Raid Finder Coming in Patch 4.3

Posted on Monday, October 3rd, 2011 and filed under Fun Stuff, Game News, MMORPG Issues, Warcraft.

This is straight from Blizz. I’m sorry its posted a bit late but I know you all are looking for a tidbit of information. There’s a lot more info out there too.

Raid Finder Coming in Patch 4.3
We are working hard to introduce an exciting new feature to World of Warcraft in patch 4.3: the Raid Finder system. While it presents unprecedented technical hurdles and may change before it’s released, we wanted to provide you with an early look at what we hope to accomplish, and share some details that we’ve worked out, which will lend some insight as to how the new feature is planned to work.

So what is the Raid Finder? It will be a brand new grouping feature that superficially works much like the Dungeon Finder. Instead of five-player dungeons, the Raid Finder is designed to help players quickly and easily form a pick-up raid for a specially tuned version of the current tier of raid content: the Dragon Soul raid. It’s not intended to replace organized raiding though. You’ll still need friends and guild members to help you conquer the toughest raiding challenges that patch 4.3 has to offer.

As we currently plan to roll out the Raid Finder feature in patch 4.3, level-85 players will be able to use it to access a 25-player version of the Dragon Soul raid dungeon, which will culminate in a glorious battle against Deathwing himself. Dragon Soul will be split into three different difficulties. The Raid Finder provides access to a new tier of difficulty, which in this case has split the raid into two wings, each containing four boss encounters. Meanwhile, raiders will still need to join with friends and guildmates to face the more challenging normal and heroic versions of the raid, since the Raid Finder cannot be used to access those higher difficulty levels. Naturally, because they’re harder to defeat, the normal and heroic version of Dragon Soul will drop more powerful lootalong with prestigious rewards such as achievements, titles, and epic mounts. Rich rewards still await those who face the Raid Finder version, which we hope will introduce the thrills and epic experience of raiding to a broader audience than ever before.

You can access the Raid Finder through the ‘Raid’ button in the menu at the bottom of the default user interface. The Raid Finder should feel familiar to Dungeon Finder users. Just fire it up, select your class role, click the ‘Find Raid’ button, and get ready to face Deathwing’s jaw of doom.

FAQ

Q. Raids aren’t dungeons. Who will keep things organized?
A. A Raid Finder raid will require someone to queue as leader. The Raid Finder leader will have a very limited set of powers and cannot change loot type, nor do they have the ability to arbitrarily kick people from the raid. They do have the ability to mark targets and use /raid warning, and can promote other players to be leads as well. To be most successful, each Raid Finder group should have at least one leader who will explain the fights, assign raid markers, and make the tough calls, like who the main tank and off-tanks are.

Q. How will loot be distributed?
A. Automatic rolls and the Need Before Greed loot rules will apply in Raid Finder raids, just as they do in Dungeon Finder instances. Also, while Dungeon Finder raids aren’t locked, you are only eligible for loot from a boss once per week. This means that if you were present for the defeat of a boss, whether you receive loot or not, then you will automatically pass on loot that drops during later attempts on that boss during the same week.

Q. How will Raid Finder loot differ?
A. Loot acquired through the Raid Finder, including tier set pieces, will be of a lower item level than items acquired from normal or heroic mode versions of the Dragon Soul raid, and its appearance may differ. Also, there are certain items, as well as components for legendary weapons, which will not drop in Raid Finder raids. While individual bosses will not yield Valor Points as they would in other versions of the raid, you can still earn 250 Valor Points for beating the final boss in each wing of the instance.

Tier armor that drops in Raid Finder raids still provides set bonuses, and those bonuses are compatible with the higher item level versions of the armor available in the normal and heroic mode versions of the raid. None of these tier sets will be available for purchase from a vendor via Valor Points.

Q. Will there be an item level requirement to use the Raid Finder?
A. Yes, accessing raids via the Raid Finder will require that participating characters be level 85 and have attained a certain item level, to help ensure that they are prepared for the content they’ll be facing.

