – Guild Edition – Defeat Malygos in 6 minutes or less while in a guild group.
He Feeds On Your Tears – Guild Edition – Defeat Algalon the Observer while in a guild group without any raid member dying to Algalon at any point during that raid lockout period.
Call of the Crusade – Guild Edition – Defeat every boss in the Trial of the Crusader while in a guild group.
The Twilight Destroyer – Guild Edition – Defeat Halion in The Ruby Sanctum while in a guild group.
The Frozen Throne – Guild Edition – Defeat the Lich King in Icecrown Citadel while in a guild group.
Guild Glory of the Cataclysm Raider – Complete the Cataclysm raid achievements listed below while in a guild group.
Blackwing Descent Guild Run – Defeat the bosses in Blackwing Descent while in a guild group.
Throne of the Four Winds Guild Run – Defeat the bosses in Throne of the Four Winds while in a guild group.
The Bastion of Twilight Guild Run – Defeat the bosses in the Bastion of Twilight while in a guild group.
WoW Classic Dungeons
Ragefire Chasm Guild Run – Defeat Taragaman the Hungerer.
Deadmines Guild Run – Defeat “Captain” Cookie.
Wailing Caverns Guild Run – Defeat Mutanus the Devourer.
Shadowfang Keep Guild Run – Defeat Lord Godfrey.
Blackfathom Deeps Guild Run – Defeat Aku’mai.
Stormwind Stockade Guild Run – Defeat Hogger.
Razorfen Kraul Guild Run – Defeat Charlga Razorflank.
Gnomeregan Guild Run – Defeat Mekgineer Thermaplugg.
Razorfen Downs Guild Run – Defeat Amnennar the Coldbringer.
Scarlet Monastery Guild Run – Defeat the Scarlet Crusade within the Scarlet Monastery.
Uldaman Guild Run – Defeat Archaedas.
Zul’Farrak Guild Run – Defeat Chief Ukorz Sandscalp.
Maraudon Guild Run – Defeat Princess Theradras.
Sunken Temple Guild Run – Defeat Shade of Eranikus.
Blackrock Depths Guild Run – Defeat Emperor Dagran Thaurissan.
Lower Blackrock Spire Guild Run – Defeat Overlord Wyrmthalak.
King of Dire Maul Guild Run – Defeat each wing of Dire Maul.
Scholomance Guild Run – Defeat the leaders of Scholomance.
Stratholme Guild Run – Defeat the evil masterminds inhabiting Stratholme.
The Burning Crusade Dungeons
Guild Outland Dungeon Hero – Complete the heroic Burning Crusade dungeon achievements listed below while in a guild group.
Heroic: Hellfire Ramparts Guild Run – Defeat the leaders of Hellfire Ramparts on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: The Blood Furnace Guild Run – Defeat Keli’dan the Breaker on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: The Slave Pens Guild Run – Defeat Quagmirran on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: Underbog Guild Run – Defeat The Black Stalker on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: Mana-Tombs Guild Run – Defeat Nexus-Prince Shaffar on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: Auchenai Crypts Guild Run – Defeat Exarch Maladaar on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: The Escape From Durnholde Guild Run – Defeat Epoch Hunter on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: Sethekk Halls Guild Run – Defeat Talon King Ikiss on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: Shadow Labyrinth Guild Run – Defeat Murmur on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: Opening of the Dark Portal Guild Run – Defeat Aeonus on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: The Steamvault Guild Run – Defeat Warlord Kalithresh on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: The Shattered Halls Guild Run – Defeat Warchief Kargath Bladefist on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: The Mechanar Guild Run – Defeat Pathaleon the Calculator on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: The Botanica Guild Run – Defeat Warp Splinter on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: The Arcatraz Guild Run – Defeat Harbinger Skyriss on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: Magister’s Terrace Guild Run – Defeat Kael’thas Sunstrider on Heroic Difficulty.
Wrath of the Lich King Dungeons
Guild Northrend Dungeon Hero – Complete the heroic Northrend dungeon achievements listed below while in a guild group.
