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10-man Lich King Downs

Three guilds defeated the Lich King on 10-Player mode so far. The fight seems to be a really hard one so this deserves a mention even in normal mode. So congrats to Blood Legion – US-Illidan, Ensidia – EU-Tarren Mill and For the Horde of EU-Nazjatar. One US and Two Euro! Congratz.

25-man Sindragosa Video

Weekly Icecrown Raid Quest
Patch 3.3.2 unlocked the Icecrown part of the 3.3 Weekly Raid Quests, that will reward you with Sack of Frosty Treasures — a sack filled with 5 Emblems of Frost, some gold, and a chance at epic gems or a random BoE-264 epic.

There are 10-player and 25-player modes ofor these quests and both 10 and 25 man quest can be done each week! Get to Icecrown for your new cool loot!

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The full loot tables for the Lich King are up on armory and Wowhead! Invincible’s Reins will be 100% droprate from 25-player heroic. So =)

25 Player Heroic Mode

25-player Heroic
Item Type Slot Role
Havoc’s Call, Blade of Lordaeron Kings Axe One-Hand Phys. DPS
Mithrios, Bronzebeard’s Legacy Mace One-Hand Tank
Royal Scepter of Terenas II Mace Main Hand Spell / Crit / MP5
Oathbinder, Charge of the Ranger-General Polearm Two-Hand Phys. DPS
Bloodsurge, Kel’Thuzad’s Blade of Agony Sword Main Hand Spell / Crit / Haste
Glorenzelg, High-Blade of the Silver Hand Sword Two-Hand Strength DPS
Archus, Greatstaff of Antonidas Staff Two-Hand Spell / Crit / Spirit
Heaven’s Fall, Kryss of a Thousand Lies Dagger One-Hand Phys. DPS
Fal’inrush, Defender of Quel’thalas Crossbow Ranged Phys. DPS
Invincible’s Reins Mount None Riding / Flying Mount

25 Player Normal Mode

25-player Normal
Item Type Slot Role
Havoc’s Call, Blade of Lordaeron Kings Axe One-Hand Phys. DPS
Mithrios, Bronzebeard’s Legacy Mace One-Hand Tank
Royal Scepter of Terenas II Mace Main Hand Spell / Crit / MP5
Oathbinder, Charge of the Ranger-General Polearm Two-Hand Phys. DPS
Bloodsurge, Kel’Thuzad’s Blade of Agony Sword Main Hand Spell / Crit / Haste
Glorenzelg, High-Blade of the Silver Hand Sword Two-Hand Strength DPS
Archus, Greatstaff of Antonidas Staff Two-Hand Spell / Crit / Spirit
Heaven’s Fall, Kryss of a Thousand Lies Dagger One-Hand Phys. DPS
Fal’inrush, Defender of Quel’thalas Crossbow Ranged Phys. DPS

10 Player Heroic Mode

10-player Heroic
Item Type Slot Role
Troggbane, Axe of the Frostborn King Axe One-Hand Tank
Valius, Gavel of the Lightbringer Mace One-Hand Spell / Crit / MP5
Warmace of Menethil Mace Two-Hand Strength DPS
Halion, Staff of Forgotten Love Staff Two-Hand Spell / Crit / Haste
Tainted Twig of Nordrassil Staff Two-Hand Phys. DPS
Pugius, Fist of Defiance Fist Weapon Main Hand Phys. DPS
Stormfury, Black Blade of the Betrayer Dagger One-Hand Phys. DPS
Tel’thas, Dagger of the Blood King Dagger Main Hand Spell / Crit / Haste
Windrunner’s Heartseeker Crossbow Ranged Phys. DPS

10 Player Normal Mode

10-player Normal
Item Type Slot Role
Troggbane, Axe of the Frostborn King Axe One-Hand Tank
Valius, Gavel of the Lightbringer Mace One-Hand Spell / Crit / MP5
Warmace of Menethil Mace Two-Hand Strength DPS
Halion, Staff of Forgotten Love Staff Two-Hand Spell / Crit / Haste
Tainted Twig of Nordrassil Staff Two-Hand Phys. DPS
Pugius, Fist of Defiance Fist Weapon Main Hand Phys. DPS
Stormfury, Black Blade of the Betrayer Dagger One-Hand Phys. DPS
Tel’thas, Dagger of the Blood King Dagger Main Hand Spell / Crit / Haste
Windrunner’s Heartseeker Crossbow Ranged Phys. DPS
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World Of Warcraft is bringing Auction House to Armory!
So it was announced yesterday that Blizzard is going to have the auction house as their next step for upgrading WoW Armory! It’s something many players have wanted for a while, imagine to be able to access armory via your phone! This will be possible with the Armory App on Iphones! Also next thing I want to add is that blizzard might actually have a premium section for people. We don’t know exactly what for, but we speculate its to create auctions from outside the actual game!