Q. Will the Raid Finder be cross-realm?
A. Yes, the Raid Finder will draw players from all realms. As with the Dungeon Finder, it will place some priority on grouping players from the same realm, though not at the cost of increased queue times.

Q. What kind of raid composition will the Raid Finder create?
A. Each Raid Finder raid will include two tanks, six healers, and seventeen damage dealers. As the raid is assembled, the Raid Finder will attempt to balance the group according to armor type, which should help ensure a healthy mix of melee and ranged dps.

Q. Why 25-player only?
A. A 25-player group is actually easier and faster to fill than a smaller group would be, and allows for greater flexibility in raid creation, all of which will help contribute to lower queue times. Also, 25-player raids are less subject to issues with composition or player connectivity.

The Raid Finder version of the Dragon Soul raid will be designed with pick-up raiding in mind. Normal and heroic difficulties will require the greater organization and teamwork found in guild raid groups.

Q. Will I get Call to Arms benefits when using the Raid Finder?
A. We don’t currently plan to apply Call to Arms benefits to the Raid Finder, though that may change in the future.

Q. Will I be locked to a raid I join through the Raid Finder?
A. Since the Raid Finder only offers access exclusively to a specially tuned version of the Dragon Soul raid instance, instance locks will not be enforced for that version. Instance locks will still be enforced for the normal and heroic versions of the raid.

Q. Can I queue with my friends in a party or raid?
A. Yes, you can queue for the Raid Finder individually, in a party, or in a raid. The Raid Finder can be a great tool to help fill those last few slots in a raid.

Q. I’m a dedicated raider with an organized group, what good is the Raid Finder to me?
A. Since instance locks aren’t in play, Raid Finder raids could provide a way for dedicated raiders to gear up alternate characters, fill gaps in their itemization, finish off elusive set bonuses, or just have some fun while preparing to face the normal or heroic version of the raid on the next reset.

Q. Why aren’t other raids available?
A. The Raid Finder is intended to help players experience the current tier of content.Also, many older raids don’t require a full complement of raiders, making the Raid Finder unnecessary. This is also the first rollout of the feature and we decided to start things simple, rather than potentially delay the feature’s introduction.

If the Raid Finder proves popular, more raid instances may be added to it in the future.

Q. Will Vote Kick still work in the Raid Finder?
A. Yes, though many of the same requirements and restrictions will be in place. For example, kicking too many times can result in a Vote Kick cooldown. Also, the thresholds are different, and several players will need to agree on kicking a candidate before the vote begins. Successful kick votes will require a significant number of Yes votes to pass.

Q. What happens if I leave a Raid Finder raid before it’s over?
A. Players who leave the Raid prematurely will receive a Deserter Debuff, though it will likely be of longer duration than the one applied to users of the Dungeon Finder. This debuff will only apply to the Raid Finder system.

Cataclysm Class Masteries Revealed

Posted on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 and filed under Warcraft.

Blizzard released the new Class Masteries that they will be testing for Cataclysm. It’s set to vary off of your gear score. So your gear will reflect and improve your mastery. They’ve also released the 30 point talent system to simplify the new talent specs.

Reposted from: MMO Champion
Death Knight (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Blood – Each time you heal yourself via Death Strike, you gain 50% of the amount healed as a damage absorption shield. Absorb increased further by mastery rating.
  • Frost – Increases all frost damage done by 20%. Damage increased further by mastery rating.
  • Unholy – Increases the damage done by your diseases by 20%. Damage increased further by mastery rating.

Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

  • Restoration – Increases the potency of your heal over time spells by up to 20% based on the current health level of your target (lower health targets are healed for more). Healing increased further by mastery rating.
  • Feral – Increases the damage absorbed by your Savage Defense ability by 32% and increases the damage done by your Cat Form bleed abilities by 20%. Absorb and damage increased further by mastery rating.
  • Balance – Increases the bonus damage from Eclipse by 12%. Damage increased further by mastery rating.

Hunter (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

  • Beast Mastery - Increases the damage done by your pets by 20%. Damage increased further by mastery rating.
  • Marksmanship – Grants a 16% chance for your ranged attacks to also instantly fire an additional ranged shot for 80% normal damage. Chance increased further by mastery rating.
  • Survival – Increases all elemental damage you deal by 20%. Damage increased further by mastery rating.

