WoW PTR 3.1.3 Patch Notes Preview

Blizzard has revealed some of the changes pending on the upcoming PTR 3.1.3—a patch preceding the content patch 3.2.  In this new minor patch, we can see a lot of class changes either buffing or nerfing certain spells and abilities.  Another nerf on the Mimiron encounter will probably be welcomed by some casual guilds, or irritate the hardcore guilds. To each their own poison. A few items will get their stats tweaked some. You can read the patch notes after the break.

Death Knights

  • Frost Presence: Armor bonus is now 60% down from 80%.

Druids

  • Improved Barkskin: This talent now also grants 80/160% additional armor while in Travel Form or not shapeshifted.
  • Improved Tree of Life: The armor bonus to Tree of Life Form from this talent has been reduced to 67/133/200% bonus armor.

Hunters

  • Hunter’s Mark: The ranged attack power bonus from this ability has been increased from 300 to 500.
  • Master Marksman: This talent now also decreases the cost of Aimed Shot and Chimera Shot by 5/10/15/20/25%.

Paladins

  • Eye For An Eye: This talent now deals 5/10% of the critical strike damage taken by the paladin back at the attacker.
  • Hand of Freedom: The base duration of this buff has been reduced from 10 seconds to 6 seconds.

Rogues

  • Overkill: Talent redesigned. Now increases energy regeneration by 30% while stealthed, and for 20 seconds after breaking stealth.

Warlocks

  • Chaos Bolt: This spell no longer ignores damage reduction effects of the target.

Warriors

  • Blood Frenzy: This talent now provides 5/10% haste instead of 3/6%.
  • Bloodthirst: Cooldown reduced from 5 seconds to 4 seconds, and rage cost reduced from 30 rage to 20 rage.
  • Juggernaut: This talent now also increases the cooldown on Charge by 510 seconds.

Items

  • Death Knight PvP Gauntlets: The chance to refresh a Frost Rune when casting Chains of Ice has been removed. When equipped, these gloves now generate

    5 additional runic power whenever Chains of Ice is used.

Dungeons

  • Ulduar

    • Mimiron

      • The flight time of Rocket Strikes has been increased, and Rocket Strikes will try to prefer players at range.
      • The Leviathan Mk II component of the V-07-TR-0N will become stunned during Phase 4 when the VX-001 component begins to cast the P3Wx2 Laser Barrage

        ability.

      • Proximity mines now deal less damage and have a lower duration. A small arming time has also been added so proximity mines will not immediately

        detonate on creation.

Bug Fixes

  • Druid Tier 8 Balance Set: The 4-piece bonus no longer has its effect consumed by Starfire casts in progress when it triggers. The chance for the

    effect to be triggered has been reduced down to 8%, as it was originally inflated to compensate.

  • Ice Layered Barrier: Upgraded to item level 232. In addition, the stats in the tooltip have been correctly adjusted to 78 spell power, 48 haste rating, 16 mana per 5 seconds, 52 Intellect, and 50 Stamina.
  • Pulsing Spellshield: The stats listed in the tooltip for this item were incorrect and have been adjusted. This item provides 69 spell power, 34 haste rating, 42 critical strike rating, 45 intellect, and 45 stamina.

Echoes of War Standard Edition Re-Release on June 16

The Echoes of War: Music of Blizzard Entertainment was so very welcomed by fans that EMINENCE produced a new round of copies for sale.  Pre-orders are now available with $ 5 discount savings if you do so before June 16th.

I wrote a review of this product a few months ago if you want to check out what this product contains.  We had a giveaway of the Legendary Edition. The publisher EMINENCE will provide us new copies to giveaway to fans. Stay tuned for details on how to participate.

