World of Warcraft Dragonflight: An Expansion Like All Others

No laughing at my gear ok ūüėČ

The day has arrived, like so many WoW expansion launch days over the past 18 years. I only joined WoW at Burning Crusade but that still means I’ve been here for WOTLK, Cataclysm, MoP, WoD, Legion, BfA and Shadowlands.

And of course, today’s launch of Dragonflight. Now, you’d think a company that’s launched these games over nearly two decades may have learned a little about how things tend to turn out on launch day, but once again we see:

  • World Server is down
  • Inability to start expansion content if you do get in
  • Lots of disconnects

I’m not unsympathetic, balancing server loads on a launch of new content is NEVER easy, but what I’m seeing here is an absolute wilful ignorance in communicating those issues. It’s coming up to three hours since launch, the world servers have been down on all my realms, and the official World of Warcraft Twitter account has no updates since this:

Given the overall player numbers are significantly less than at the game’s peak, it seems to me this lack of attention gets less defensible and perhaps explains increasingly why people give up?

Let us know your thoughts.

Post-script: 10 mins after posting this article, I made it to Stormwind harbour to join the queue:

This is slightly more understandable – I understand that there’s only so much bandwidth but this is where some improved queuing mechanic is needed methinks…

Oralius’ Adventure Quest: Turn In Location

World_of_WarcraftThis quest had me stumped as far as where to turn it in. After some trawling of the forums it appears there are two issues at play:

1. Sometimes NPCs may not be in the same location if you don’t turn it in right away and server rolls over to a new day.

2. Oralius is in the basement of your garrison’s inn.

So for me, I checked the basement and he wasn’t there, but I waited a day and he then was.

So just be patient and you’ll be able to hand that damn quest in!

Facing Demons Quest: Where Is The Arcane Bomb?

World_of_WarcraftThis is in relation to the Facing Demons quest on Socrethar’s Rise. I spent ages looking through my bags for the damn arcane bomb mentioned in the quest description.

Except you’re not given an Arcane Bomb. All you need to do is walk into the dead centre of the Demon Gate and you can click on it to destroy it. If you’re off centre it won’t let you.

Hope that helps!

WoW 5.3 Escalation: Full Patch Notes


It’s patchin’ time and 5.3 has it’s fair share of content to be trawled through. So what are you waiting for? Have a read through below for the full WoW 5.3. patch notes:

World of Warcraft Patch 5.3

  • New Battleground: Deepwind Gorge
    • In the new Battleground situated in the Valley of the Four Winds, the Alliance and Horde continue their war for Pandaria‚Äôs precious resources. While the two factions battle for control over mines, they must also protect their own resources from being stolen and turned against them!
  • New Arena: The Tiger’s Peak
    • Gladiator hopefuls have a new location to test their mettle amidst the Kun-Lai mountain tops, in the training grounds of the powerful Shado-Pan. Players must make use of the looming tiger statues and fenced platforms to gain an advantage that will bring victory and glory!
  • New Scenario: Battle on the High Seas
    • Help your faction fend off enemy forces in the midst of a battle for naval supremacy on the High Seas.
  • New Scenario: Blood in the Snow
    • An agent of Zandalar has infiltrated Dun Morogh and rallied the Frostmane trolls. At Varian‚Äôs request, Moira will lead her personal guard against them once the king‚Äôs champions have stopped the magical storm protecting Shimmer Ridge.
  • New Scenario: Dark Heart of Pandaria
    • Goblin engineers have been excavating in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms to find a mysterious artifact, but all they’ve found is trouble; you have been personally called upon by the Warchief to aid them in their hour of need.
  • New Scenario: The Secrets of Ragefire
    • Infiltrate the Emberdeep Caverns and assist the Gob Squad in investigating a recent disappearance in Durotar.
  • Heroic Scenarios
    • A Heroic difficulty for Scenarios have been added and are designed to provide challenging content for small groups of well-seasoned adventurers. Completing a Heroic Scenario awards Valor points, and a chance to obtain high level Epic quality items.
    • Heroic Scenarios require a pre-made group to join.
    • Heroic Scenarios offer bonus objectives that will reward additional valor if completed.
      • An option to run a random Heroic Scenario has been added as a drop-down in the Scenario tab in Dungeon Finder.
    • Players can complete a normal or Heroic Scenario for bonus valor each day, but not both.
    • Six Heroic Scenarios will be available in patch 5.3. Four are new and two are upgrades of existing normal Scenarios.
      • Battle of the High Seas
      • Blood in the Snow
      • Dark Heart of Pandaria
      • The Secrets of Ragefire
      • Crypt of Forgotten Kings
      • A Brewing Storm
  • Quest Campaign: Escalation
    • The Darkspear Trolls are in open rebellion against the Warchief! Aid your faction in preparing to rout Garrosh Hellscream from Orgrimmar
      • Alliance heroes will scout Orgrimmar’s outskirts and engage in SI:7 espionage to weaken Garrosh‚Äôs power structure.
      • Horde heroes will help Vol‚Äôjin‚Äôs insurgency survive a Kor‚Äôkron assault and advance towards the Horde capital.
    • Visit Lorewalker Cho at the Seat of Knowledge in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms to begin questing.
  • Battlefield: Barrens
    • Put the stranglehold on Orgrimmar by undermining the Kor‚Äôkron supply chain in Northern Barrens.
      • Collect resources by killing Kor‚Äôkron loyalists and their supporters.
      • Get a group together to kill Kor‚Äôkron leaders for bonus resources.
      • Escort your faction‚Äôs caravans across the zone for even more additional resources.
    • The Darkspear Rebellion will reward your efforts to undermine the Warchief by helping you upgrade Latent Kor‚Äôkron Armor into useable gear.
    • Participate in the Escalation Quest Campaign to learn how to engage in the Barrens conflict.
  • The Legendary Quest Continues
    • Journey with Wrathion to the four corners of Pandaria to speak with the August Celestials.
    • Champions will have had to complete¬†Wrathion‚Äôs earlier tasks¬†(including ‚ÄúHeart of the Thunder King‚ÄĚ) to continue.
  • Brawler‚Äôs Guild Updates
    • Test your might against two new tiers of bosses in the Brawl‚Äôgar Arena in Orgrimmar or Bizmo‚Äôs Brawl Pub in Stormwind.
    • New VIP areas are now accessible for brawlers at or above rank 8.
    • Bizmo has raised the floor in his arena to hide the bodies. Or… maybe to improve the sight lines. We‚Äôll never know for sure.
    • Special ‚ÄúChallenge Cards‚ÄĚ can now be acquired from mobs or reward satchels, allowing you to unlock unique bonus bosses.
    • Brawlers that manage to prove their mettle and reach Rank 9 will receive an additional invitation to the Brawler’s Guild that can be traded or given to a friend.
  • Experience needed to increase from level 85 to level 90 has been reduced by 33%.