Quote from: Bornakk (Source)

Since the launch of the World of Warcraft Armory, we’ve been regularly releasing updates and new features designed to help players stay connected to the game even when they’re not logged in. Today, we wanted to give you a heads-up about a new service now in development that will let players access the Auction House directly through the Armory website or Armory App for iPhone or iPod touch.

While there are still plenty of details to be worked out, we’re designing the service to offer auction functionality similar to what’s available in-game. Players have been requesting — and we’ve been hoping to implement — a feature like this for a long time, and we’re excited that the Armory and the game have evolved to a point that makes it possible.

This is a fairly complex service to develop, due in large part to its unprecedented integration with the game, so we don’t have an exact release date yet. It’s important to note here that certain elements of the service will be premium-based, which we’ll go into more detail on once the service functionality is finalized. As with all of the services we offer, we plan to integrate the Auction House and Armory in a way that won’t disrupt the gameplay experience, and we won’t release it until it meets the quality standards that we’ve set for our other features and services. You may be seeing bits and pieces of the Auction House service pop up in the test builds we use for the public test realms as we go through the process of internal testing. We’ll have more info to share with you here and at http://www.WorldofWarcraft.com as we get closer to release.

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So here it is people, patch 3.3.2 is live, this means that Shadowmourne quest is now also doable! But here is a ton of information to help you in your endeavors!

PvP Healing Change

Quote from: Zarhym (Source)

Patch 3.3.2 is bringing about a change to the way healing functions in Arenas, Battlegrounds, and Wintergrasp. We have applied a debuff to all players in these zones which will decrease the effectiveness of all forms of healing by 10%. This includes heals from items such as Healthstones and potions, however, it will not affect defensive shields or auras. This change is being made to balance the effectiveness of healing against the recent buff we made to the damage reduction component provided by resilience. Rest assured that we will be closely monitoring the effects both the healing and resilience changes have on Battleground, Wintergrasp, and Arena PvP game play to ensure that fights last a reasonable amount of time without overtly skewing the effectiveness of any class, role, or team combination.

The official patch 3.3.2 notes can be found here: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=22748761862&sid=1

The Lich King
This section will be updated as more information comes along about the actual fight. We don’t want to provide you with the wrong information at this point. What IS known though is that in the 25 player mode Lich King drops the Invincible Mount

Sindragosa


Highlights

This encounter has three phases; she begins on the ground but will take off into the air from time to time to drop a Frost Bomb similar to Sapphiron.  She will also cast Ice Tomb on four random targets in 25-player; hide behind them to block line of sight on the Frost Bomb.

At 30% she no longer takes off into the air, but she will begin using a few new skills and will target random players with Ice Tomb every so often.  Consider 30% the soft enrage.  Be sure to damage the Ice Tombs while she’s in the air, but don’t kill them too early or you’ll be hit by the bomb.

Video By Vodka PTR

Valithria Dreamwalker


Highlights

Valithria starts at 50% health and the objective is for players to heal her to full.  This is accomplished through player heal spells.  While you do this adds spawn and rush you to try and stop you from healing her and to deal damage to her.  The adds spawn progressively faster as the fight goes on, so it’s important to have a good mix of DPS to keep the adds down, as well as healers to heal Valithria.

Video By Cuties Only

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Quote from: Zarhym (Source)

World of Warcraft Client Patch 3.3.2

The latest test realm patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/test-realm-patchnotes.html

The latest patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/

Dungeons and Raids

  • Icecrown Citadel
    • Frostwing Halls, the final stronghold of the Scourge and their Lich King, has been added.
  • Halls of Stone
    • Brann Bronzebeard has been getting into shape and now feels comfortable walking faster when escorted.
  • The Forge of Souls
    • The Devourer of Souls will now cast Mirrored Souls less often.
    • The Spell Reflect ability has been altered on several creatures. It now has a cast time, only has 2 charges, and has a 75% chance of reflecting spells.
  • The Nexus
    • Anomalus will now use the Create Rift ability only once, down from 3 times.
  • The Old Kingdom
    • Elder Nadox now only gets one Ahn’Kahar Guardian during the encounter.
    • Jadoga Shadowseeker now only ascends once during the encounter.
    • Several enemies between the Befouled Terrace and The Desecrated Altar have been removed or had their pathing altered.
  • Pit of Saron
    • Players can now zone back into the instance if they are dead while encounters with Krick and Ick or Forgemaster Garfrost are in progress.
  • Utgarde Pinnacle
    • Skadi the Ruthless can now be removed from his drake with 3 harpoon strikes, down from 5.
    • Svala Sorrowgrave now casts Ritual of the Sword 1 time during the encounter, down from 3.
  • Vault of Archavon
    • Toravon, the latest boss to join the Vault’s giants and masters of the elements, is now accepting challengers in 10- and 25-player formats.
  • The Violet Hold
    • The time between a boss being defeated and a new portal opening has been decreased.