Heroic: Utgarde Keep Guild Run – Defeat the Utgarde Keep bosses on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: The Nexus Guild Run – Defeat The Nexus bosses on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: Azjol-Nerub Guild Run – Defeat the Azjol-Nerub bosses on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom Guild Run – Defeat the Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom bosses on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: Drak’Tharon Keep Guild Run – Defeat the Drak’Tharon Keep bosses on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: The Violet Hold Guild Run – Defeat Cyanigosa in The Violet Hold on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: Gundrak Guild Run – Defeat the Gundrak bosses on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: Halls of Stone Guild Run – Defeat the boss encounters in the Halls of Stone on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: Halls of Lightning Guild Run – Defeat the Halls of Lightning bosses on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: The Oculus Guild Run – Defeat The Oculus bosses on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: Utgarde Pinnacle Guild Run – Defeat the Utgarde Pinnacle bosses on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: The Culling of Stratholme Guild Run – Defeat the Caverns of Time: Stratholme bosses on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: Trial of the Champion Guild Run – Defeat the bosses in the Trial of the Champion on Heroic Difficulty.
Heroic: The Forge of Souls Guild Run – Defeat the bosses in The Forge of Souls on Heroic difficulty
Heroic: The Pit of Saron Guild Run – Defeat the bosses in The Pit of Saron on Heroic difficulty.
Heroic: The Halls of Reflection Guild Run – Defeat the bosses in The Halls of Reflection on Heroic difficulty.
Guild Cataclysm Dungeon Hero – Complete the heroic Cataclysm dungeon achievements listed below while in a guild group.
Heroic: Blackrock Caverns Guild Run – Defeat Ascendant Lord Obsidius on Heroic difficulty.
Heroic: Throne of the Tides Guild Run – Defeat Ozumat in Throne of the Tides on Heroic difficulty.
Heroic: The Stonecore Guild Run – Defeat High Priestess Azil in the Stonecore on Heroic difficulty.
Heroic: The Vortex Pinnacle Guild Run – Defeat Grand Vizier Ertan in the Vortex Pinnacle on Heroic difficulty.
Heroic: Grim Batol Guild Run – Defeat Erudax in Grim Batol on Heroic difficulty.
Heroic: Halls of Origination Guild Run – Defeat Rajh in Halls of Origination on Heroic difficulty.
Heroic: Lost City of the Tol’vir Guild Run – Defeat Siamat, Lord of the South Wind in the Lost City of the Tol’vir in Heroic difficulty.
Heroic: Shadowfang Keep Guild Run – Defeat Lord Godfrey in Shadowfang Keep on Heroic difficulty.
Heroic: Deadmines Guild Run – Defeat “Captain” Cookie in Deadmines on Heroic difficulty.
Heroic: Shadowfang Keep Guild Run – Defeat Lord Godfrey in Shadowfang Keep on Heroic difficulty.
Diplomacy – Raise 15 reputations to Exalted.
Ambassadors – Raise 25 reputations to Exalted.
United Nations – Raise 55 reputations to Exalted.
Dungeon Diplomat – Earn exalted with the dungeon reputations listed below.
Raid Representation – Earn exalted with the raid reputations listed below.
Classic Battles – Earn exalted reputation with the classic battlegrounds listed below.
Player vs. Player
Are You Not Entertained?! – Earn a 2200 rating in the arena with a team composed entirely of guild members.
Now That’s an Achievement – Earn 5000 guild achievement points.
Kill Squad – Get 500,000 honorable kills.
Guild Gankers – Get 1,000,000 honorable kills.
Creepjackers – Get 2,500,000 honorable kills.
City Attacker – Kill 500 enemy players in any Horde home city.
City Attacker – Kill 500 enemy players in any Alliance home city.
Active Duty – Win 500 Battlegrounds while in a guild group.
Call of Duty – Win 1000 Battlegrounds while in a guild group.
Tour of Duty – Win 1500 Battlegrounds while in a guild group.
5-Cap Crew – Win 10 Arathi Basin matches while controlling all 5 flags in a guild group.
