30 November, 2005

Finally, what we've been waiting for.

Wow, finally some info that I've been longing to hear: the developer's reasoning behind the changes. This is desperately needed to calm the community down. Caydiem:
Thank you for your constructive feedback, Coagine. It's appreciated. You should see a few tweaks soon, and I'll communicate your and others' feedback to the developers this week. I hope to come back with, at the least, the reasoning as to why these changes have been implemented so you can better comprehend the direction they're taking.
More threads:
It's her decision to talk to us.
The WoW Paladin isn't the Warcraft 3 Paladin.
Paladin humor!

29 November, 2005

Obligatory link

More Caydiem!

Post #1 where she says among other:
The developers were less forthcoming regarding the changes coming for Paladins than they have for other classes. This caused any preview talk to be delayed, and also delayed the web team in creating the preview talent calculator.
The question is... Why is that?
Also, I believe, though I'm not positive, that the Web Team has a slightly more updated version than the one currently on the Test Realm.

Here's post #2 explaining her position as well. Among the things she says is:
...No, the changes are not final. Yes, you might be able to get some things modified. No, you shouldn't expect another overhaul from the changes on the Test Realm right now. That's the simple reality of the situation...

They're alive... Alive!

Caydiem gives tips on how to give input.

In other words, post constructively on the PTR forum (link on the right).

27 November, 2005

Judgement's new stats

I've noticed a lot of people come here through Google searching for the new Judgment-armor stats. WoWGuru has an excellent picture of all the changes here. Lawbringer's there somewhere as well, too lazy to dig it up though: just look at Judgement and cut some stats off :)

They also have a picture of the new Ahn'qiraj set, which looks totally awesome.

26 November, 2005

This just in: Critisism can lead to improvements!

Thundgot says that constructive criticism of the new talents can lead to improvements! Read his words here. (a few days old though, nevertheless interesting)

So keep it coming with your constructive criticism. Who knows? Maybe they'll change things your way.

25 November, 2005

Kalgan speaks!

As alerted through this thread:
The old proc rate was 5 per minute, the new rate should be 7 per minute. Some tests seem to validate this, others here do not.

We'll do some more testing to make sure that this is working correctly.

We don't intend to decrease the dps of SoC, we're trying to make SoC less of a gamble. In addition, the judgement damage is significanly higher and more controllable than it used to be (and still crits off of melee crit, not spell crit). The judgement change is intended to be a straight "buff" to JoC, and thus a buff to the SoC paladin's overall dps. We understand that judging more frequently implies a higher degree of mana usage to gain the additional dps from SoC/JoC, but this is something we'll continue to evaluate while 1.9 is in testing to see whether the costs are appropriate.

SoC vs SoC 2

Unstableone made new tests to determine and compare the proc rates of SoC 1.8 and SoC 1.9. His results? A increased proc rate of .7 PPM.


Arathar's spotted a problem. Check the pic out. Funny, just like the new kodo bug Vaelin mentioned, if you put four points in to improved SoR you can get a kodo (!).

New calculators

Inul's calculators were brougth down due to the monthly bandwidth on them being used up. Here's new mirrors.

SoC vs SoC

Unstableone's shot me an email about his work regarding collecting data and and comparing 1.8 SoC with 1.9 SoC.
(His entire email intact, links slightly altered for convenience):
I see many paladins complaining with words about how seal of command got nerfed. I decided to prove with numbers, and hoping my test gets slightly more recognition to the community so this can be changed, before paladins quit. I consider this my “baseline” of one vs. the other, and hoping some of my info makes a news site for others to see and decide for themselves based on REAL playing, what needs to be done. Yes with the new stuff it’s possible to stack judgements similar to a combo effect a rogue has and get some dps (assuming they aren’t dodged/missed/immune), but pallys aren’t rogues. The holy/ret build is basically ruined because of the skill tree “tweaks.”

My 2nd post on the forums is below. Though there are a lot of other issues at hand, this is the main one for many.

Links to images for the tests:
10 minute, 99 swing test

45 minute, 500 swing test

1 hour, 640ish swing test, continued from the 500swing test played for 15 more mins

Conditions for the test. Full retribution pally, blessing of kings, unstoppable force, around 4k hp and mana. Lightforge shoulders/chest/legs/belt/wrists with 2 of the pvp set (boot/gloves) and a crappy imperial plate helm. I have exactly the same talent tree/gear with 1.8 and 1.9. The game does not give you a free respec, or force points out of your current tree, regardless of the new pre-reqs. If I were to respec, I would lose the skill tree equality. All tests were done in western plague lands, around the same area, mainly in the fields around the 4 towers, as I made my best attempt to kill the 56-58 elite guy in the tower for each test the same number of times for each test. Also made the best attempt to kill the same number of mobs, in the same time, in the same way. IMO based on the swings I got per hour, I achieved what I was after, which was a direct comparison of only 1.8 vs. 1.9 seal of command.
The results are interesting but also puzzling, quoting one of the people responding to Unstableone's thread who nails it with "...It's the one step forwards/two steps back. Why increase the proc rate by an entire 4% while dropping the damage 25%?"