PvP

  • All healing abilities (including items such as potions) will be decreased in effectiveness by 10% when in Battlegrounds, Arenas, or Wintergrasp.
  • Arenas
    • Season 8 has officially begun featuring all-new rewards!

Druids

  • Talents
    • Balance
      • Earth and Moon: This talent now increases the druid’s spell damage by 2/4/6%, up from 1/2/3%.

Shamans

  • Talents
    • Elemental Combat
      • Shamanism: This talent now provides 4/8/12/16/20% extra spell damage to Lightning Bolt/Chain Lightning, up from 3/6/9/12/15%, and 5/10/15/20/25% to Lava Burst, up from 4/8/12/16/20%.

Warlocks

  • Talents
    • Affliction
      • Shadow Embrace: This effect can now stack up to 3 times, up from 2. However, the periodic healing reduction effect has been reduced from 3/6/9/12/15% to 2/4/6/8/10% per application.
    • Demonology
      • Demonic Pact: The damage bonus granted the warlock by this talent has been increased from 1/2/3/4/5% to 2/4/6/8/10%. The buff granted to a raid or party by this talent remains unchanged.
    • Destruction
      • Conflagrate: The damage-over-time effect of Conflagrate has been increased to 40% of the spell’s total damage, up from 20%.
      • Empowered Imp: The pet bonus damage provided by this talent has been increased to 10/20/30%, up from 5/10/15%.
      • Improved Shadow Bolt: Damage done by Shadow Bolt increased by 2/4/6/8/10%, up from 1/2/3/4/5%.

Warriors

  • Talents
    • Protection
      • Concussion Blow: The damage done by this ability has been reduced by 50%, but its threat generation will remain approximately the same.
      • Devastate: This ability now deals 120% of weapon damage, up from 100% of weapon damage.
      • Shield Slam: The damage scaling from block value for this ability now diminishes faster and diminishes starting at a lower block value. The difference should be negligible for players in high-end tanking armor. In addition, the threat caused by Shield Slam has been increased by 30%.
      • Warbringer: This talent no longer allows Charge and Intercept to break roots or snares. Intervene remains unaffected.

User Interface

  • The party leader is now referred to as Guide in chat when a group is formed via the Dungeon Finder.
  • Fixed a bug where players with Raid Assist capabilities were unable to perform a Ready Check.
  • Fixed a bug where the first couple of tutorials were not displaying upon logging into the game.

Items

  • New strength-based melee DPS rings are now available from representatives of the Ashen Verdict.
  • Tier-9 Sets: The Aspirant vendors at the Argent Tournament grounds have worked out a deal with merchants in Dalaran so that all item level 232 set pieces will now be available on armor vendors in the city. Set pieces which require trophies will still be available for purchase only from vendors at the Argent Tournament grounds.
  • Tier-10 Balance Druid 4-Piece Bonus: Fixed a bug to allow for this bonus to properly trigger.
  • Tier-10 Elemental Shaman 4-Piece Set Bonus: Redesigned. Successful Lava Burst casts now increase the duration of Flame Shock on the target by 6 seconds.
  • Tier-10 Tank Sets: The gloves and chest pieces for warrior, death knight, and paladin tanks have had their stats adjusted slightly to provide additional armor value.
  • Tier-10 Warlock 4-Piece Bonus: This bonus should now correctly be applied to the warlock’s pet.

Technical Support

  • The cvar ‘processAffinityMask’ controls which CPU cores are available for the World of Warcraft client to use. Previously the game client was limited to 2 cores as a default which players could override in the configuration file. In the past this provided a performance boost on some CPUs and operating systems. We have identified several systems that are experiencing severe performance issues with this restriction and have removed it. Players who would like to restore the old behavior can do so by updating the Config.WTF file by adding: SET processAffinityMask “3″.
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3.3.2 Patch

Quote from: Enthati (Source)

We will be performing scheduled maintenance on Tuesday, February 2nd. Maintenance will begin at 3:00 AM PST and conclude at approximately 11:00 AM PST. During this time, all realms and many web services will be unavailable.

Thank you for your patience.

Trinket and Itemization Ideas

Quote from: Bornakk (Source)

Our raid item philosophy has evolved a lot since vanilla. The tier sets were once considered a badge of honor. Someone stalking around (or mailbox afking) with their full set bonus might as well have been sporting a legendary item. These days, we virtually guarantee that any player with an interest in raiding is going to be able to complete at least the lowest level version of their set with just a minimal level of persistence. This ultimately serves as a powerful reward mechanism and is in line with our philosophy of letting more players actually see the content.