  • Healing abilities and spells which automatically pick targets now follow consistent rules for targeting logic. Targets with lower % health will be preferred, and players are weighted more heavily than pets.
  • Avoidance passive on all pets and guardians has been changed. It now reduces area-of-effect damage from creatures and NPCs by 95% (up from 90%), and from players by 50% (up from 0%). Warlock pets already had the new version of Avoidance since Patch 5.0 and will not notice any differences.
  • The following summoned pets/totems will now chain cast their spells with no delay between casts, allowing them to cast their spells more frequently in the same amount of time.
    • Death Knight: Gargoyle
    • Druid: Force of Nature (Balance, Restoration), Mirror Image (Symbiosis)
    • Mage: Mirror Image, Water Elemental
    • Shaman: Searing Totem
    • Warlock: Doomguard, Terrorguard, Wild Imp
Death Knight


  • Blood Plague no longer benefits from the damage increase granted by Tricks of the Trade.
  • Frost Fever no longer benefits from the damage increase granted by Tricks of the Trade.
  • Necrotic Strike’s healing absorption effect has been increased to 225% from attack power, up from 200%.


  • Gorefiend’s Grasp can now affect a maximum of 4 player targets. The number of non-player targets that can be affected remains unlimited.


  • Sudden Doom now requires the Death Knight to be in Unholy Presence to activate the effect that causes Death Coil to cost no Runic Power.
  • Unholy Might now increases the Death Knight’s Strength by 10%, down from 15%.


  • Mark of the Wild had its mana cost reduced to 5%, down from 10%.
  • Symbiosis: Intimidating Roar had its cooldown increased to 90 seconds, up from 60 seconds.
  • Tranquility now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-player instance. This change also applies to players using the Symbiosis version of Tranquility.


  • Force of Nature is no longer on global cooldown and summons a single Treant. The Treant no longer has a control bar, immediately uses its special abilities on the Druid‚Äôs current target, and accumulates 1 charge every 20 seconds up to a maximum of 3 charges.
    • Restoration version of the Treant now casts Swiftmend on the Druid’s target when summoned. This version of Swiftmend does not require or consume a heal-over-time effect on the target.


  • Glyph of Solar Beam have been removed and replaced with Glyph of Omens.
  • New Glyph: Glyph of Omens: While the Druid is not in a Solar or Lunar Eclipse, the following abilities will generate 10 Solar or Lunar Energy: Entangling Roots, Cyclone, Faerie Fire, Faerie Swarm, Mass Entanglement, Typhoon, Disorienting Roar, Ursol’s Vortex, and Mighty Bash.


  • Solar Beam is now more responsive when players enter and leave the beam’s area-of-effect.


  • Savage Roar now increases physical damage done by 40%, up from 30%.


  • Mastery: Nature’s Guardian is now 33% stronger (2% per point instead of 1.5%).


  • Ironbark now has a cooldown of 60 seconds, down from 2 minutes.
  • Swiftmend’s area-of-effect component now heals injured allies within 10 yards, up from 8 yards.
  • Wild Mushroom: Bloom: Healing from this spell has been increased by 100%, which includes all bonus healing from Rejuvenation overhealing. In addition, the radius has been increased to 10 yards (up from 8).

Item Sets

  • Restoration PvP 4-piece set bonus now reduces the cooldown of Ironbark by 30 seconds (down from 90 seconds).


  • Hunters now have 50 pet stable slots, up from 20.
  • Cooldown on crowd control abilities for several Hunter pet families have changed.
    • Basilisk pet family‚Äôs Petrifying Gaze now has a cooldown of now 2 minutes, up from 1 minute.
    • Bat pet family‚Äôs Sonic Blast now has a cooldown of 2 minutes, up from 1 minute.
    • Crane pet family‚Äôs Lullaby now has a cooldown of 2 minutes, up from 1 minute.
    • Monkey pet family’s Bad Manner now has a cooldown of 2 minutes, up from 1 minute.
    • Porcupine pet family‚Äôs Paralyzing Quill now has a cooldown of 2 minutes, up from 1 minute.
    • Shale Spider pet family‚Äôs Web Wrap now has a cooldown of 90 seconds, up from 45 seconds.
    • Wasp pet family’s Sting now has a cooldown of 90 seconds, up from 45 seconds.
    • Worm pet family‚Äôs Burrow Attack now has cooldown of 14 seconds, down from 20 seconds.
  • Aspect of the Hawk now increases ranged attack power by 25%, up from 15%.
  • Revive Pet now has a cast time of 4 seconds, down from 6 seconds.