Nightly thoughts

Now, when looking at it, the tree that needs the most love definitely is the bottom-end of the Retribution tree: It's the worst tree now. It feels really lackluster at the bottom.

Blessing of Kings is a damn awesome blessing. The main problem with it is that it can't be anything other than a 31st talent in a talent tree but the Retribution tree truly deserves something better than BoK.

The rest is pretty good when thinking about it though.

24 November, 2005

The importance of feedback

Euro CM's seem to be active contrary to their American counterparts (where are they? Edit: I'm stupid; it's Thanksgiving in the US!):
Thundergot has thrown up a feedback thread for Paladin changes in 1.9.

Most excellent, about time in my opinion.

What the developers really need to do is to actually motivate the changes for us. I know, it might sound odd -- but they should really consider doing this since the general Paladin community hasn't embraced this as well as the Hunter and Druid players have.

Talent trees not finalized?

People who've said that "these trees aren't finalized" have been pretty much dismissed since everybody can clearly see that the talent trees *are* in the game.

However, there's another perspective on it: the Under Development page has been updated with the latest info, such as a link to the 1.9 patch notes. So in other words, if the trees were finalized they'd been up on the page by now. Quote:
Once finalized, we'll be sure to preview them through our Talent Calculator.
(emphasis mine) Finalized is the key word there. Hats off to Boaraxe for catching it.

Analysis of Uther's Hammer

Edit: Should've been more clear: these quotes are from Uther's Hammer (a mirror), a post Fangtooth made after a lot of Paladin feedback. This was many, many months ago.

Fangtooth posted the following on 5/24/2005 3:59:14 PM PDT:

Many of you are concerned with the Seal of Command – specifically, that the higher ranks of this skill are not worth the mana to cast. The devs will be looking into this and will see about making the higher ranks more worth while.
Seal of Justice is another big topic. There is a big misconception with the way stuns work now. All stuns are affected by the same diminishing return scale, so Fist of Justice, Seal of Justice, etc will all be affected. Over all, the whole Seal system will be looked into in the future, and changes will be made as they are needed.
Seal of Justice fixed, as well it's coercion with Hammer of Justice. The Seal and Judgement was changed to make it more worthwhile, yes.
Talent Trees

As with all classes, the talent trees for Paladins will be under investigation. The developers would like to make the talent trees more diverse. Please be aware that these talent changes will not come for a few content patches. We hope to improvement the existing Seals and Judgment system so you will have more control over your damage, and the fights will be more interactive.
Did the talent trees become more diverse? At first sight: not really. There weren't any radical changes. At second sight: Still quite subjective. Third sight: Hopefully we'll start to see our new powers.

Did we get more control over the damage? I guess so.
Class Role

Paladins are good at many things, including healing, keeping others free of debuffs, and staying alive. Because of this, they are not set into one role. The improvements to the talent trees, mentioned above, should help define the Paladins role in groups. The developers liked the idea of being able to make Paladin’s into a healer with the Holy Tree, a fighter with the Retribution tree, or a tank with the Protection tree. We will be able to give you more details about the upcoming changes when the talent tree improvements begin.
(Emphasis mine)
I'd have to say that tanking got improved, but really, when it comes to healing and damage... well, it got less/marginally improved. Holy seems the way to go now if you want to do damage, which doesn't make any sense. Dang it! Why couldn't Blessing of Kings have been replaced with a spell that directly increases damage? It'd set the Retribution tree in stone as the damage dealing tree.
Ranged Slot

Since Paladins have no ranged attacks, besides speccing down the Holy Tree to get Holy Shock, you wonder why there is a ranged slot on your paper doll. We do hope to fill all the empty slots on each character in the future. The developers have many ideas on how to fill this slot – we will provide you with more information as it becomes available.

Most players stick to Devotion Aura in groups, or switch to Retribution Aura if another Paladin already has Devotion Aura up. There are a few instances when a more specific aura is required, but over all it is either Devotion or Retribution. The developers are aware of this, and they will be looking into ways to make all auras more competitive and viable.
Next to zero changes: Retribution Aura got improved with 5 more damage points for less talent points and with no need to invest in Seal of Command. Concentration got it's talent moved to Protection and 3-talent 15% chance to resist silence/stun/kick effects. In my opinion one of the most disappointing ones, I had hoped for more aura interactivity.