Horde Slayer – Complete the slayer achievements listed below.
Alliance Slayer – Complete the slayer achievements listed below.
Orc Slayer – Get an honorable kill on each of the level 85 Orc races listed below.
Human Slayer – Get an honorable kill on each of the level 85 Human races listed below.
Night Elf Slayer – Get an honorable kill on each of the level 85 Night Elf races listed below.
Dwarf Slayer – Get an honorable kill on each of the level 85 Dwarf races listed below.
Draenei Slayer – Get an honorable kill on each of the level 85 Draenei races listed below.
Worgen Slayer – Get an honorable kill on each of the level 85 Worgeni races listed below.
Tauren Slayer – Get an honorable kill on each of the level 85 Tauren races listed below.
Undead Slayer – Get an honorable kill on each of the level 85 Undead races listed below.
Troll Slayer – Get an honorable kill on each of the level 85 Troll races listed below.
Blood Elf Slayer – Get an honorable kill on each of the level 85 Blood Elf races listed below.
Goblin Slayer – Get an honorable kill on each of the level 85 Goblin races listed below.
Skinnin’ For A Livin’ (WIP) – Skin 10,000 corpses.
Mix Master – Craft 10,000 flasks.
Dust, Dust and more Dust! – Disenchant 10,000 items.
Dinner Party – Place 5,000 Feasts.
Bushels and Bushels – Gather 50,000 herbs.
Mighty Miners – Mine 50,000 ore and rocks.
Gemcrafter Extrodinare – Cut 10,000 gems.
Master Crafter – Craft 1,000 Epic items.
Mounts didn’t get a lot of love on the front page since the beginning of the beta. A lot of stuff was implemented in-game during the latest beta update and we now have a decent idea of what to expect in-game. I tried to restrict it to the mounts that we will most likely see in-game, more recolors are available but they aren’t always linked to an item, etc … Let’s keep it simple for the moment.
This is not a complete list of all the mounts added to the game with Cataclysm, I’ll do that a little later when most of them are added to the game.
Drakes of the Wind
The only known drop location is the Reins of the Drake of the East Wind rewarded from Glory of the Cataclysm Raider achievement.
Only 2 stone drakes seems to be implemented for the moment, the only known drop location is the Reins of the Volcanic Stone Drake from the Glory of the Cataclysm Hero achievement.
Last but not least, camels! Absolutely no idea where they are from, but they will most likely be linked to Uldum.
After further consideration, and after hearing from many players, we are going to change how we approach the 2 vs. 2 arena bracket in Arena Season 7. We still think the 3 vs. 3 and 5 vs. 5 brackets will ultimately offer the best play experience, especially for very competitive gamers for whom game class balance issues are most noticeable. However, we recognize that many players just prefer to play in the 2 vs. 2 bracket and will miss the chance to earn the current season’s gear. Therefore, we are going to still allow the 2 vs. 2 bracket to grant access to the current season of gear with three important exceptions: the current season’s weapons will not be available for purchase, the current season’s shoulder armor will not be available for purchase, and players will not qualify for the Gladiator title/rewards unless you earn the appropriate rating in the 3 vs. 3 or 5 vs. 5 bracket. We look forward to the changes in the next major content patch and hope to have a great next Arena Season.
In addition to the changes originally listed in this thread, the following change was recently added and is now live on the test realms:
Players gain a new buff after being launched out of the catapult that reduces all falling damage taken.
We intend to make the following changes to Isle of Conquest in the next test realm build:
Increase siege damage from Glaive Thrower.
Increase all damage from Siege Engine and its turrets.
When the parachute effect ends from jumping off the Gunship, players will gain a new buff that reduces all falling damage taken.
Increase the timer before a Catapult without a driver explodes from 30 seconds to 120 seconds.
It would be greatly appreciated if anyone who has experienced the following bug could provide us with as much information as possible on the circumstances surrounding its cause:
Sometimes the Keep Cannons are being despawned and they never return. This should not happen.