Mage (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

  • Arcane – Increases all spell damage done by up to 12% based on the amount of mana the Mage has unspent. Damage increased further with mastery rating.
  • Fire – Causes your non-periodic fire spells to deal 10% additional damage over 4 sec. Damage increased further by mastery rating.
  • Frost – Your Frostbolt spell causes its victim to take a 12% increased damage from all other spells you attack the victim with. Damage increased further with mastery rating.

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

  • Protection – Increases your chance to block melee attacks by 16%. Block chance increased further by mastery rating.
  • Retribution – Increases all holy damage done by 20%. Damage increased further by mastery rating.
  • Holy – Your healing spells also place an absorb shield on your target for 8% of the amount healed lasting 6 sec. Absorb increased further by mastery rating.

Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

  • Shadow – You have a 10% chance for your Shadow Word: Pain and Mind Flay spells to gran you a Shadow Orb each time they deal damage. The Shadow Orb Increases the damage done by your Mind Blast and Mind Spike spells by 20%. Damage increased further by mastery rating.
  • Holy – Your direct healing spells heal for an additional 10% over 6 sec. Healing increased further by mastery rating.
  • Discipline – Increases the potency of all your damage absorption spells by 20%. Absorption increased further by mastery rating.

Rogue (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

  • Assassination – Increases the damage done by your poisons by 20%. Damage increased further by mastery rating.
  • Combat – Your main hand attacks have a 10% chance to grant you an extra off hand attack. Chance increased further by mastery rating.
  • Subtlety – Increases the damage done by all your finishing moves by 20%. Damage increased further by mastery rating.

Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

  • Elemental – Grants a 20% chance for Elemental Overload to occur. Elemental Overload causes a Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, or Lava Burst spell you cast to trigger a second, similar spell on the same target at no additional cost that causes 60% of normal damage and no threat. Chance to trigger increased further by mastery rating.
  • Enhancement – Increases all elemental damage done by 20%. Damage increased further by mastery rating.
  • Restoration – Increases the potency of your direct healing spells by up to 20%, based on the current health level of your target (lower health targets are healed for more). Healing increased further by mastery rating.

Warlock (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

  • Demonology – Increases the damage done by your demon servants and damage you deal while transformed into a demon by 12%. Damage increased further by mastery rating.
  • Destruction – Increases all fire damage you deal by 10%. Damage increased further by mastery rating.
  • Affliction – Increases all periodic shadow damage you deal by 13%. Damage increased further by mastery rating.

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

  • Fury – Increases the benefit of abilities that cause you to be enraged or consume an enrage effect by 80%. Enrage abilities improved further by mastery rating.
  • Protection – Increases your chance to block by 10% and your chance to critically block by 10%. Chances increased further by mastery rating.
  • Arms – Grants a 16% chance for your melee attack to instantly trigger an additional melee attack for 50% normal damage. Chance increased further by mastery rating.

“Real ID” on Forums Cancelled

Posted on Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 and filed under Game News, MMORPG Issues.

Quote from: Nethaera (Source)

I’d like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We’ve been constantly monitoring the feedback you’ve given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we’ve decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.

Click here for Nethaera’s full post

It looks as though the people have spoken. As quickly as Blizzard announced the new “Real ID” system that they’d like to implement, the amount of dirt it stired has caused Blizzard to decide to not implement the system into the online forums. Nethaera came back and explained that the Real ID will still be used in game for the cross-game communication.

Personally, I think this is a very nice step towards cross-gaming communication. Although I feel there should be various settings that each player can manage that controls what ID you are known by cross game. Whether it be your real name to some individuals while your player ID to the rest of the group. I’m sure the Real ID system is going to go through a plethora of changes, and hopefully it is streamlined to allow the best cross-game communication while keeping privacy and security settings strong.

- Jon@MOGS

Blizzard’s New “Real ID”

Posted on Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 and filed under Game News, MMORPG Issues.