Many of you feel that the majority of your skills are geared towards PvE combat; this is true for all classes. The developers recognize this, and will be looking at ways to make Paladins more effective in PvP.
I guess we got buffed and improved. Haven't PVP:ed that much yet though (using trackpad!). Judgement of Justice now makes the target immune to fear -- what the heck...?
Buff Duration

Currently the duration of Seals are set to 5 minutes. Many feel that this is too quick of a time, as seals must be re-applied often in dungeons or on raids. However, if these buffs last longer, we would have to increase the Mana cost of them. With that being the case, buffs have to be balanced so that they are useful, but they will not drain your Mana supply every time you get brought back to life or someone in your party needs to be re-buffed. This is especially important in the Battlegrounds where dying is immanent and you need to balance your mana between buffing and healing.
Heh, that battlegrounds argument fell short pretty quick. I always dismissed that as a pretty poor excuse for having short blessings. Great to see that they realized that there was a way to fix this. I'd love to grab this quote up whenever there's talk for greater blessings.
Blessing of Freedom

Blessing of Freedom is not working correctly, and will be fixed in an upcoming patch. Currently, you either take full affect or no affect at all. When this is changed, you will no longer get the movement impairing effects, but you will take full damage from the spell. This is for both player and monsters spells and abilities . However, the Dazed effects players receive from monsters when trying to run away will not be prevented by this Blessing. The Dazed effects you get while running through monsters was put in purposely to prevent players from bypassing massive amounts of content by running through zones without any repercussions.
BoF got BuFfed; 1 more sec on it's talent increase, and the talent is easier to max, easier to get and much more worth investing in now overall.
The following are not bugs:

Blessing of Might does not affect ranged attack power. This is correct. The tool tip is planned to be reworded.
Retribution Aura does not get the bonus damage from +holy effects or any auras. Retribution Aura does not receive bonuses from +spell damage items just like Thorns and the Imp’s fire Shield don’t. This is the way all damage shields work.
Resistance auras do not stack with other resistance effects. This is correct. These auras are designed to be able to work by themselves instead of relying on other spells effect’s to stack with them.
The stun affects of different spells are affected by diminishing return. This is correct; all stun affects are part of the same diminishing return rule on each character.
Blessing of Might hasn't had its tooltip reworded (...and this was written seven months ago. Laughing out loud.)
The stun effects affected by diminishing returns were changed.

Funny thing...

...is that when I read people's comments and stuff regarding the upgrade, they're overly negative. But when I get on to the test server and play I can't help feel like this sure has made the class more fun to play.

Fun facts:

- One-handed Specialization is now up to 10%.

- Repentance counts as if the target is stunned, so Seal of Command gives it's extra damage on stunned target bonus as well!

- Seal of Justice's stuns are not subject of diminishing returns!

- Improved Retribution Aura gives you 30 damage. That's 5 damage per talent point, not sure if it's worth it or not. The damage doesn't increase with Judgement of the Crusader though.

Lunch update

Where are the CM's? Only sign I've seen of them is this.

Isn't it odd that the talent calculator still isn't up? I find it kind of sad that it had to be up to us, the players, to actually figure out and tinker up a talent calculator (a bunch of mirrors are available). This isn't how it's supposed to be done at all!

I've been fooling around with the calculators as well, and, well, while it takes a couple of times before you get the hang of it -- I can notice the increased synergy and "fun builds" you can make. While I can't come up with really cool builds like the crit-based speed-healer Druid I made a couple of weeks ago, it's still possible to come up with some fun variations. I guess it'll take some time until we really start to see the new possible builds.

It also seems to me that it is arguably agreed upon now that the new "cookie cutter" build is 31 Holy (Sanctity Aura, Holy Shock) and at least 11 in Retribution (for SoC).

23 November, 2005

General community feeling

Wow. Seems to me like the vast opinion is that these changes simply are bad. They're not as cool or good as the Druids or Hunters, and not as impressive as the developers thought.

I wonder what repercussions this outcry might have. The community managers have been notoriously absent today.

I knew it would come to this

I'm... In total shock. This is incredible.

You won't believe this.

I just specced for TOTAL dps. I went full "retnoob" all the way down to Blessing of Kings (though I use BoM). Got Spiritual Focus, Divine Strength as well as Guardian's Favor.

All these cries about how this and that wasn't good enough... well, is false.

I'm not disappointed anymore, I'm absolutely delighted.

See Vengance? It was changed to go activated every time you deal a critical strike with a weapon, swing or ability. In other words, when Seal of Command procs, Vengeance kicks in.

Edit: nope. I was wrong. Sorry. it's just regular crits.

My DPS is 140 with Vengeance on, and that's excluding the SoCom procs and excluding improved JutC on the target.

The extra damage you get from the JoCom when the target is stunned is an excellent way to finish off someone.

Wow. You guys got what you wanted: Controllable and higher DPS!

Edit 2: I totally overreacted, I spoke well too soon. The DPS increase is there, but, well; a holy specced Paladin does just as much damage. So in other words I'm disappointed.

Quote of the day, 11/23/05

Loregrim, a Paladin in my guild said during a debate on the new talent trees:
Notice [that] we're arguing whether it's a small buff or a nerf when we're supposed to go like "WOAH DAMN SWEET" like Druids were
I have to say though that, for (on the surface) being not as sweeping of a change as many of us thought it would be -- that this took an entire year for this to arrive is just, well, disappointing. When the Hunter changes came out, it was "omg you guys deserved this. you got totally buffed". When it was Druids turn it was "omg you guys totally deserved this. you guys got totally fixed". For us... very mixed reactions, and that's very disappointing at itself.