This design though also has its risks. One of the big ones is that item progression becomes very predictable and deterministic. Imagine (just as an example) a model where all bosses drop emblems and every item you want is for sale. That may sound cool for a few weeks, until you hit the point that without any kind of random element to progression that you can calculate to the day/week at which you will finish gearing up your character. The excitement of what the boss drops would be gone and we feel this would end up making the purpose of clearing new content very underwhelming.

Trinkets are really the one item (weapons are to a lesser extent) that we use to try and capture that old slot machine feel from the classic Molten Core days. Yes, completely random loot with huge loot tables can be frustrating but we are pretty far from being completely random these days. Trinkets however are still somewhat random, they can be hard to acquire, and there is often a lot of competition for them.

Trinkets are also tricky to design because we don’t want them to be just a pile of stats like other items. We generally want them to be unique by having a random proc or an on-use ability or something similar. These types of things are always trickier to balance, but this is also what makes them interesting. We also don’t necessarily want every trinket to be a guaranteed upgrade just because the item level is higher. Knowing what works or doesn’t work for your particular character and play style is one of the ways players have to demonstrate their mastery of the game.

There are some aspects of trinkets for which we think we can do better. For example, it’s annoying when a superior item is on a lower tier of content to where you feel like you have to argue with your guild to go back and farm easy bosses or run a 10 player version when everyone else wants to do 25. Many of the trinkets probably represent too big a dps (or equivalent) jump given how difficult it can be to acquire them. It’s also easy for us to fall into a rut of offering basically the same one every time (often because we know players like it) rather than experimenting with different things. We like to try new things to keep gear interesting for players as we know some have been evaluating trinkets for over five years now.

We also probably just need to drop more of them. That doesn’t mean they should be trivial to acquire, but when say a caster only has 2 good options in Ulduar and 1 requires a hard mode, then there is going to be ton of competition when they do drop. We know it’s rough when the trinket you have been wanting finally drops and you have to roll against 10 other people for it. Having more trinkets would mean more variety, which means players may want different ones and ultimately will be a little more different from their friends/guildmates.

Account Security Awareness Page

Quote from: Nethaera (Source)

Protecting the citizens of Azeroth is extremely important to us. Our new Battle.net Account Security Awareness page ( http://us.battle.net/security/ ) provides helpful advice on what you can do to safeguard your computer, how to spot scams, info on the adverse effects of buying gold, ( http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=20565929403&sid=1 ) and tried-and-true methods to help prevent account compromises.

Printwarcraft.com Poster Contest

Quote from: Nethaera (Source)

Create a great-looking custom print and you could win a gift code to use on Printwarcraft.com! Show us your creativity by visiting the Printwarcraft.com site, creating your own unique poster of your character, and submitting it. One winner will be chosen each week during the month of February to win a $10 gift code. After the fourth week, we’ll be choosing one entry each as our grand prize, second place, and third place winners for even more prizes. Find out more on our contest page. http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/contests/10-01-printwar/index.html

Blue Posts

Patchwerk style fights (Source)

Outside of this being a troll post, I just want to say that fights like Patchwerk have their place but in the grand scheme of things can get really boring really fast. Once it becomes easy to defeat the encounter is more like a mini-boss that just had a lot of health. There are some nice dps-races in Icecrown Citadel like Deathbringer Saurfang (for melee at least) and Festergut but these still require some raid awareness depending on what is going on which is more challenging and more fun in the end.

Death Knight

Balancing DK ranged skills (Source)

It really just comes down to our not wanting death knights to be a ranged class. It is a melee class. Now they have some great ranged tools and some ranged spells, not unlike say an Enhancement shaman who throws out the occasional Lightning Bolt. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s only when the DK strategy shifts to favoring ranged attacks too much that we make adjustments. The DK that runs around and does nothing but Icy Touch or Howling Blast or Death Coil feels like a rogue who forgoes combo points and openers and everything just to spam Fan of Knives and nothing else. It would probably even be okay if Death Coil was the largest component of damage, so long as you had to use your melee attacks to set that up first.

Warlock

4-piece Tier-10 (Source)

There is a bug where the pet is not always receiving the damage bonus from the 4PT10 warlock set. We are going to fix it.

The issue of having to recast Corruption in order to benefit from the proc is a much harder problem to solve. We might be able to do something, but we can’t promise a good solution there. It is just the nature of the way rolling dots work. You gain the benefit of whatever crit you on when you cast the spell, but aren’t going to gain the benefit from procs that occur later on.

Soul Shards in Cataclysm (Source)

Ideally we design it so that you don’t need a way to get them back in combat. We think that makes the shards feel more like cooldowns than something you do every time they are on cooldown. (Example: you generally save Heroism / Bloodlust for the best time to use it, not the first available time to use it.) It is definitely possible though that a lock could feel janked if they used their last shard just as a bunch of adds joined the fight or whatever. In that case we might have to add some kind of Evocation-like ability to get the shards back in emergencies.