  • Aspect of the Iron Hawk now increases ranged attack power by 25%, up from 15%.
  • Binding Shot is no longer a talent and learned by Marksmanship Hunters at level 30.
  • Blink Strike has been renamed Blink Strikes and turned into a passive ability. The pet’s Basic Attacks deal 50% increased damage, can now be used from 30 yards away, and will instantly cause the pet to teleport behind their target.
  • Intimidation is now a level-30 talent available to all Hunter specializations and no longer learned by Beast Mastery Hunters at level 20.

Beast Mastery

  • Beast Cleave now deals 75% of the original damage, up from 50%.
  • Exotic Beasts no longer reduces the cooldown of pet special abilities by 30%.


  • Bombardment now increases the damage of Multi-Shot by 60%, up from 30%.

Item Sets

  • PvP 2-piece set bonus has been redesigned. Using Arcane Shot now causes the Hunter’s PvP Power to increase by 800 for 6 seconds.


  • Arcane Brilliance had its mana cost reduced to 1%, down from 4%.
  • Arcane Explosion now deals 40% more damage.
  • Blizzard now deals 40% more damage.
  • Dalaran Brilliance had its mana cost reduced to 1%, down from 4%.
  • Flamestrike now deals 100% more initial damage. Periodic damage remains unchanged.
  • Mirror Image creates copies that no longer cast Fire Blast, but their Frostbolts do 10% more damage.
  • Teleport: Vale of Eternal Blossoms and Portal: Vale of Eternal Blossoms now have new icons.


  • Flameglow now absorbs damage from each attack made against the Mage equal to 15% of their spellpower (down from 20%).
  • Incanter’s Ward now allows the Mage to gain up to a¬†maximum of 15% increase to spell damage, down from 30%, but the effect now lasts 25 seconds, up from 15 seconds.
  • Living Bomb’s periodic damage has been increased by 121%. Its explosion damage has been reduced by 78%, but now scales with additional periodic ticks added by haste, and hits all nearby targets (up from 3).


  • Legacy of the Emperor had its mana cost reduced to 1%, down from 6%.
  • Nimble Brew now also removes horrify effects, and reduces the duration of horrify effects and fear, and is available to all Monk specializations (formerly only available for Brewmaster and Windwalker Monks).
  • Spear Hand Strike now locks a spell school out for 4 seconds, down from 5 seconds.


  • Ring of Peace had been redesigned. The ability forms an 8-yard sanctuary around a friendly target for 8 seconds, instantly disarming and silencing enemies within the area-of-effect for 3 seconds. Enemies that use abilities other than auto-attacks or cast spells on allies within the Ring of Peace will be disarmed and silenced for 3 seconds. Disarm and silence effects are subject to diminishing returns.


  • Gift of the Ox should now activate its effect more frequently for dual-wielding Monks.


  • Revival now has a healing cap of 15 raid members (up from 6) when used in a 25-player instance.


  • Legacy of the White Tiger had its mana cost reduced to 1%, down from 6%.
  • Rising Sun Kick now causes all targets within 8 yards to take an increased 20% damage from the Monk’s abilities, up from 10%.
  • Fixed an issue that caused ticks from Fists of Fury to sometimes be skipped.


  • Blessing of Kings had its mana cost reduced to 5%, down from 22.3%.
  • Blessing of Might had its mana cost reduced to 5%, down from 22.3%.
  • Devotion Aura now clears all silence effects when used.
  • Divine Protection is now usable while stunned.


  • Glyph of the Battle Healer now heals a nearby injured friendly target, excluding the Paladin, for 20% of damage dealt while Seal of Insight is active, down from 30%.


  • Mastery: Illuminated Healing now places an absorb shield for 10% of the amount healed, down from 12%.
  • Daybreak is now a stackable effect with a duration of 10 seconds, stacks up to 2 times, and causes the next Holy Shock to also heal other allies within 10 yards of the target for an amount equal to 75%/150% of the original healing done. Daybreak no longer incorrectly hits the primary target of the Holy Shock.


  • Shield of the Righteous now reduces physical damage taken by 25%, down from 30%.


  • Sword of Light now increases damage with two-handed melee weapons by 30%, up from 15%.

Item Sets

  • Tier-14 Holy Paladin 4-piece set bonus now reduces the cooldown of Holy Shock by 1 second, down from 2 seconds.


  • Power Word: Fortitude had its mana cost reduced to 1%, down from 4.4%.
  • Mass Dispel no longer dispels magic effects that are normally undispellable. Cast time has been decreased to 0.5 seconds, down from 1.5 seconds for Discipline and Holy Priests.
  • Void Shift had its cooldown decreased to 5 minutes, down from 6 minutes for Discipline and Holy Priests. For Shadow Priests, cooldown has been increased to 10 minutes, up from 6 minutes, and the spell is no longer usable while in Arenas or Rated Battlegrounds.


  • Glyph of Mass Dispel has been redesigned and no longer reduces cast time. The glyph now enables Mass Dispel to dispel magic effects that are normally undispellable.
  • Glyph of Smite no longer causes the additional 20% damage dealt by Smite to transfer into Atonement.
  • Fixed an issue where Glyph of Mind Flay’s movement speed increase was not stacking correctly.


  • Atonement now heals nearby friendly targets for 90% of the damage dealt, down from 100%.
  • Borrowed Time now reduces the cast or channel time of the next Priest spell by 15% after casting Power Word: Shield (was 15% spell haste).
  • Penance now deals 10% less damage, but healing done is increased by 10%.


  • Divine Hymn now targets 12 raid members (up from 5) each time it heals when used in a 25-player instance.


  • Vampiric Embrace now has a healing cap of 15 raid members (up from 6) when used in a 25-player instance.