Remember that this is simply my initial impression, but I'm an optimist and welcome for whatever might come out of this. Hopefully we'll get to see that these changes are improvements when we can all use them in practice.

Talents now released

Okay, so the only way to discover the talents was to level up a Paladin to 10 and hand-write them in to a post. Thankfully, this has already been done.

I met up with a player called Sdvgfs, who first began to ask me what the cost of my Judgement-spell was at level 10. Having collected data before that, he calculated that the cost of the improved Judgement is 130 mana at level 60. In other words, a reduction of 33 mana (the cost is based on a flat percentage of the base mana).

We had a further discussion and came to the conclusion that the current version of Judgement of the Crusader is bugged: the timer does not reset when the target is striked, in other words it only lasts for ten seconds. This is most likely a bug since it renders it pretty useless (hey, it's called the test server for a reason!).

My opinion on the talents? Interesting, but I've yet to actually try them. Here are some highlights that I find very interesting:

- Blessing of Kings is still the last talent for Retribution, same thing with Repentance and Holy Shock for their respective trees.
A bit interesting, though not that much to complain about.

- Divine Intellect (Increases your Intellect by 2% (2/4/6/8/10) and Divine Strength.
Friggin awesome tier 1 talents. Easy to stack with Blessing of Kings!

- Healing Light
Increases healing done with Holy Light and Flash of Light (Flash of Light was untouched in this patch btw).

- Holy Shock
Still 30 second cast time, though now doubles as an instant healing spell.

- Tier 1 in Protection wasn't touched
Weird cause it wasn't definitely the best. Improved Devotion Aura is as useless as ever.

- Blessing of Sanctuary gives back Holy Damage when blocking.

- Improved Blessing of Freedom and Blessing of Protection have been slammed in to one.
Heck, it even got a buff since you get one extra second of BoF now for just two points.

- Anticipation moved to Protection!
Weird move since Reckoning and Redoubt relies on being critted.

- Improved Hammer of Justice
omg woot! Can reduce cooldown with 15 sec! Think of the PVP set bonus: 25 sec! oMG!!1

- Improved Judgement
Interesting talent! Can decrease cooldown of it from 10 seconds to 8 seconds.

- Vindication (3/3) Gives the Paladin's damaging melee attacks a chance to reduce the target's Strength and Agility by 5% for 10 seconds (up to 15% probably)
Very cool! Incentive for staying in melee range!

- Pursuit of Justice (2/2) Increases movement and mounted movement by 4% (up to 8%). This does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.
Haha, omg... So cool!

- Eye for an Eye (2/2) All spell criticals against you cause 15% of the damage taken to the caster as well. The damage caused bye Eye for an Eye will not exceed 50% of the Paladin's total health.
Friggin awesome!

- Consecration is unchanged
Wow. Not expected.

That's my first look. I can't wait for transfers to begin so I can start to try out the changes and see what they go for.

PTR Online!

Test server's up now. I had to log out, but one Paladin was at level 7: expect to see details on our talents very, very soon.

No server transfers yet, but available at 11 AM PST.

PTR Downloaders are "up"

Not up quite yet on their website, but here they are for download:



Patch notes are up

We still don't know how the talents look like, but the regular changes have been "released" now. These are absolutely true, according to Caydiem.

I have to say; they're not as mind-sweepingly changing as I had built up in my mind.

Even more updates!

Remember the list of blessings who were going to be given a 15-minute version? Eyonix says:
Update: Blessing of Light will now have a fifteen minute raid buff version available.
So there goes the speculations based on that guy who said Blessing of Light would be removed in to the trash... there's a reason I don't post rumors!

22 November, 2005

Raid blessings will require regeants

Excellent, Mastgrr said sarcastically while tapping his fingers on the crumb-ridden coffee table. We've been told by Eyonix that our raid blessings desire a toot money spending. He then proceeded to cry over lost inventory space while reciting the following:
You will be able to use the fifteen minute raid blessings outside of a raid, Trevion. However, due to the mana cost and vendor-bought reagent used with each cast, it's not as mana efficient or cost effective to do so. As a Priest, I use my Prayer of Fortitude 2 in five and ten man groups all the time. I expend more mana and eat up a candle or two, but it's my preference.

You will soon have a similar option.
The embarrassing moment ended when he stood up to thank Nonnobis.

Edit: More info available, thanks anonymous!
Okay, I've gathered the specific details of the reagents used to cast the Paladin Raid Blessings and I hope the information places your minds (and typing fingers) at ease. The 'Symbol of Kings' sell for 2 silver each and stack in groups of 100. We feel this is reasonably inexpensive, and shouldn't be too much of an inventory burden.
Sounds very reasonable!

Alright, so today wasn't the day

Okay, so today wasn't the day we got 1.9 on the PTR. As alerted by an anonymous poster, Taxxi found that the korean website now has a PTR link on their main page. We're not far off!