In a very pure, possibly unrealistic sense, though we’d love to see 3 shards per fight with some kind of cooldown in between the use of each. I mean non-trivial fights here. Maybe you use 1 shard on raid trash and no shards while killing a mob for a quest while leveling.

Where is your WoW Character going to be buried?!
Interesting post came across in the forums, pretty much where would you want to retire your character in the world of warcraft? If it ever ended lol. Leave your comments!

Quote from: Liessa (Source)

Which zone would they choose ?

Junatami – Resto/Boomkin Druid – Nagrand, no doubts about it.

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Plate DPS using Leather or mail

Quote from: Bornakk (Source)

I wanted to address some of the points that have been brought up in this thread so far.

The original post was directed at the plate wearers because a mail-based class who is wearing leather going into Cataclysm won’t be at the same disadvantage as a plate-based class who is wearing leather or mail will be.

For an enhancement shaman or hunter, the mail will lose its Intellect, but the physical dps mail and leather will both have Agility that enhancement shaman and hunters want. However, we are also going to offer a small additional incentive for characters to wear “their” armor so it will encourage shaman and hunters to wear mail over leather, balance druids to want leather over cloth, holy paladins to prefer plate, etc.

We realize everyone will have lots of questions about what will happen to their gear, and we will eventually share all of that with you. We just wanted to post this reminder for plate wearers who are currently after leather and/or mail items to let them they will really not want it when we convert to the next expansion.

Part of the Cataclysm re-itemization will be to change all of the old (pre-Wrath of the Lich King) items, which will include doing things like actually having low level balance druid leather or holy paladin plate.

Ghostcrawler joins in (Source)

If you are focused on Icecrown progression right now, as you probably should be, then pick whatever gear makes the most sense for your character. All we wanted to point out is that once we get closer to Cataclysm, all of your gear is going to change. In most cases, a good piece will still be good for you. In the dps warrior, paladin and DK case, the now +Agility leather and mail you might be wearing will be bad for you. If you plan to keep raiding after the conversion, that might be a problem. If you planned to use your Icecrown gear to help you level in Cataclysm, that might be a problem. It’s just a public service announcement for players who might not be familiar with the Catalcysm stats plan.

If you are gearing up for Cataclysm though, I would not suggest plate wearers investing in leather and mail. If getting leather and mail help you beat the bad man with the big sword, then go for it. I posted this mostly in response to tin-foil-hat-wearers above who speculated we were trying to nerf warrior dps or change social norms or whatever by suggesting they stop rolling on leather.

This all may seem perfectly obvious to you, but I promise you we will still see plenty of “you pulled the rug out from under me” posts, which is why we are starting early with the information campaign. :)

Performance Issues on Thrall’s Realm

Quote from: Bornakk (Source)

We appreciate players’ patience while we worked to resolve stability issues that have affected the Thrall realm. We recently implemented some hardware changes intended to restore the realm to its expected level of performance and have been monitoring the realm closely since then. We’ve been pleased to see major stability improvements over the last week, and we will continue to monitor the realm to ensure players are having a good play experience. We understand the frustration players have expressed following these issues, and if we have any additional updates for the Thrall community, we will add them to this thread.

Blue Posts

Why is Invincible only available to 25-player raids? (Source)

Blizzard loves 10-person content guilds just as much as we love 25-person content guilds. The reason for having this mount in the 25-person Lich King encounter has to do with maintaining the proper distribution of such awesomeness. If it were available in the 10-person encounter as well, it may be come too prolific and lose some of its initial unique qualities.

Talent changes in Cataclysm (Source)

I was going to bump this to the General forum, but I think the talent tree comment is worth addressing in the role forums, since it applies to class design.

1) We are changing talent trees, in some cases substantially. The major focus is pruning out boring but valuable talents that passively increase say damage or healing.

2) A secondary focus is to fix the clunky areas (e.g. warlocks having two conflicting range increasing talents). We’re not going to remove old favorites or radically change the focus of the trees. You will definitely have to rethink your builds however.

3) Because you earn passive bonuses just for spending points in the tree, those fun, niche or utility talents won’t seem as expensive as they do today. We want to create a lot more choices where you are choosing utility vs. utility. We want to see far more “cookie cutter” build guides that say “Spend the last 5-10 points where you want.”

4) In some cases, trees will flat out get new abilities. These are in addition to the new level 81+ abilities.

5) You will get 5 additional talent points for the new levels.

6) We are not deepening the trees. This actually unlocks some interesting opportunities. For the first time, you can reach a 51 point talent and a 21 point talent in another tree.