  • Cloak and Dagger now requires the Rogue to be in Stealth.¬†Shadow Dance will not remove the Stealth requirement for Cloak and Dagger.
  • Shuriken Toss now deals 100% more damage in the initial ranged attack, damage is no longer doubled when used on targets farther than 10 yards away, and energy cost has been increased to 40 energy, up from 20.


  • Glyph of Cheap Shot now increases the duration of Cheap Shot by 0.5 second, down from 1 second.
  • Glyph of Garrote now increases the duration of Garrote’s silence effect by 1 second, down from 1.5 seconds.


  • Blade Flurry’s damage to secondary targets should no longer be affected by Resilience or PvP power if the primary target was a player as both had already been factored in for the initial damage calculation.
  • Revealing Strike now lasts 24 seconds, up from 18 seconds.


  • Find Weakness now bypasses 100% of armor against non-player targets, and bypasses 50% of armor when used against other players (was 70% armor bypass for all targets).


  • Lava Burst now has a 2 second cast time, up from 1.5 seconds, and deals 25% more damage.
  • Lightning Bolt can now be cast while moving.


  • New Glyph: Glyph of Lightning Shield causes Lightning Shield to reduce the amount of damage taken by 10% for 6 seconds after Lightning Shield is triggered.
  • Glyph of Unleashed Lightning has been removed and replaced with Glyph of Lightning Shield.


  • Feral Spirit’s summoned Spirit Wolves are now immune to root and snare effects.
  • Lava Lash now deals 300% weapons damage, up from 250%.
  • Mental Quickness now converts 65% of the Shaman’s attack power to spell power, up from 55%.
  • Stormstrike now deals 450% weapon damage, up from 375%.


  • Dark Intent had its mana cost reduced to 1%, down from 4%.
  • Demonic Gateway cast time has been reduced to 3 seconds, down from 5 seconds, gains its first charge after 5 seconds (down from 13 seconds), and gains a new charge every 10 seconds (down from 15 seconds). The summoned gateway has 100% of the summoning Warlock’s health, 100% of the Warlock’s resilience, and can now be attacked and killed by enemy players.
  • Health Funnel now causes the Soulburn portion of the spell to increase healing generated from¬†Health Funnel by¬†140% instead of instantly restoring 36% health.


  • Blood Horror no longer activates from attacks made by pets.


  • Glyph of Siphon Life has been redesigned.¬†Glyph of Siphon Life now heals the Warlock for 0.5% of their maximum health when Corruption or Immolate deal periodic damage.


  • Haunt now refunds a Soul Shard when it is dispelled.


  • Fire and Brimstone no longer requires a Burning Ember to cast. Instead, the spell causes Immolate, Incinerate, Conflagrate, and Curse spells to consume a Burning Ember when cast, and the effect remains active as long as the Warlock has at least 1 Burning Ember remaining.

Item Sets

  • Warlock PvP 2-piece set bonus¬†no longer reduces cooldown on Unending Resolve and have been replaced by the former 4-piece set bonus where the Warlock’s Twilight Ward absorbs damage from all magical schools.
  • Warlock PvP 4-piece set bonus now increases damage dealt by Agony, Corruption, Doom, Immolate, and Unstable Affliction by 10%.


  • Defensive Stance now decreases damage taken by 25%, up from 15%.
  • Shield Wall’s cooldown has been reduced to 3 minutes, down from 5 minutes.


  • Enraged Regeneration no longer costs rage to use, instantly heals the Warrior for 5% of their total health, and healing an additional 5% over 5 seconds. Using the ability while Enraged doubles the healing effects to 10% of the Warrior’s total health and an additional 10% over 5 seconds.
  • Second Wind no longer generates rage when the Warrior is struck by a Stun or Immobilize effect.
    • Arms and Fury Warriors receive a passive ability that enables them to generate rage when struck by a Stun or Immobilize effect at level 56.
  • Spell Reflection is no longer consumed by spells from player pets and guardians.
  • Vigilance now resets the cooldown on Taunt in addition to its current effects.


  • Sweeping Strikes’ damage to secondary targets should no longer be affected by Resilience or PvP power if the primary target was a player as both had already been factored in for the initial damage calculation.


  • Bastion of Defense now reduces the cooldown of Shield Wall by 1 minute, down from a 3-minute reduction. For Protection Warriors, this results in no net change to Shield Wall’s cooldown.
  • Shield Slam now receives a 50% bonus to attack damage from attack power (down from 100%) for Warriors below level 85.
  • Unwavering Sentinel no longer increases the damage reduction of Defensive Stance by 10%.
  • Shado-Pan and The August Celestials daily quests no longer have a faction prerequisite to be Revered with the Golden Lotus.
  • A Test of Valor: Reduced the amount of Valor needed for this achievement to 3000 Valor Points, down from 6000.
  • Flames of the Void: Fixed an issue where players were unable to mount the War Serpents.
  • The Strength of One’s Foes: All bosses in Mogu‚Äôshan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of the Endless Spring now have a chance to drop either a Sigil of Power or Sigil of Wisdom
  • Creatures that are outdoors in the world and are Level-90 and above now have a chance to drop Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.
  • Rare spawns in Pandaria (except Zandalari Warscouts, and Zandalari Warbringers) and bosses in Battlefield: Barrens will now always drop Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.
  • Rare spawns in Pandaria (except those on Isle of Thunder) now have a chance to drop a bind-on-pickup invitation to the Brawler’s Guild.
  • Oondasta
    • Shiny Pile of Refuse now has a chance to contain a Primal Egg, and a number of Dinosaur Bones.
    • Spitfire Beam no longer increases in damage with each jump, deals a flat 200,000 damage(up from 150,000 damage), and jumps to 99 targets (up from 20 targets).
  • Zandalari NPCs on the Isle of Thunder should now drop Zandalari Journals needed for the Zandalari Library Card achievement more frequently. The sell value of Zandalari Journals to vendors have been decreased to adjust for the increased drop rates.
Pet Battles