I've noticed -- the GM's must've gotten the patch notes because they're giving a bunch of information now: Mages get improved conjure. Eyonix also gives the new upgraded bonuses for the tier 1 and 2 sets. Here's the Judgement and Lawbringer bonuses:

5 Piece: The blessings bonus has been replaced with +1% melee and spell critical hit chance.


5 Piece: The reduction in mana cost of seals has been replaced with +damage to spells and healing.
General thoughts:

#1 With these bonus changes, will it also bring stat changes? Hopefully it will be str and agi to finally make these two non-Healadin.

Edit: Oops, I forgot to include the quote at the bottom, which says:
In addition, many of the pieces from the Tier 2 Armor sets have received updated statistics. The armor sets with the most extensive changes include the Netherwind, Nemesis, and Judgement sets. Other sets received fewer revisions, or none at all.
So, yes: new statistics!

#2 The developers are now not worried about giving us gear with +spell crit anymore, as demonstrated with one of the rewards for our latest class quest. This has been the reason why Eye of the Beast is locked out for us. This might be an interesting clue at what will happen to our class in 1.9.

#3 The changes to the bonuses of our sets are there for a reason: Lawbringer bonus is changed due to the 15 minute raid version of our blessings. But get the reduction cost of Seals have been removed off of Judgement... Why? Might it be because Seals have been replaced with Strikes? Who knows? Interesting clue nevertheless.

Tis de sweet

Can you feel it?

Mr. Anonymous mentioned in the post below as well as Taxxi on the official Paladin forum: the for the public test server forum has been wiped. This is done before the release of the upcoming test patch. Add the fact that the test servers are now offline!

woot omg woot

21 November, 2005

Is this the week we've been waiting for all year?

This is the week!

I've got a lucky feeling we'll get to see some cool stuff that will water our mouths. Froth even?

18 November, 2005

Paladin Judgement-armor

Taxxi found it!

The Korean World of Warcraft community website has pics of the updated Tier 2 sets...

A direct link: Here it is!

Edit: Wooaah! Looks like something happened and the pics are down. Anyways, here's the one I saved on my HD.

Edit 2: Up on the american website now. Read!

Any bets?

With more and more info revealed, anyone think they're going to update Divine Intervention with this spell?
Resurrect the target player with 20% health and mana. Can be used while dead.
And add the long-awaited Seal of Vigor?
Grants the Paladin a 50% movement speed bonus for 6 sec seconds. If the seal is not judged before the seal expires, the Paladin is afflicted by Exhaustion (-50% movement speed) for 6 seconds.
I think there's a reason why we never got Vigor in the first place: It was most likely really buggy. It's a Seal that's totally unlike other seals we have since we wouldn't Judge a target to use it's Judgement-effect. That could've caused a lot of problems. Then if we wanted to, we could just activate Righteousness or any other Seal after five seconds to have it replace Vigor on the "Seal" slot, Judgement problem solved -- no need to waste that 11% base mana and fifteen second timer to not get the debuff-effect. Then lastly, they probably had problems with that if we had Divine Shield on and/or activated it during the effect of Exhaustion, the debuff would be removed.

According to the numbers on Thottbot, Vigor has string 24224 whereas Hammer of Wrath has string 24239 suggesting that they were being worked on at the same time. Interesting stuff...

What's kind of interesting though about Vigor is that if they've really buffed Judgement and lowered it's cooldown, we could be running at 50% movement speed forever? Hehe... Not gonna happen!

17 November, 2005



It's just a wee peek, but nevertheless quite interesting.Lord Vir was damn alert noticing this (click the link and scroll to the bottom to see the quoted supposed leaked notes in question); in this following list of blessings that will be getting a 15 minute raid version -- what blessing is missing?
Blessing of Sanctuary
Blessing of Kings
Blessing of Might
Blessing of Wisdom
Blessing of Salvation
If you guessed Blessing of Light you're correct! Seems like he was on to something! (Interesting that Salvation and Kings still exist. Salvation looks like it hasn't been removed or turned in to a short-blessing in the style of Freedom or Protection, while Kings is absolutely too powerful to not be a 31st talent). The guy ends with:
He said they are shooting for paladin talent previews the week of thanksgiving, and test servers up the week after, hope to have the patch live before christmas.
And Eyonix ends with:
Please note that these are only a few of the changes slated for the next patch, and more will be announced shortly - including the talent calculator preview which will debut the three improved talent trees.
In other words, guards yourselves guys... We're going to party!

Here's the entire quoted post by Eyonix:
While we're not ready to reveal the improvements being made to the upcoming Paladin's talents just yet, I wanted to give each of you a sneak preview of some of things you can expect from the next patch in addition to the talent revamp. The minor details are as follow:

- The range on 'Judgment' will be increased. In addition, both the cooldown and mana cost will be lowered.
- Both Exorcism and Holy Wrath will be usable on Demon targets in addition to Undead targets.
- The mana cost will be reduced for both the summoned Warhorse and Charger.
- The missile speed of the flying hammer for the spell 'Hammer of Wrath' will be increased.