Blizzard Quote:
ECHOES OF WAR: STANDARD EDITION RE-RELEASE

BlizzCon 2009 – Tokyopop Booth Invitation

Tokyopop is coming to BlizzCon and you will have some nice loot to take home.  Warcraft Legends Vol. 5 will be available to you a month earlier at the event.  The artist behind Warcraft Legends Vo. 3 and StarCraft Ghost: Academy—- Fernando Heinz Furukawa will draw sketches on the spot for fans.  A projection preview of pages from StarCraft Ghost: Academy (due January 2010) and a gallery of Tokyopop Warcraft and Starcraft mangas. I will be there taking video and photos.  Stay tuned to our BlizzCon 2009 coverage.

Blizzard Quote:
Blizzards gaming convention Blizzcon always attracts a lot of attention and fan fervor. So it was no surprise when only 28 minutes after the first installment of tickets went on sale over the weekend, they were sold out.

With the new queuing system in place over ten thousand people tried to get tickets for the event before purchasing was concluded at around 10:30 am PST.

For those of you who were unable to buy tickets in that first round and would like to join the festivities at Blizzcon 09. There will be a second set of tickets going on sale this Saturday, May 30th at 10 am PST once again.  Wake up early, make some coffee, and get online to get your hands on this last batch of tickets before the show is totally sold out.

For those of you who do have tickets, your in for a treat. TOKYOPOP is pulling out all the stops.  We will have artist Fernando Heinz Furukawa who has worked on Warcraft: Legends Vol’s 3 “Crusader’s Blood” and 4 “Bloodsail Buccaneer”. He is also the artist for our new trilogy StarCraft: Ghost Academy.

Fernando will be in our booth drawing images for the new upcoming StarCraft: Ghost Academy (coming out January 2010), which we will project for everyone to see. That will be happening 2-3 hours each day.

In addition to those 2-3 hours he will be drawing Blizzcon exclusive sketch cards for people who come to our booth for 2 additional hours each day. So be sure to stay tuned for further details and come get your exclusive art work.

People participating in the Brady Games Fishing Quest will be able to get an advanced copy of Warcraft Legends Vol. 5 (coming out in September 2009).

We will also have an art Gallery of our Warcraft and StarCraft manga art on-display in our booth, a Sexy Blood Elf Cut out for you to take your picture with, and much more!

So be sure to pick up your tickets and come visit us at the convention August 21st and 22nd.

See you all soon,

Michael Paolilli

Production Artist, and Creative Consultant for Blizzard manga

Patch 3.2: Call of the Crusade

The Under Development page has been updated with a synopsis of what the upcoming Patch 3.2 major content patch will offer players.  A new Battleground named Isle of Conquest, more Argent Tournament quests, and the completion of the Argent Colliseum.  Sadly, no mention of the mysterious new dungeon.

We have a poll to see what fans think it might be.

The upcoming major content patch, Call of the Crusade, will bring a host of new features for World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.

  • The Argent Tournament Expands: With the help of Azeroth’s heroes, the Argent Crusade will finish the Argent Coliseum just in time to call for all brave citizens to prepare for battle with the Lich King. New dailies, rewards, and more will be available at the Argent Tournament grounds to lure adventurers into the coliseum.
  • Crusaders’ Coliseum: In order to prepare for a siege on Icecrown Citadel, players will be called by the Argent Crusade to test their mettle in the Coliseum. 5-player, 10-player, and 25-player challenges await inside.
  • New Battleground: Isle of Conquest, a new large-scale siege Battleground, will be open. The Horde and Alliance will battle head-to-head for control of strategic resources to lay siege to the keeps of their opponents.
  • New Arena Season: Season 7 will officially start, paving the way for all-new items and challenges.
Blizzard Quote:
Zarhym: Yes, there will be a 5-player version, then a 10/25-player version. The bosses will be different for the two versions. Think Ring of Blood or Amphitheater of Anguish, but more epic. If anything, Wintergrasp combined with Alterac Valley with a few more twists. More to come later!

Thunderbluff Getting a Zeppelin?