Given that the changes originally detailed in this thread are now live, we’d love to get feedback on your experiences in this new Battleground. Is the average length of each battle better now? Did the changes to the Huge Seaforium piles help address the overly advantageous strategy of capturing the Hangar and parachuting into the enemy’s base? Do the Keep Cannons still feel effective now that they do less damage given that you can now repair them? Any information you can provide on your game play experiences will help us a great deal to make this Battleground as fun as possible. Thanks!
•All ground mounts had their cast time changed from 3 sec to 1.5 sec.
•Argent Charger has been added to the game.
•Argent Warhorse has been added to the game.
•Silver Convenant Hippogryph has been added to the game.
•Sunreaver Dragonhawk has been added to the game.
•Sunreaver Hawkstrider has been added to the game.
•Quel’dorei Steed has been added to the game.
•Ochre Skeletal Warhorse has been added to the game.
•Striped Danwsaber has been added to the game.
•Argent Warhorse has been added to the game.
•Summon Baby Pink Elekk has been renamed to Pint-Sized Pink Elekk
•Jade Panda Cub has been renamed to Jade Tiger.
•Calico Cat has been added to the game.
•Curious Oracle Hatchling has been added to the game.
•Curious Wolvar Pup has been added to the game.
•Shimmering Wyrmling has been added to the game.
•Macabre Marionette has been added to the game.
•Gundrak Hatchling has been added to the game.
•Ravasaur Hatchling has been added to the game.
•Leaping Hatchling has been added to the game.
•Obsidian Hatchling has been added to the game.
•Darting Hatchling has been added to the game.
•Razzashi Hatchling has been added to the game.
•Deviate Hatchling has been added to the game.
•Razormaw Hatchling has been added to the game.
•Onyx Panther has been added to the game.
World of Warcraft PTR Patch 3.2.0
We have several big changes coming up for the paladin class in patch 3.2. The paladin class Q&A is still in progress, so rather than making you wait, we wanted to give you a preview of what we’re trying to do with all three paladin talent trees. We thought some of the patch notes might not make sense until you understand the design goals.
Caveats: Some of these changes are still in progress and may ultimately end up in a different form or with different numbers. We definitely want to see these changes in action on the PTR and we will iterate on them accordingly based on player testing and feedback. None of this is set in stone. Furthermore, assume that talents, glyphs or set bonuses that affect any impacted abilities will also be changed accordingly. Finally, don’t expect that every class will see this many changes. We are making far fewer changes to class mechanics overall in 3.2, but paladins in particular have some issues we feel are in need of being addressed.
Currently, we think paladin tanks are almost there and that they just need slightly better cooldowns to handle some of the tougher boss fights. Rather than add a new ability that felt like a clone of another class’s ability, we decided to buff an existing talent that was no longer cutting it. Ardent Defender has two important changes. The first is that the damage can no longer “skip over” the 35% health level – it will always be reduced. Secondly, it has a new effect that if a blow would kill you, it instead sets you to 30% health. This portion of the ability cannot occur more than once every 2 minutes. Think of it as a Last Stand that you don’t have to push.
A second change to Protection is we want to make sure Blessing of Sanctuary is always the tanking blessing of choice. A likely change here is to have it boost stamina as well.
We also recognize that block does not provide the mitigation it once did. While we have long-term plans to change the way block works entirely, in the short term we are doubling the effect of bonus block value on items (so jewelry, but not shields).
We like that Holy paladins have a niche as single-target healers. The problem is we think this niche is a little too narrow at the moment. Furthermore, paladins don’t have a wide arsenal of healing spells so it’s important that all of them are being used.
First, we are changing Flash of Light so that it places a heal-over-time effect on any target with Sacred Shield on them (the effect will be similar to Sheathe of Light). This should make Flash see a little more use.
Second, and more importantly, we are changing the way Beacon of Light works. Currently, it does not count over-healing on the target. We are changing that. In other words, if you place Holy Light on a rogue who is already at full health, it will still have the full effect on a tank with Beacon of Light on them. This is a huge buff, particularly when you consider the Holy Light glyph which allows for a small amount of “splash” healing. This effect isn’t common when you use Holy Light on a tank because the tank is often standing alone. But if you heal the melee, you are likely to get a lot more total healing from this effect (while still healing the tank through Beacon of Light). We are also going to try to allow a target to have more than one beacon (i.e. from different paladins) on them.