  • Bonus damage has been added to many basic abilities, at the cost of slightly reduced accuracy.
  • Pet Battle Duels are now available in all dungeons and raids. Enjoy!
  • Pet Battles in the wild and duels are now viewable by other players in the world.
  • Hit Chance is now displayed for all abilities.
  • Battle Pet Abilities no longer have a base chance to miss or be dodged by opposing pets of the same level.
  • Reduced the chance to miss when fighting higher-level opponents from 5% per level to 2% per level.
  • A series of new achievements and rewards have been added for max-level matchmaking PvP pet battles
  • Wins for max-level, matchmaking PvP pet battles can now be tracked in statistics.
  • Battle pets’ recent ability loadouts will now be saved when pets are swapped in and out of battle slots.
  • Pandaren Spirit Pet Supplies now has a chance to drop a family specific rare Battle-Stone.
  • Species specific Flawless Battle-Stones are now Bind to account.
  • Black Claw now deals 20% less damage.
  • Blistering Cold had now deals 100% more damage.
  • Corrosion now deals 5 damage-per-round, up from 2, and increases damage taken by 2, down from 5.
  • Counterspell now deals 10 damage in addition to the ability’s previous effects.
  • Deep Freeze now has a 10% reduced chance to hit.
  • Fury of 1,000 Fists now has a 4-round cooldown,¬†up from 3 rounds.
  • Haymaker now has a 3-round cooldown.
  • Headbutt now has a 4-round cooldown,¬†up from 3 rounds.
  • Hunting Party now has an increased cooldown of 4 rounds, up from 3 rounds.
  • Impale now has a cooldown of 3 rounds, down from 5 rounds, deals 17% less damage, and no longer deals damage as a percentage of the target‚Äôs health. The ability now deals a flat amount of bonus damage instead.
  • Interrupting Gaze now deals 50% more damage.
  • Interrupting Jolt now has a 4-round cooldown, down from 5 rounds.
  • Kick now deals 50% more damage.
  • Minefield now has a 5-round cooldown, and lasts for 9 rounds, down from 10 rounds.
  • Mudslide now has a 4-round cooldown,¬†up from 3 rounds.
  • Predatory Strike no longer deal damage as a percentage of the target‚Äôs health. The ability now deals a flat amount of bonus damage instead.
  • Quicksand now has a 4-round cooldown,¬†up from 3 rounds.
  • Reckless Strike now has a 1-round cooldown.
  • Rupture now has a 4-round cooldown,¬†up from 3 rounds.
  • Shock and Awe now has a 4-round cooldown,¬†up from 3 rounds.
  • Soulrush now has a 4-round cooldown,¬†up from 3 rounds.
  • Fixed an issue where pet abilities that had a chance to stun were not working correctly.

Battle Pets

  • A number of new battle pets have been added to the Throne of Thunder and Isle of Thunder. Happy hunting!
  • Whispers from pet tamers in the north have spread word of an elusive new battle pet that can be found in the frozen tundras of Northrend. The Unborn Val’kyr awaits.
  • Battle Pet drops have been added to Burning Crusade raids. These new pets can be obtained from raid bosses in Karazhan, Tempest Keep and Serpentshrine Cavern. Obtaining all of these new pets will reward players with a new battle pet, Tito!
  • Tiny Blue Carp, Tiny Green Carp, Tiny Red Carp, and Tiny White Carp are now tradable, and can be caught more than once.
  • Electrified Razortooth: swapped positions of Blood In The Water and Paralyzing Shock abilities.
  • Ethereal Soul-Trader has been returned to his original, larger size.
  • Teldrassil Sproutling, Withers, and Ruby Sapling‚Äôs Shell Shield has been replaced with a new ability: Ironbark.

Battle Pet Quests

  • A new achievement and reward has been added for characters that complete every Pet Battle daily quest in a single day.
  • Protection for bad luck streaks have been added to Battle-Stones from pet supplies bags and wild battles.¬† Each bag or battle that does not provide a stone has a progressively better chance to award a stone to the player.
  • Beasts of Fable daily quest has been broken into three separate chapters. Players can now choose to do any or all of the chapters each day.¬† Rewards have been modified to include a new consumable that will boost battle pet XP for a limited time.
  • All Pet Battle daily quests on Pandaria, Beasts of Fable and Spirit Tamer quests will now award experience, valor, and Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.
  • All Pet Battle quests will now award experience.
  • Increased the difficulty of elite pets on the Beasts of Fable quest.
  • A new weekly quest for max-level, matchmaking PvP pet battles has been added.
Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios

Loot Specialization

  • Players can now choose to receive loot for specializations other than the one that’s currently active. This feature can be accessed by right-clicking on the character portrait and selecting the option from the drop-down list. Loot specialization is available for bonus rolls, Raid Finder, Heroic Scenarios, and Mists of Pandaria quest rewards.