I’ll also add that for Lich King we just brought Naxxramas back and adjusted the bosses for 10 and 25 raid sizes. The Cataclysm raids are new content with new maps and new bosses. We’re just trying to hit the nostalgia button with mentioning old foes like Ragnaros. Ragnaros may be back, but he’s not in Molten Core.

Purified Lunar Dust (Source)

It is about 22 spell power under budget, and will be fixed.

Top DPS specs on Professor Putricide (Source)

I think one of the most interesting aspects is to look at those classes where one spec is generally perceived to be “the best.”

For rogues, locks and hunters there are some players who choose the “second” spec even at a presumed dps loss. For mages, nearly all go Arcane even though Fire’s damage really isn’t that bad. (What I mean is that I don’t think you can argue Combat, Survival and Destruction all trump Fire to explain why there are more of those specs on this fight). In all four cases, the third spec is pretty dead. (We’ll assume the Demo locks are mostly there for DP, which as I’ve said before is not ideal).

Keep the encounter in mind, too. Putricide is a fight where standing still is heavily penalized, yet healing is also not as much of a bottleneck as is damage. We see a lot of groups have a healer go dps for example, which might boost e.g. the Elemental and Shadow numbers just for this fight.

Death Knight

Death Knight tank representation (Source)

There are still plenty of DK tanks in Icecrown.

The death knight was a new class with a lot of cool abilities, lore and a great starting experience. It doesn’t surprise me at all that a lot of players flocked to them. When it turned out they were overpowered in dps, PvP and tanking early on in Lich King, that probably encouraged more players to pick them up or stick with them. So it’s natural that the numbers have evened out a bit more, but there are still plenty of DKs and they seem to be doing just fine tanking Icecrown. We’ll see if things look different when the hard modes unlock and if DKs (of appropriate gear and skill) struggle on those fights, we’ll buff them.

We don’t balance around representation. We do take notice when populations suddenly shift, but that hasn’t happened in this case.

Mage

Best talent spec for raids (Source)

Some of you Fire mages are having too much fun ranting in this thread instead of focusing on what I was actually saying. :)

Is Arcane generally above Fire? Yes. The difference may only be 10% though, and Fire is still above many damage specs. Is Arcane so much higher than Fire than Marks is to Survival? Not really. Yet we see more Survival hunters (in this particular data set on one boss) than we do Fire mages. Clearly more is going on that players just gravitating towards whichever spec does the most damage. (The key word is “just.” Players definitely like specs that deliver the most damage, but that does not appear to be the sole governing concern in this case.)

There are a lot of things contributing to Arcane beating other mages. Incanter’s Absorption is probably way too good in conjunction with kind Disc priests. Arcane benefits a lot on movement fights like PP. Arcane benefits a lot from using those Innervates that the Fire mage can’t really use and the healers (for the moment at least) don’t really need. As Lhivera points out, Frost can do decent (not stellar) given the chance, but fights like Marrowgar really exploit (in a bad way) Frost’s relative lack of pushback resistance.

We’d like to get the mages closer together, and that’s something we’re still going to work on. (“Wait until Cataclysm” is something snarky players like to say more than we do.) What we don’t want to do is suddenly catapult Frost up ahead of Arcane such that every mage feels like they have to change… again. Close, without going over, is kind of the mantra at this stage. :)

Reminder: Battlecry Mosaic
Keep up the Battlecry Mosaic

Details on the Battlecry Mosaic (Source)

The World of Warcraft Battlecry Mosaic has reached its half-way point, with 10,000 photos of gamers from all over the world. Be sure to check out the latest additions as well as a piece of epic in-game music that is part of the encounter with Arthas in Icecrown Citadel: ‘Invincible’. It’s not over yet, though. We still need more of your entries showing off your Horde or Alliance pride. Every 1,000 photos you send us will reveal another part of the mosaic and additional Warcraft artwork. When the full mosaic is revealed, your combined efforts will unlock an epic, exclusive piece of World of Warcraft art as a final reward.

Head over to the Battlecry photo mosaic page ( http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/wowanniversary/battlecry/ )to view the mosaic in progress, and keep those photos coming! ( http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/community/contests/form/battlecrymosaic.html )

Check out our updated special Battlecry Gallery. ( http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/misc/battlecry-gallery.html#18 )

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Invincible Rising: New mount drop

The mare Brightmane gave birth to Invincible as a young Prince Arthas watched with rapt attention.
In the years following Invincible’s birth, the horse and Arthas formed a bond that carried them across the warring nations of Azeroth, through the icy grip of death, and into the throes of battle.

The stallion’s coiled muscles were made for speed, and Arthas often felt that his mount flew rather than galloped across the countryside. With the slightest touch of his heel, Arthas was able to convey his directions, and Invincible obeyed without question or hesitation.