Quote from: Nethaera (Source)

Recently, we introduced our new Real ID feature – http://www.battle.net/realid/ , a new way to stay connected with your friends on the new Battle.net. Today, we wanted to give you a heads up about our plans for Real ID on our official forums, discuss the design philosophy behind the changes we’re making, and give you a first look at some of the new features we’re adding to the forums to help improve the quality of conversations and make the forums an even more enjoyable place for players to visit.

The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID — that is, their real-life first and last name — with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it.

Recently announced by Nethaera on the WOW forums, it looks like all posts and replies on official Blizzard forums will now display the first and last name on each user’s battle.net account. This will go into effect before the Launch of the new Starcraft II community site, which is set to launch before July 27th. This new change is being dubbed “Real ID”.

What do you guys think the result of removing this veil of anonymity will be? Will this help reduce flame wars and trolling, and result in more positive and constructive feedback? Or, will this result in increased trolling? With Facebook having over 400 million users, it will be easy to find WOW players on there, which could in turn, move the trolling to a more personal section of the gamers life. Interestingly, Blizzard’s employees will also have their real first and last on on the forums too.

Being a former active participant of the forums, this intrigues me. I would guess that having the accountability of your name next to your avatar, would result in posters acting closer to their actual real life selves. However, I also could see this being a problem, because trolls are likely to dig up real life dirt on players now, and bring that into the forums. Nevertheless, it will be interesting when this goes live around July 27th.

Jake@MOGS

The *Real* Cataclysm Beta Opt-In

Posted on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 and filed under Game News.

Quote from: Bornakk (Source)

Get those opt-ins ready for the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm closed beta! The sundering of Azeroth is nigh, and you don’t want to be left out in the cold of Northrend when you could be enjoying the sun-drenched beaches on the goblin isle of Kezan. To ensure you’re opted-in and eligible as a potential candidate, you’ll need a World of Warcraft license attached to your Battle.net account, have your current system specifications uploaded to the Battle.net Beta Profile Settings page, and have expressed interest through the franchise-specific check boxes.

So get your opt-ins set up, updated, and ready; we’re worgen real hard to get the beta going soon!

Link: https://www.battle.net/account/management/beta-profile.xml

GTFO – WoW Addon Author Interview

Posted on Sunday, April 18th, 2010 and filed under Fun Stuff.

GTFO is a very simple mod that does one primary thing and does it perfectly, alert you when it’s time to GET THE **** OUT of the fire or damaging AOE during a Raid or Dungeon Encounter in World of Warcraft. While it may be one of the most basic principles of End-Game raiding, Fire (and AOE in general) is still the main cause of Orc and Human orphans everywhere. Zensunim, a Feral Druid from Malygos, stepped up to the plate and provided half-afk raiders everywhere the perfect tool for notifying them of imminent failure.

What attracted you to WoW in the first place? What other MMO’s have you played?

I was watching a friend play on his computer and was extremely impressed by the overall design and polish of the game. I was also amazed by the fact that if you didn’t like the game’s UI, you could download an addon and completely change it to something else. I used to play Star Wars Galaxies and Ultima Online and when I first looked on the WoW forums, I remember thinking about how the issues people were griping about were so petty compared to the concerns other MMOs had.

  • UO: Someone used a break-in exploit on my house and stole everything I ever owned and the GMs basically said “sucks to be you!”
  • SWG: The server crashed and deleted millions of credits worth of the items I put into my store vendor and the GMs can’t or won’t fix it.
  • WoW: Flight paths are too long and boring!

What class do you play and why?

My main character is a night elf feral druid with tanking and DPS specs and my primary alt is a blood elf disc priest, but I have played just about every race and class out there. The versatility and flexibility of the druid easily makes it my favorite character. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been able to “save the day” by switching into bear form and tanking in DPS gear after the real tank went down. I also enjoy tanking because it allows me to take charge of the situation, not to mention the instant queue times from the Random Dungeon finder!

What’s your primary/favorite pastime in WoW when you’re not coding? Raiding? PvP?

I used to do some PvP, but I’m big into raiding. Apart from being a lot of fun, it’s also a great way to test my mods. My guild (Dilution of Malygos server) is working on regular 25-man Lich King, but the Low Attendance debuff has been kicking our asses for a while now.