  • Bonus rolls, Treasures of the Thunder King, Amber Encased Treasure Pouch, Cache of Mogu Riches, and Dividends of the Everlasting Spring now have a small chance to award a larger than usual amount of gold.
  • Bonus Roll
    • Protection for bad luck streaks have been added to bonus rolls. Each bonus roll that does not provide loot has a progressively better chance to award loot to the player.
    • Reduced the number of¬†Lesser Charms of Good Fortune needed for the Mogu Runes of Fate weekly quest to 50, down from 90.
  • Serpentshrine Cavern
    • For the Fathom-Lord Karathress encounter, Cataclysmic Bolt now deals 10% of the target’s maximum health plus 5000 damage, down from 50% of target’s maximum health, the stun effect can be removed by abilities that free the player from stuns, and the spell now targets any character class instead of only targeting character classes with mana.
    • Lady Vashj
      • Coilfang Strider’s Panic ability now activates every 4 seconds, up from every 2 seconds.
      • Shock Blast’s stun effect can now be removed by abilities that free the player from stuns.
      • Tainted Elementals now despawn after 20 seconds, up from 15 seconds.
  • Tempest Keep
    • For the¬†High Astromancer Solarian encounter, Nether Scryer’s Domination spell now has a 2 second cast time, up from instant cast, and can be silenced.
    • For the Void Reaver encounter, the radius for Arcane Orb has been reduced to 15 yards, down from 20 yards.
  • Terrace of Endless Spring
    • Players no longer need to have defeated Grand Empress Shek’zeer to enter the Terrace of Endless Spring in Normal difficulty.
  • Throne of Thunder
    • Valor Points are awarded for defeating the following lieutenants in Throne of Thunder.
      • Stormbringer Draz’kil: 20 Valor Points
      • Manchu: 10 Valor Points each
      • Weisheng: 10 Valor Points each
      • Eternal Guardian: 5 Valor Points each
    • Horridon
      • Amani‚Äôshi Beast Shaman no longer casts Chain Lightning while mounted on Amani Warbears.
    • Primordius
      • The Genetically Unmodified Organism achievement has been redesigned. It now requires players to defeat Primordius while none of the players in the raid received¬†a harmful mutation.


  • Completing the Challenge mode daily quest now awards a Heroic Cache of Treasures with a chance to contain an epic item!
  • Minimum level requirement to enter and equip items found in the following dungeons via Dungeon Finder have been adjusted.
    • Gate of the Setting Sun¬†is now available in Normal difficulty, and accessible to level 89 characters.
    • Grim Batol¬†is now accessible at level 84, down from level 85.
    • Lost City of the Tol’vir¬†is now accessible at level 84, down from level 85.
    • Magisters’ Terrace¬†is now accessible at level 68, down from level 70.
    • The Mechanar¬†is now accessible at level 68, down from level 70.
  • Zul’Gurub
    • Bloodlord Mandokir will no longer use Decapitate against his current target.


  • Lorewalker Cho now allows heroes to take part in either faction’s Scenarios, so players can see what the other side has been up to.
  • Crypt of the Forgotten Kings
    • Fixed an issue where Uncontrolled Anger was improperly causing characters to drop out of stealth.
  • A blog titled:¬†PvP Gear in Patch 5.3¬†has additional information and reasoning behind the PvP changes in 5.3.
  • All characters now have a base Resilience of 65%.
  • Battle Fatigue now reduces the amount of healing and absorbs by 45%, up from 30%.
  • PvP Power conversion ratio to obtain 1% damage at level 90 has been changed from 265 to 400.
  • PvP Power bonus to healing is now based on class and specialization.
    • Healing specializations receive a 100% bonus to healing from PvP Power.
    • Damage specializations for Druids, Monks, Paladins, Priests, and Shamans receive a 70% bonus to healing from PvP Power.
    • All other specializations and classes (including tanking) receive a 40% bonus to healing from PvP Power.