Blizzard is considering the thought of implementing a way of transportation between Orgrimmar and Thunderbluff to make it easier to low level characters—I assume.  Nowadays, low levels usually ask a Warlock for a summon to Shattrath or Dalaran, and from there they can simply jump through a portal to Thunderbluff.  However, a fan complained that Exodar has transportation to Stomrwind and Darnassus via Boat.  The Horde on the other hand has no direct transport to Thunderbluff besides portals in Dalaran and Shattrath City.  To this Kisirani responded:

Blizzard Quote:
Essentially. The Zephyr is getting set to transport players between Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff in an upcoming patch.

While the Exodar requires an extra hop in most cases, it is still connected by boat travel and no overland travel is necessary. That was not true of Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff.

I take it you haven’t traveled there by boat lately, as Menethil is no longer in the equation.

Stormwind -> Auberdine -> Exodar.

Simply put, every single city aside from Thunder Bluff is connected by a boat or zeppelin. Thunder Bluff has been unique since the latest expansion in that it still requires a run. No, it is not as difficult a run as the old Menethil jog, but it still requires a lengthy trip through over-level, hostile territory for an individual newly made who wants to make use of the facilities in Thunder Bluff.

This addition isn’t primarily directed at the people who have the flightpath. Yes, you can fly from Orgrimmar to Thunder Bluff still, just as you can fly from Ironforge to Stormwind, but that does not invalidate the tram’s existence for those starting a new character or starting the game as a whole. And while you may not think of it in those terms, there are still fresh-faced players, new to World of Warcraft, joining us. wink

As the craft leaves from one of the zeppelin towers in Durotar and is slower than the wyvern flight, I don’t believe the population of Thunder Bluff will skyrocket significantly.

Oh, and for those of you asking, the Zephyr is indeed a zeppelin.

I remember a low level horde quest that sends you to Thunderbluff to deliver an item and you get a timer to deliver it within that time.  The implementation of a Zeppelin could trivialize that particular quest, but it could just be edited, or in any case, Blizzard could somehow phase the Zeppelin and give low level players access to the Zeppelin as a reward to doing that particular quest—like they did with the transport at the Nesingwary Camp in Sholazar Basin. Just my two cents.

Ghostcrawler: Is Druid Tree Form Fun?

Ghostcrawler has an open discussion with players that use the Druid Tree of Life Form to heal in PvE and PvP scenarios.  There are no plans to enhance or nerf this form, but Ghostcrawler revealed the developers have been discussing this lately, and he felt compelled to ask the community for constructive feedback and suggestions.  There are no promises. They just want to hear your thoughts on this matter. If you are interested post your comments here.

Blizzard Quote:
This is an open question to the community. Is druid Tree of Life form fun?

The question applies to both PvP and PvE, so it would be helpful to provide for which part of the game your answer applies.

We think cat and bear forms are fun. They have very clear roles and unique abilities. Tree of Life has no unique abilities. It essentially forces you to give up a portion of your class abilities in order to be as good a healer as other classes. In PvP it lets you tank a little, but again with the downside of giving away a good deal of your mobility, damage and crowd control.

Please do not over-interpret our asking for feedback. No huge changes to Tree of Life are on the way and we may in fact never change it. But it’s something we have been discussing lately, so we thought it would be interesting to get a wider perspective.

NetEase Received New World of WarCraft Servers in China

Marbridge Consulting reported that NetEase CEO William Ding revealed the brand-new servers to be used for World of Warcraft in China arrived on May 18.  NetEase technicians are currently installing the server clusters in preparation for their official launch next month, once the license held by The9 expires this upcoming June 8. We hope the transition for our Chinese fans is smooth without any hiccups in the service.—source.

CEO of Chinese online game developer and operator Netease (Nasdaq: NTES), William Ding, has revealed that hardware and equipment that will be used to operate the 3D MMORPG World of Warcraft was delivered on May 18, and is currently being installed.

Blizzard Lists Fansites Giving Blizzcon 2009 Tickets

Bashiok announced the latest fansites participating in Blizzcon 2009 ticket giveaway contests. Participate in all of these to increase your chances at getting a free ticket.  Good luck and see you in Anaheim.

Blizzard Quote:
Didn’t get tickets? Well don’t worry because we’ve selected a number of fansites to give away additional tickets through contests and giveaways!