It was Invincible’s unfaltering faith in his master that inevitably led to the stallion’s death and unholy rebirth. On a cold winter afternoon as snow was blanketing the ground, Arthas was desperate to get away from the city even if it meant riding through harsh and unforgiving weather. Once outside, Arthas guided Invincible over a familiar jump, but the stallion slipped on slick ice, and the fall shattered his forelegs. With no way to save his companion, Arthas was forced to give Invincible a merciful death, and the prince carried that guilt with him for a very long time.

Years later, after the Lich King granted Arthas necromantic powers, Arthas returned to the grave where he had buried Invincible and raised his loyal servant into undeath. It was in this dark act that Arthas felt a sense of purpose. He believed that Invincible’s death was not an accident; rather, it was essential to Arthas’s destiny.

Invincible was not bred to be a warhorse, but after he was brought back from the dead and made immune to hunger, pain, and exhaustion, he became the perfect steed for Arthas. Now the skeletal charger stalks Icecrown Citadel, ever at the ready to serve his beloved master.

Arthas and Invincible were as one until parted by the stallion’s untimely death. Now, they are rejoined in death through the power of the Lich King and pose a fearsome sight for all who gaze upon them. Only the power of the heroes of Azeroth can part them once more.

In order to attain such a steed, one must conquer Icecrown Citadel and face the Lich King on Heroic difficulty. Perhaps you will be the lucky individual to obtain the most coveted of mounts — the Invincible Charger. This reward awaits those who are brave enough to tempt fate and face the full wrath of the Lich King!

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Shaman                                                    Warrior

Warlock                                                     Rogue

Priest                                                          Paladin

Mage                                                              Hunter

Druid                                                          Death Knight

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Gunship Battle!
Fun read, enjoy! =)

Quote from: Zarhym (Source)

As the confrontation with the Lich King draws nearer, fire erupts in the skies above Icecrown Citadel. Skybreaker and Orgrim’s Hammer, the flag-flying gunships of the Alliance and Horde, clash near Deathbringer’s Rise — but it wasn’t too long ago that they were just ideas on paper. Read on to find out how our development team built this airborne assault: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/underdev/gunship-battle.xml

Deadly Fireworks: Building Icecrown Citadel’s Gunship Battle

The frozen earth of Icecrown roils with throngs of the undead Scourge, reanimated bodies so numerous that there are few physical locations where the Horde and the Alliance can build their camps and strongholds. Instead, the defenders of Azeroth take to the sky.

Two gunships, the Skybreaker of the Alliance and Orgrim’s Hammer, named for the former Warchief of the Horde, patrol the skies of Icecrown. Early in the campaign against the Lich King, these grand vessels were used to scout overland terrain, where they frequently came into open conflict with each other, brightening the skies with their cannon fire.

Now, in the wake of the Argent Tournament, the enemies of the Scourge have finally gathered to lay siege to Icecrown Citadel. With the fortress nearly impenetrable on land and the spires of the citadel touching the sky at their peaks, it’s become clear to the leaders of both the Horde and the Alliance that an aerial assault, spearheaded by these two gunships, is the only way to infiltrate Arthas’s stronghold.

Two prominent warriors have stepped forward to lead the attack: Muradin Bronzebeard of the Alliance and High Overlord Saurfang of the Horde. Both seek to defeat the Lich King and spare the living from another plague — but there are other, more personal stakes for these heroes. Saurfang seeks to uncover the fate of his son, whose body was lost at the battle of the Wrath Gate, while Muradin, bearing the weight of Arthas’s atrocities, seeks justice, closure, and possibly even redemption for his former student.

And yet, even with their noble goals, there will be no shared glory for the Alliance and the Horde in this attack. The dock atop Icecrown Citadel is only big enough for one ship. Halfway up the spires, the Skybreaker and Orgrim’s Hammer are fated to clash again in a storm of gunfire, swinging blades, and bellowing warriors. Foremost in this mayhem are the combat crews, veteran heroes who’ve already begun the assault on Icecrown and who will fight to the last for a chance at Arthas — heroes like you.

In this article, the World of Warcraft development team discusses the inception and construction of one of Icecrown Citadel’s most frantic and epic raid encounters. Take your eyes off the sky — just for a moment — and read on.

Bringing the Fight to Life

Creating the gunship battle in Icecrown Citadel was a unique and exciting challenge for the World of Warcraft team. For quite some time, we’ve heard requests from players who wished to see ship-to-ship combat realized in the game. Since Icecrown Glacier doesn’t have much in the way of flowing water, we opted to use the gunships, which were already a major fixture of the Icecrown zone, to bring that idea to life. In the battle, players take on the role of the combat crew for their faction’s ship: either the Skybreaker on the Alliance side, helmed by Muradin Bronzebeard, or Orgrim’s Hammer on the Horde side, helmed by High Overlord Saurfang. With their own weapons, the ships’ guns, and a strong, coordinated plan of attack, raiders struggle to knock the enemy faction’s gunship out of the sky and ascend to the peak of Icecrown Citadel.