PvP Items

  • Season 13 Tyrannical gear had their item levels increased to ilevel 496, up from ilevel 493. Weapons and shields/off-hand items remain unchanged at ilevel 498.
  • Season 13 Tyrannical Elite gear had their item levels decreased to ilevel 496, down from ilevel 512.
  • Resilience has been removed from most PvP gear.
    • Resilience gems and enchants will continue to be available.
    • 4-piece PvP set bonus for all Season 12 and 13 armor sets that granted 1000 Resilience now grants 1000 PvP Power instead.
  • PvP Power will remain exclusively on PvP gear.
  • The amount of PvP Power and Resilience on gems and Mystic Cogwheel have been reduced by 50%.
  • Tyrannical weapons no longer have a conquest-earned prerequisite to purchase them.
  • Glorious Tyranny weapon enchantment now grants 600 PvP Power instead of 400 PvP Power and 200 Resilience.
  • New weapon enchantment: Bloody Dancing Steel is functionally equivalent to Dancing Steel, shares the same visual effect as Glorious Tyranny, costs a scroll of the base enchant, and requires a 2200 rating.
  • New weapon enchantment: Spirit of Conquest is functionally equivalent to Jade Spirit, shares the same visual effect as Glorious Tyranny, costs a scroll of the base enchant, and requires a 2200 rating.
  • Tyrannical Gladiator‚Äôs Tabard and Tyrannical Gladiator‚Äôs Greatcloak are available as new prestige items at 2500 rating for 1000 Conquest Points.
  • Big Zokk Torquewrench has returned from their leave of absence.
  • Glorious Conquest Quartermasters (Acon Deathwielder, Ethan Natice) have returned after refitting their wares.
Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Battlegrounds, Rated Battlegrounds, and Arenas now have an ilevel cap. All gear will be scaled down to ilevel 496.
  • To facilitate a more balanced team composition, players now need to select a role when queuing up for a Battleground or Rated Battleground. Role selection should have no effect on queue times. The matchmaking system attempts to balance the number of healers on each team based on the ratio of healers and non-healers queued.
  • Mid-season catch-up for Conquest Points has been added. Players will now see their cap on Conquest Points increased by 1000 per week since the start of Season 13 minus the amount of Conquest Points earned so far in this season.
  • Picking up the Alliance or Horde flag while in a Rated Battleground now increases damage taken by 50% for characters in a tanking specialization, and increases damage taken by 20% for characters in a non-tanking specialization.
  • Dalaran Arena: Masons of Dalaran have been hard at work installing steps in the two remaining corners of the arena.
  • Eye of the Storm: The starting platforms have been lowered.
  • Herbalists of low skill can now pick herbs in Pandaria for a small amount of usable material. The yield an herbalist will be able to harvest from each node is determined by skill level.
  • Miners of low skill can now mine mineral deposits in Pandaria for a small amount of usable material. The yield a miner will be able to harvest from each node is determined by skill level.
  • The¬†Voidbinders are back¬†in capital cities and shrines.
    • PvE Item Upgrades
      • Items upgradable by Valor now require 250 Valor to upgrade per 4 item levels, for a total of 500 Valor for 8 item levels per item. This is retroactive to all items that use Valor.
      • Items upgradable by Justice now require 750 Justice to upgrade per 8 item levels, for a total of 750 Justice for 8 item levels per item. This is retroactive to all items that use Justice.
    • PvP Item Upgrades
      • Malevolent Gladiator‚Äôs Conquest (Season 12) items that have upgrades available are still upgradable at their original costs.
      • Dreadful Gladiator‚Äôs Honor (Season 12) items that have upgrades available are still upgradable at their original costs.
      • No other PvP items are upgradable.
  • Players can now use items that are in the bank or Void Storage for transmogrification.
  • Reduced the amount of Justice, Honor, and Darkmoon Faire tickets needed to¬†upgrade heirloom items by 60%.
  • Players starting on Cataclysm content can purchase level-80¬†gear from Iris Moonweaver in Hyjal and Erunak in Vashj’ir to more easily qualify for Blackrock Caverns and Abyssal Maw: Throne of Tides.
  • Two new purchasable items using Elder Charms of Good Fortune have been added to the quartermasters on the Isle of Thunder.
    • An Empty Supply Crate that can be placed and jumped on in the Troves of the Thunder King Scenario.
    • Excess Elder Charms of Good Fortune can be used to purchase an Arcane Trove/Sunreaver Bounty.
  • A new achievement and reward has been added for obtaining 200 mounts.
  • Unclaimed Black Market Containers are now available on the Black Market Auction House. What’s inside? It’s a mystery! When opened, the container has a chance to contain any item that can be available on the BMAH.
  • Eye of the Black Prince can now be used to apply a prismatic socket on Reborn weapons.
  • Justice Heirloom vendors now have Heirloom shields in stock.
  • Kirin Tor and Sunreaver Beacons are now usable from inside the Throne of Thunder.
  • Shado-Pan Assault belts now require Friendly reputation to purchase, down from Revered.
  • Shado-Pan Assault chest pieces now require Honored reputation to purchase, down from Revered.
  • The following PvP trinkets now have a cooldown of 2 minutes, down from 5 minutes.
    • Bequeathed Insignia of the Alliance
    • Bequeathed Insignia of the Horde
    • Inherited Insignia of the Alliance
    • Inherited Insignia of the Horde
    • Inherited Mark of Tyranny
    • Insignia of the Alliance
    • Insignia of the Horde
  • The following trinkets have on-use effects reduced by 33%, but have a 100% increase to duration when used in a Battleground or Arena.
    • Fabled Feather of Ji-Kun
    • Renataki‚Äôs Soul Charm
    • Steadfast Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault
    • Wushoolay‚Äôs Final Choice
  • The following trinkets have on-use effects reduced by 75%, but have a 400% increase to duration when used in a Battleground or Arena.
    • Delicate Vial of the Sanguinaire
    • Gaze of the Twins
    • Primordius‚Äô Talisman of Rage
    • Talisman of Bloodlust
  • All other trinkets above ilevel 502 have on-use effects reduced by 50%, but have a 100% increase to duration when¬†used in a Battleground or Arena.
  • Courageous Primal Diamond had its clearcasting effect renamed to ‚ÄúLucidity‚ÄĚ to differentiate it from other spells with that name.
  • In-game support system is now¬†a direct portal to the Support site, allowing players to access the knowledge base and support contact system.
  • Dungeon Journal has been reorganized. The model view has moved into a sub-tab and replaced with a listing of bosses for the dungeon or raid.
  • A new option to display pet tamers on the world map has been added. This should help players looking to find unlocked Pet Battle daily quests.
  • When using name plates, castbars will now display for all creatures and players in the area.
Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an issue in Brawl’gar Arena where players boarding The Skybag may be unable to spectate brawls that were taking place.

Death of a galaxy?

star_wars_galaxiesStar Wars Galaxies – have you heard of it?

I’d be surprised if you haven’t, considering you’re here on this site reading material related to the forthcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Galaxies was the first attempt at an MMO based on the world of George Lucas’ Star Wars, originally developed by Sony Online Entertainment on the Windows platform and published by LucasArts, and only released in Australia in 2006 (after having been first released back in 2003 elsewhere). I’d like to bring attention to this older Star Wars themed MMO, primarily because I believe its future fate hangs in the balance with the forthcoming release of the new (and improved) offering from Bioware.

The question is, will the masses of people (if masses there are), switch their loyalty over to the newer game? Galaxies has a somewhat chequered past, and it’s well known that the development team made some changes that didn’t sit well with the community at large. Details can be easily uncovered with the aid of some simple Google searching, but what I’m trying to get at is the question of whether Bioware and LucasArts will take note and not repeat the same mistakes made in the past by LucasArts’ former partnership with Sony Online Entertainment.

Star Wars Galaxies opened up with the idealistic goal of engaging the community, providing a game that had some unique and innovative options. Somewhere along the way, they lost touch, and decisions were made to change the game in a dramatic fashion, which on the whole didn’t seem to please the community.

In fact, the changes were so dramatic that an open source movement grew up to try and “free” the server technology and provide a pre-CU (Combat Upgrade – the infamous first major update) emulated server SWGEmu. It looks like the community is well on the way to returning to what a large section of the population believe is the height of the Galaxies game.