Each site chooses their own method for giving away their tickets. They range from simple to specialized. From easy questionnaires to dedicated art or story contests. Each one providing you with an additional chance to attend BlizzCon!

Visit the below sites for more information on their individual ticket give away events, rules, and regulations.

BlizzPlanet – ends June 9th
http://www.blizzplanet.com/

Diablo-Source – ends June 12th
http://www.diablo-source.com/

WoW Interface – ends June 11th
http://wowinterface.com/community.php

inStarCraft.de – ends May 27th
http://starcraft2.ingame.de/

StarCraft Wire.net – ends May 25th
http://starcraft.incgamers.com/blog/comments/blizzcon-2009-ticket-giveaway/

StarCraft II Australia
http://www.starcraft2.com.au

Blizzplanet – Win A BlizzCon 2009 Ticket Giveaway

Blizzplanet is proud to announce a giveaway of three BlizzCon 2009 badges courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.  In order to enter our giveaway roster, you must first complete accurately all seven instructions below and submit them via email here.

International entries are welcome (except where certain countries local restrictions apply). This giveaway ends on June 9, 2009 at 11:59pm EST (New York timezone).  Winners will be announced the next day.  Winners will have only three days to reply back, otherwise someone else will be chosen.  Winners should bring their Photo ID (i.e. Passport, Driver’s License) to the VIP booth at the Anaheim Convention Center. The name of the winner must match the photo ID’s. Blizzcon tickets are not transferable.

1. Read Excerpt 4 of World of Warcraft: ARTHAS here. List all the character names mentioned in this excerpt.

2. What was Rathma’s former name? Who christened him with the name Rathma? And What page number it is revealed? —Read the Diablo: The Sin War Trilogy, The Veiled Prophet excerpt. The excerpt link may be found beneath the front cover image (click Browse Inside).

3. Read the StarCraft Frontline Vol. 3 War-Torn story.  Summarize what’s going on and explain why you look forward to read this manga.

4. Watch our video interview with Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson and describe which question answered you enjoyed the most and why.

5. Register to the Mountain Dew World of Warcraft Game Fuel website. Take a screenshot of your account page, and show at least 300 points. Note: You don’t need to be a World of Warcraft subscriber to participate in this giveaway. You can increase your points by going to all the options available within the How Do I Earn Points? section. Once you reach 300 points take a screenshot and attach it to the email. Note: If you don’t have a screen capture software, you may download XNview to capture images. Once installed go to Tools—> Capture Screen and click ok.

6. Read the four solicitations of StarCraft # 1-4, and write down the character names. Then view the preview scans and let us know what your impression is about the art, the dialogues and general tone of the comic book.  Note: WIldstorm and DC Comics are launching Starcraft # 1 on May 27. You may subscribe to the 12-issues here.

7. Provide your WoW Character name or Battle.net screen name (i.e. Starcraft, Warcraft III, Diablo II)—for winners announcement purposes.

Once these six instructions are completed, your entry will be automatically added to the roster of giveaway participants. Incomplete or inaccurate entries will be disqualified.

NOTE: Other Blizzard Fansites have Blizzcon 2009 Ticket GIveaways too:

World of Warcraft Mountain Dew Game Fuel Launches June 15

This summer, Mountain Dew is proud to introduce Game Fuel, two limited-time-only flavors inspired by the hit video game World of Warcraft. Mountain Dew Game Fuel lets you choose your side with Alliance Blue (Mountain Dew with a punch of wild fruit flavor), or Horde Red (Mountain Dew with a blast of citrus cherry flavor).

Log onto http://www.warcraft.com/dew where you can earn tokens to enter for the chance to win cool gaming prizes every 15 minutes, including Alienware notebook computers, Razer gaming peripherals and World of Warcraft apparel!

But hurry up—Mountain Dew Game Fuel and these prizes are going fast! Alliance Blue and Horde Red will officially be available in stores starting June 15th, until supplies run out. Promotion ends 8/20/09.