Many players may surmise that this change would make paladins far and away the best healers in the game. This is partially because paladin mana regeneration is so potent. That isn’t an issue when the paladin can generally only heal the tank. With the Beacon of Light change, the paladin can provide a lot more raid or party healing. To adjust for this, we are going to reduce the amount of mana returned by Illumination. If you use Holy Light too recklessly (such as on targets who don’t require that much healing) you do risk burning out of mana too quickly. Of course, they will still have Divine Plea and other mana regeneration mechanics.
As a footnote, we are also likely to slightly adjust Replenishment and buff the amount of MP5 on gear.
These changes should lead to healing as Holy being more dynamic – you are going to be targeting a lot more group members than just the tank, while still providing massive healing on the tank. However, you won’t be able to just constantly spam your biggest heals, at least not on the more challenging encounters. There is an opportunity here for skilled players to really do some outstanding healing as paladins, but it’s going to take a little more effort. This is something a lot of players have been asking for so we hope that it delivers without completely changing what some paladins enjoy about their healing style.
Depending on who you ask, Retribution paladins are either perceived as being in need of improvements to make them stronger or are in need of changes to make them less powerful. We are really happy with the overall changes to the Seal and Judgement system from Lich King. However, Ret still has some problems. There aren’t enough buttons to push and they are all limited by cooldowns, allowing Ret paladins to have a lot of up-front burst without requiring a lot of skill or timing to actually hit those buttons (now after the opening moves of a fight, we think things get a lot more interesting because now the paladin’s defenses, healing and dispelling can come into play). We have other problems to fix as well. Exorcism currently can’t be used on players, which we think is a weak design. We have also become less enamored with the drawback to Seal of Blood / Seal of the Martyr causing damage to the paladin.
Here are the design changes we hope will fix all of these problems:
First, Exorcism has a cast time of 1.5 seconds but can be used on players again. This will let paladins use it in PvP, but not while moving towards a target.
Second, we are changing The Art of War to make not only Flash of Light instant, but also Exorcism. Choose healing or damage. Paladins will have to watch for this proc and use Exorcism when it happens. The spell itself is still ranged, but the proc will only occur when the paladin is already in melee.
Third, we are lowering the cooldown and damage of Crusader Strike to four seconds from six seconds. This accomplishes a few things. It lowers burst, it gives the paladins more buttons to push since they aren’t always waiting on cooldowns, it requires a little more skill since the player will have to choose between Crusader Strike and other attacks more often (such as the new Exorcism procs), and it gives Retribution a chance to get more damage out of their Seals (providing a sustained DPS boost for PvE).
Fourth, we are removing Seal of Blood and Seal of the Martyr. The damage recoil increasingly felt like a liability in PvE, and wasn’t serving to offset the massive burst damage capable in PvP. We are buffing Seal of Vengeance / Corruption and redesigning Seal of Command with the expectation that these are now the seals of choice for PvP and PvE. Righteousness can remain a tanking seal.
Finally, we are replacing the current effect of Vindication with an attack power debuff that works like Demoralizing Shout. In PvP, Ret paladins can still debuff melee targets, while in PvE they can provide another necessary debuff in the case that the tank is not a warrior or druid. In addition, the talent may be more attractive to Protection paladins.
These changes do not close the door on adding additional attacks, PvP utility or even the oft-requested Crusader Strike debuff. If the changes outlined above finally accomplish the goal of balancing Retribution in PvE and PvP, then we can start exploring those other design issues.
Again, these are our current plans and they may change based on testing and feedback. The changes to all three trees are things we are working on right now. Some of them might not work out quite the way we intended and will have to undergo iteration before finally showing up in 3.2. Even once the patch goes live, we are still likely to have to tweak numbers. This is simply a preview of what may yet come and we hope that it will be viewed as such.
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