We're also adding raid versions for five of the Paladin's blessings. These new raid version blessings will last for fifteen minutes, and allow the Paladin the means to buff every player of a given class in the raid by selecting only one. These blessings will be available at your class trainer and the only prerequisite is the final rank (talent point where applicable) of the Blessing.

- Blessing of Sanctuary
- Blessing of Kings
- Blessing of Might
- Blessing of Wisdom
- Blessing of Salvation

We're also adding a new spell 'Righteous Fury' to replace the Seal and Judgment of Fury. This spell, first available at level 16 is a self buff which will last for 30 minutes and substantially increases the threat generated by all Paladin Holy attacks, in turn allowing the player to focus on Seals which provide greater DPS as this buff works in conjunction with all other buff effects.

Please note that these are only a few of the changes slated for the next patch, and more will be announced shortly - including the talent calculator preview which will debut the three improved talent trees.

16 November, 2005

1.9 on PTR

Sweet! Lord Vir pointed this thread out at the post below by Tigole:
...Ahn'Qiraj is nearing completion. Our internal testers have been raiding the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj (20 person zone) nightly. We're putting the final touches on the last bosses in the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj (40 person zone). We're really excited for you guys to experience this content. I think we'll have some truly memorable boss encounters here. I promise you -- the final boss of the Temple is unlike anything you've ever seen in an MMO before >=]

Also, the questing for Ahn'Qiraj is complete. There are awesome, hardcore quests in addition to some really cool 5 person content in Silithus (after the gates are open).

In other news, we're also wrapping up our "revisit" of the Tier 2 armor sets. For some classes, we just tweaked the stats here and there. Other classes will be seeing more of a revamp than a revisit. Also, the armor all has unique art now and looks *very* cool in game.

The next step is for us to put everything on the PTR. We'd really appreciate your input when we put the zones on the PTR. That's our final chance to make tuning tweaks and bug fixes before it's live on all servers. Obviously, we can still make bug fixes and tuning tweaks after the zones are live but we'd like to get everything feeling as fun and polished as possible before patch day.

Hope to see you on the PTR in the upcoming weeks! We'll certainly be there...
And adds later...
We will open the gates to the zones on the PTR. We want testers to have access to the encounters.
Lord Vir speculates:
Sounds like it might open up next week....but we haven't had a talent preview yet. Someone mentioned it was the same way with warlocks. They had no preview until the patch was up on test.
I think that's a correct analysis. Seems to me that they're going to hold on with the Paladin talent preview (and an overall preview) until the very end.

No ETA on Paladin talent preview

This sucks:
We do not have an ETA, or we would have announced it already. The developers are working on that and everything else going into the patch. We are releasing some fun stuff in the next patch, so any previews or updates will be rare until we get closer to completion.
Hopefully within two weeks or so, right?

The Judgement armor

Ijin found a cool post by Caydiem, who explains the following about the upgraded Judgement armor:
The Judgement concept is meant to be an Inquisitor-like outfit. The Silver Hand is an overall noble establishment, to be sure -- but there is a time when pleasantries must end and justice must be done. It is called the Judgement armor for a reason -- it is the Paladin's embodiment of delivering their sentence upon the enemy. This is not the defender aspect of the Paladin you're seeing; it is the commanding, faceless aspect of justice, of judgement.

There is more to a Paladin than shining armor.
Ijin ends with "Without a doubt the best description of a Paladin I've seen on these boards. Good to hear someone gets it". I agree. Friggin' sweet!

View Caydiem's post here.

15 November, 2005

"5 hours deep, can ya handle that?"

Let it bump!

Nice discussion, keeping it bumped :)

It's Worgen...

...why wouldn't it be?

A fellow guild member pointed this thread out who make some valid points:
Think about starting zones. Its not going to come out of nowhere. They are not changing (drastically) the topogrophy of the continents. Where is there a large chunk of land that has been walled off?
This hint is more direct, and less of a "figure-it-out" kind of deal: Since the Horde recieved what would seem to be a more 'Alliance-style' race it would logically proceed that the Alliacne recieve a 'Horde-style' race. I promise that this holds true. Narrow your list from number 1.
According to this post that's been spreading around for the last couple of weeks, Gilneas!
    Unable to conceal their horrid existence from the world any longer, a new sun rises over Gilneas. The Alliance has opened its gates to the refugees and an effort is now underway to restore humanity to the Nightcry Worgen. As one of their number, you must prove yourself a capable ally to the Alliance's cause and master the powers granted to you against your will in order to free your land...no matter how much blood you must shed.
Last but not least: What faction of the alliance have we heard nothing from in WoW so far? What faction has all but dissapeared?
Gilneas, Gilneas and Gilneas...
What other humanoid race is there with sufficient propensity for equipment is there (obviously, things like Troggs and Satry are out since they don't use anything) ?
This is really the only argument that's quite weak. I've never seen Worgen use tools.

Worgen would be equally cool to Alliance as Blood Elves is for Horde.

14 November, 2005

Housing Control

I don't post rumors, but there was this post at wowguru.com which is poking at the idea that Diablo 3 will center much around guilds vs guilds... It made me think about player housing in World of Warcraft. Discussion on it's been quite absent for quite some while. Those who peek inside the datafiles of WoW know that there are datafiles regarding housing there.