When we began work on the gunship battle, we knew that we wanted the idea of “controlled chaos” to be central to every second of the fight between the Skybreaker and Orgrim’s Hammer. Rather than making the encounter a traditional single-target “wear down” or “tank ‘n’ spank” battle, we took steps to make sure that the heroes who serve as their ship’s combat crew would be constantly engaged — moving, fighting, and dealing with a high volume of visual and spatial inputs.

Our design discussion started with a talk about victory conditions. We planned a straightforward main objective: to win the fight, the enemy gunship must be defeated before it takes down the players’ gunship. Beyond this straightforward objective, we made it a point to include ongoing mini-objectives in order to keep the pace of the fight continually frantic.

“Defeating” a gunship with spells and swords alone wasn’t something we felt would be appropriate for a high-flying, bombastic encounter like this one, so we decided that damage to both gunships would come from an ongoing exchange of cannon fire, and players would man the deck-mounted cannons of their gunship to try and take down the enemy. We supplemented the ship-to-ship exchange by including enemy artillery to blast back at the players — riflemen or axe throwers would attempt to take down the players with their ranged weapons, while heavier artillery would launch rockets and mortars at the gunship.

Though we wanted the battle to look and feel furious, there was a danger that our continued artillery barrage would cause the screen to become cluttered with arcing shells. To combat this, we made our cannon shells, rockets, and mortars telegraph where they were likely to land with an “impact icon.” This would encourage dodging and allow detonations to be deliberately avoided, adding another layer of frenzied movement to the encounter…and that’s even before the cannons get shut down.

Rather than force some players to only manage their cannons throughout the entire battle, we opted to keep players moving by temporarily deactivating the cannons’ ability to deal damage to the enemy ship. After the hull of the enemy ship takes severe damage, an enemy mage encases players’ cannons in a block of ice. In order to defrost their cannons and stay in the fight, players must defeat the mage…who stands protected dozens of feet away on the deck of the enemy gunship. This interruption in players’ damage provided us with one of our most exciting opportunities to keep building “controlled chaos” into the fight.

From our earliest discussions, we wanted to make sure that a way of boarding enemy ships, a classic element of ship-to-ship combat in pirate and fantasy fiction, made its way into the final gunship encounter. Swinging across ropes or using a grappling hook on an airship as it spiraled upwards through the sky seemed likely to send every member of the combat crew falling to their doom — but we needed a means for players to move between the ships in order to let them pursue the enemy mage and make the fight feel cinematic.

To emphasize the danger and chaos of the encounter, we ultimately decided that participants in the battle would use goblin rocket packs to travel back and forth between the gunships. Goblin craftsmanship is notorious for being unreliable, and sending first-time rocketeers careening between ships with thousands of feet of open sky beneath them was our way of ratcheting up the tension and keeping the battlefield constantly shifting. The packs can also be used for offensive positioning. When a member of the crew lands from a rocket jump, the rocket pack deals damage and provides a slowing debuff to nearby enemies.

We knew that players would use their rocket packs to reach the enemy mage on the deck of the opposing gunship, but we wanted to put a few additional obstacles in their path. First is the enemy leader — Muradin or Saurfang — a dangerous melee powerhouse. Each leader defends the deck of his ship when players rocket over and must be held at bay while the players simultaneously face off against the enemy mage and combat crew.

The enemy crew themselves provide the second major obstacle: they continue to assault the players’ gunship while their own is boarded. Their ongoing attacks provide them with combat experience, which increases their strength and the damage they do to the players’ gunship the longer they are ignored. If the players’ deck is left insufficiently defended in the assault, enemy forces will hurl burning pitch that does significant damage to the hull and can even set the deck ablaze. Lastly, the enemy’s forces are replenished from below deck, resulting in a continuous surge of foes that must be held off even as the players race to unfreeze their cannons and continue their offensive.

The battle rages on until one ship sinks below the horizon.

We’re excited we were able to bring the gunship battle to life in patch 3.3, and we hope players enjoy it. It continues Wrath of the Lich King’s tradition of epic dungeon brawls while providing a new, different, and exciting challenge on the path to Arthas. Grit your teeth, keep your footing, and watch the air catch fire. We’ll see you in the skies over Icecrown.

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Hey, I've created this fansite for all World of Warcraft players to come conversate and read up on interesting information. I will post humerous pictures, polls, and topics for people to view as well as comment. I do play World Of Warcraft and I play for the Horde faction! So all you alliance players, watch your backs! FOR THE HORDE!