What led you to write GTFO?

Back in BC, I was a fire tank for the Illidan fight. In phase 2, I was having difficulty judging when I was taking damage from the fire on the floor (Blaze) because the fire animation was much larger than the actual damage zone. To help me out, I programmed a mod with an audible alert to let me know when I was taking Blaze damage. This allowed me to optimize my kiting path on that fight.

Our guild recruited some new members and one of our new healers was having serious difficulty staying out of the AOE during the Illidari Council fight. I realized I could use my Blaze alert mod to warn about other stuff. I recoded the mod, sent it to the healer, and it worked! She stopped dying in that fight.

Did you have any prior scripting or programing experience or did you just dive into it? What resources did you find to be the biggest help in developing your first World of Warcraft Addon?

Apart from being a programmer professionally, I had developed a few other WoW mods prior to GTFO, but most were never released. SmartError is the only other mod I wrote that’s available publicly. That mod allows me to switch off the character error speech (which bugs the hell out of me) and replace it with more of my custom beeps and boops, along with audible events for other annoying but easily missed error messages/events like “that object is busy.”

I built an automated raid healing program I designed for two-boxing in 40-man raids. You spam one button continuously and the priest character would triage hurt players in range based on overall health, the rate they’re losing health, the type of character they are, and how much I liked them (jackasses had lower priority for heals), do a bunch of calculations, and then cast the appropriate heal, stop casting if another person healed the target, dispel debuffs, manage mana, etc. Eventually, I was coming close to building a hive-mind: multiple healers linked together as one massive healing machine, but Blizzard nerfed what add-ons could do with the 2.0 patch so I abandoned the project. It was fun while it lasted.

When it comes to developing mods, the API reference lists at wowwiki.com are very helpful, but the best resource I found was just from looking at other people’s mods and taking them apart and seeing how they did things. The Official WoW Add-ons forum can be a great place to find help, but it’s hit-and-miss depending on who’s browsing the forums that day.

By now, or at least sometime in the near future, your mod will be recommended by most guilds next to Omen or Deadly Boss Mods. Do you see yourself continuing to play and update GTFO through Cataclysm? Or would you allow the project to be passed on should your interests take you in other directions?

I’m constantly making updates and look forward to updating it in Cataclysm (or before that if I can score a beta invite). One of my plans is to start going through some of the old dungeons and start adding alerts for them, along with a level cap for some alerts (standing in a level 20 mob’s Flamestrike is dangerous at level 15, but completely ignorable at level 80).

If I were to quit the game, I would want someone to pick up the project and continue with it. It’s pretty easy to maintain as it’s just identifying and classifying new alerts for various spell IDs.

You have been keeping a very active presence on your curse.com page for the Addon and it’s allowed both you and your users to get a lot of feedback. Do you feel their comments have influenced the direction you are starting to take as far as implementing a wider ranger of alerts and tank friendly options?

The biggest request I get is to have some visual indicator built in because several people play the game without sound. A little known fact is that GTFO is actually integrated in the latest version of Power Auras Classic today, but it requires some set up and it doesn’t distinguish between the three types of GTFO alerts. I’m putting together a manual on how to set it up.

Unfortunately, the way it’s set up in Power Auras, tank-friendly alerts will break how Power Auras displays alerts, so I’ve been holding off on releasing that. I wrote a patch for Power Auras for improved GTFO support and I’ve been trying to get a hold of the latest Power Auras author to get it added to the official release, but I think he disappeared a couple months ago.

Comments and feedback help a lot! I usually have to do all the testing myself and make guesses based on spell data I find from online fight logs and data mining sites for fights I haven’t had a chance to do (like Heroic ICC).

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few of our questions Zen, is there you have anything else you want to say or any tips you can give any potential modders and addon authors out there?

Put comments in your code! Not only does it help others understand your code, it helps YOU understand your own code when you have to go back and update something you haven’t touched in months. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go follow my own advice. ;)

- Zensunim of Malygos

Visit curse.com and download GTFO now.