I think one of the last signs of player housing is from this Blizzard fan site chat, dating July 26 2004:
[GilS.PR] What are the plans for Housing in the World of Warcraft?

[Katricia] Player housing will not be available until after World of Warcraft has been released. Our plan is to add player housing in a future live update or expansion. Our current idea (which could change) is to extend the cities to have player housing neighborhoods. For example, in the canal area of Stormwind players can see a blue instance portal behind a large portcullis; this is the entrance to the player housing neighborhood in Stormwind.
There was *no* stuff regarding player housing during the announcement of the Burning Crusade at BlizzCon. Either they're saving it for later announcements of the expansion content, ditched the idea completely or they're simply holding it off -- keeping it at low key for some reason.

Interesting nevertheless of what that guy said regarding Diablo 3. Technically he's quite correct; Diablo 3 will most likely be about Heaven and Hell clashing it against each other since Tyrael smashed the Worldstone, melding Heaven and Hell together on to the real world.

Funny, if that former Blizzard-employee is telling the truth, he's a goner for sure. Don't Blizzard make their employees sign NDA's?

Quote of the day, 11/14/05

McHammar's latest writings:
...Paladins are a very difficult class to balance...take a look at our abilities.

Hammer of Justice - The longest stun in the game, at range...
Divine Shield - Full invincibility
Blessing of Protection - Invincibility to 3/8 classes that you fight
Reckoning - Potential damage over 2000, without crits...

Consider for a moment, that if you gave ANY OTHER CLASS ANY ONE (1) of these abilities, that class would be instantly overpowered. Instantly. There's no question. Such abilities are the BANE of anyone trying to balance the class; one could argue that as long as these abilities exist, there is really no fixing it.

...My point is, that at the moment, Paladins are balanced. Anything more would overpower us. What the class truely needs is simply a lesser dependance on cooldown abilities.

New week, new info

I was close! Thanks to Turim for noticing about this: Under Development page updated! Check it out:
- Ahn'Qiraj
- Linked Auction Houses, unified LFG and Trade channels in all major cities.
- Multiple Battlegrounds Queues
- New Armor Models for Tier 2 sets
- Paladin Talent Update:
All three Paladin talent trees are receiving a complete review, and many great new changes are in the works. Once finalized, we'll be sure to preview them through our Talent Calculator!

New week, new hope

Might this the week we've been waiting for?

12 November, 2005

Mind Control

10 November, 2005

Gratulations to Azeran

Wow, didn't notice this until today... But the same guy who made "Fangtooth's" funny video was one of the five winners of the BlizzCon movie contest! Watch it here. Downloading it now -- long queue time!

Finally some news!

Paladin news has been conspicuously absent these days, but today we finally got something. Fangtooth *still* says that the developers have nothing to release about the class just yet. Read about it here.

08 November, 2005

Rich guy promise to give $4000 to a Druid 40-man MC

Rub your eyes. Apparently a guy (who claims that $4000 isn't that much, so he must be rich of some sort) is now willing to give that to the first team who manages to beat entire Molten Core with 40 druids. He has some pretty strict rules laid out as well.


06 November, 2005

Blood Elf dance revealed

I'm not sure everyone's seen this, but here's their dance. Guess where that dance comes from? Watch it here.

You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?

05 November, 2005

Not Paladins, but Druids

I have a level 60 Druid, which's specced Feral right now. The reason for this is cause I originally wanted to play Feral when I created the char, and I tried out a Moonkin build on the test server but didn't enjoy it that much (one of my guild members joke about it, calling it the Oomkin).

The new talent trees the druids've got are amazing! You can make builds that you just couldn't think about before. I've been toying lately with a really fun speed-healing build, which you can view here. It's built upon the principle of getting as fast heals as possible, with combination of getting spell critts:

• Healing Touch is reduced to 2.5 from 3 second casting time.
• Nature's Swiftness grants you an instant heal every three minutes.
• Improved Regrowth grants you a 50% chance to crit.
• Nature's Grace decreases the casting time of the next spell by .5 seconds.
• Improved Moonfire so you can get a spell crit to activate Nature's Grace without having to heal.

In other words; 2 second Healing Touches or 1.5 second Regrowths. Fun!

I really, really hope fun builds like these become possible with our upcoming changes.

04 November, 2005

1.9 info next week?

I have a gut feeling that we'll start to see new information on what's in 1.9 next week, hopefully this include information about Paladins.

1.8 came out 10/11, soon a month ago. Reports from BlizzCon say that the schedule for 1.9 is mid-november.

03 November, 2005

Why buy the expansion?

Burning Crusade FAQ::
There will be many aspects of the expansion that are available to all players. However, in order to experience certain content, such as the Outlands, or be able to play as one of the new races, players will have to purchase the expansion.
Fangtooth says:
I believe the level cap being raised will apply to all players, not just those who have purchased and installed the expansion.
With an increased level cap comes the new skills and abilities as well, add to this that weather effects will be in a live patch, hero classes will be in a live patch, enchanting oils to sell enchantments on the auction house will be in a live patch, housing looks like it will be in a live patch, cross-server battlegrounds might be in a live patch... the list goes on.

How big is the Outlands, really? That will determine a lot.

I know Blizzard hasn't revealed that much yet, I know. And I know I'm being shortsighted, but this is just a thought.

Sony DRM helps cheat in WoW

Sony's new anti-piracy CD's make it possible for you to play with hacks in WoW undetected.


You heard it right. It's 100% true. If you didn't know, the buzz about the Warden got so big that BBC wrote about it.

Slashdot has the story. Here are some interesting quotes from the thread:
This is newsworthy because someone can legitimately use the Sony CD and have the rootkit installed, and then play WoW. So blizzard can't just look for signs of the rootkit and ban that account - people will be pissed for a non-legit ban. At the same time, people can do the same thing AND initiate a cheat on WoW and claim to be pissed for the same "non-legit" ban.
Sad to say that this is a reality. Hacks suck. They destroy the game. They destroyed Diablo and Diablo 2.

Here's an ironic (and funny) perspective on it:
Sony owns Everquest. Coincidence, or conspiracy? Hrmm...

Pandarens left out, due to... China?

According to DrunkCajun on the Worldofwar.net board, which according to Scott Jennings blog, quotes Gaming Steve:
So what is the new Alliance race going to be?
Unknown at this time, but don't rule out any race (including the "ugly" Draenei). Well, any race except the Pandaren.

Why not the Pandaren? Why are so many other sites reporting the Pandaren as the new Alliance race?
When the editors of the gaming magazines were brought to Blizzard's offices to view The Burning Crusade for the first time, there were dozens of posters and artwork depicting the Pandaren as the new Alliance race. At the time Blizzard was 80% certain that the Pandaren were going to be the new Alliance race and it was presented as such. However, due to various complex reasons, there is now a zero percent chance of this happening. At best you might be seeing non-killable Pandaren NPCs in the game.

Could this change at all? Could the Alliance get the Pandaren?
Considering the charged political reasons surrounding this issue I do not believe that Blizzard will change their mind on this decision.
This is an interesting scenario on how repercussions of the totalitarian state in China affects us who live in liberal democracies.

Companies who want to reap the lucrative profits have to toe the line. Think of when we come to the point where the economic market of China is so strong that all Hollywood movies, record recordings and game productions intentionally strangle their productions to make them completely void of acts regarding human rights, freedom of speech or the rights to organization. Chinese censorship, globalized.

This is a outline I have never thought about before. I've been previously very pro-trade with the argument that the free market goes hand in hand with democracy -- that eventually they will face the impossible task of trying to balance beating down government and corporate corruption with the right of a free press and so forth.

Blizzard isn't the first company to do something like this, if this truly is the case. Google does this. Microsoft does this.

However this is just a rumor. We'll see how this turns out.

02 November, 2005

Quote of the day, 11/02/05

Lead Producer Shane Dhabiri joking on Blizzard's renowned reputation:
...I think the only thing we've shipped on time is BlizzCon [laughter]
Bit Torrent of the interview with Dhabiri is available here.
More of WorldofWar.net's videos are available here, which is definitely worth a visit.

My personal opinion is that this reputation is just a myth perpetuated over and over again so much it's become common knowledge. Certainly some of their games have been delayed, most recently Starcraft: Ghost (which most likely is involuntarily). World of Warcraft is a mixed bag, while battlegrounds and such weren't in the release -- they planned on having content packs released for the game anyway. Warcraft III, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction all shipped on time. Diablo 2 is fuzzy. Delayed up to a year I think, but it was released in 1999/2000 -- five years ago (pre-dotcom burst), so I don't think that should count.

Starcraft: Ghost itself isn't Blizzard's fault, really. The project travelled between developers until Blizzard finally slammed their fists together and bought the Swingin' Apes.

Edit: For some reason I thought it was Dabri, not Dhabiri. Doh. Fixed.

01 November, 2005

"Intended to be easy to play"

Guys. Just so you know, when Chilton was talking about that the Paladin class designed to be easy, he was pointing it out as reflective mistake. In other words, you have to put what he said in the right context.

Vaneras on the Euro Paladin board explains this in detail:
...Mr. Chilton was talking about the original concept of the class when he said Paladins are meant to be easy to play.

He went on to say it became so easy that it felt too simplistic, and that’s something they are considering addressing in patch 1.9.

It should be made clear that Mr. Chilton’s statement does not mean that the Paladin will not receive updates and improvements in the future.

Linked auction houses might come soon

Linked Auction Houses in 1.9 might come, according to Block:
Yes, this is something that players have asked for and something we've wanted to do for a while. We're doing our best to get linked auction houses in the game as soon as possible. There's still some work to do, but the current target is patch 1.9.
(emphasis mine)

Does this mean cross-server battlegrounds as well? One can always hope!