This does leave a lot of room to ponder the future implications and responsibility that lies on the shoulders of Bioware and LucasArts to deliver a game that stands up to the hype and delivers on their promises – it wouldn’t be the first time a community that has felt betrayed has taken it upon themselves to rectify the situation.

It would be a shame to see history repeating itself, and I’d hate to see SWTOR go through rapid growth, only to have the population halved (as in the case where Galaxies shut down almost half of their active servers) due to mismanagement and choosing to ignore the players and community that are the bedrock of MMO games.

That said, having been a part of the SWTOR community so far, I’m sure that the Star Wars Universe could not be in a better pair of hands than those of Bioware and LucasArts.

As to what will happen with Star Wars Galaxies – currently they still have 13 active servers, and I’d be guessing that a lot of players that have invested a significant amount of time would be loathe to part ways. Galaxies is walking a fine line however, and I don’t think they have the luxury any longer of foisting new half baked experiments onto the community as alternatives will soon exist in the form of SWTOR and emulated servers using the SWGEmu application, which opens up a whole new galaxy to those players seeking some stability and respect for their gaming dollar.

SWTOR’s combat system: an initial review

coruscant Self-proclaimed SWTOR newcomer Phillip has a close look at SWTOR’s combat system:

Bounty Hunter Class
UI looks pretty straight forward. UI appears to be hidden during “cutscenes”. Dialog Interface during cutscenes to decide on conversation path seems intuitive, reminds me somewhat of the Sims dialogue widget. Action bar sitting along the bottom along with character hp bar sitting slightly above. Mini-map sitting along the bottom, the majority of the screen apart from the bottom is free of distractions. Point and click based combat similar to WoW with use of skills from the action bar. Very little use of cover or tactics it appears, target appears on the other side of the UI action bar.

Smuggler Class
Represents Han Solo fantasy, once again makes use of a basic blaster. Disappointing that the cover zones are specified, would have been nice to have cover accounted for simply by being obstructed. Why don’t other classes have access to cover facilities? They keep talking about “Heroic” combat, I don’t see all that much heroic about hiding behind a rock.

Korriban Planet Review: Sith Warrior Class
Sith learn their training on this planet. Appears to be melee based class, and has what appears to be a rage style bar. The light sabre effects look good, will be curious to see what kind of system demands are placed on PCs and Macs. The scenery from all demos looks fantastic, plenty of spaces to take cover it looks (not sure if they are cover zones). Enemies make use of cover, the demo doesn’t really detail the AI capabilities.

Flashpoint: High Level Bounty Hunter and High Level Sith Warrior
UI in the cutscene shows two of the character portraits in the lower left hand corner. Can’t work out what the numbers are being shown in the portrait icon. Interactive system and it appears different group members have an opportunity to participate. Force Charge used, force bar seems to charge through melee attacks. Nice fire effect from the Bounty Hunter. Looks like decisions will affect “Dark Points” accrued, I’m assuming Jedi’s accrue “Light Points”? Storm Troopers armed with Melee weapons? Why wouldn’t they be equipped with range weaponry? Especially going up against Sith or Jedi. Sith Warrior has crowd control abilities. Jet Pack, Death from Above ability, no player control it appears, an action bar ability. Bounty Hunter has lockpick type abilities, explodes the locked door. The combat on the whole does feel epic watching it from the point of view of the Sith Warrior, not so sure it has the same feel while playing ranged. Bounty Hunter has Sleep Dart. Jedi Padawan takes on the Sith Warrior. Not very acrobatic combat or relying on the use of the Force much apart from a Force Choke. Combat against the Jedi Knight appears to be very stationary, would have been nice to see more acrobatics and movement rather than so much toe-to-toe combat. The UI appears to be very slick, will be curious to see whether or not 3rd party addons will be allowed and to what extent they can have effect on the UI customisation. Inventory system is more compressed and doesn’t waste screen real estate with the characters avatar shown. First ever multi voice dialogue system.

The Sum Up

Wow. Exciting. Visually compelling.

How else to describe the video delights Bioware is releasing currently to those of us impatiently awaiting every tidbit of news they dangle before us. Having spent some time watching the developer walk-through, it had me thinking about combat and what we’ve seen so far in the demo. Overall I’m fairly impressed, but it’s not so impressive to leave me speechless and in awe (on the flip-side the environments and atmosphere did impress me – a lot).

There was just something a little off in the way combat appeared to pan out during the walk-through, if I had to pick a word to describe it, I would probably say it’s a little ‘wooden’. Now what do I mean by that I hear you ask? Movements and actions just seemed too orchestrated, there just didn’t appear to be any kind of “flow”. Most of the classes just stood exchanging blaster fire or melee blows which didn’t equate to anything “heroic” in my book.

Every time you read through or watch a Bioware interview they always talk about how “heroic” their combat is going to be along with all the “heroic” action. I think the story is heroic, but as for the combat shown, it’s not so heroic. I’ll break it down and go through some of the issues I feel need to be addressed.

The smuggler, a great class idea, and it’s use of a cover system is exciting, but I’d really like to know why they are the only class to have access to “cover”. Shouldn’t every class be able to make use of objects or obstructions as refuge from persistent laser blasts? Last time I watched the films I vividly recall that all of the heroes at least spent some time huddled away behind doors, or cargo boxes exchanging blaster fire, even the mighty Jedi weren’t averse to ducking out of the way every now and then. As a game mechanic it’s great, but yes, I don’t see why it’s a unique class perk, just seems a little silly to me, when you see a smuggler taking cover while his Trooper buddy stands out in the open taking the heat – I really think if he had a little common sense he’d be jumping for cover as well!

There has been a lot of excitement in the forums surrounding the Bounty Hunter’s jet pack, a lot of people are speculating as to whether or not it will be possible to use it to fly around the zones. It looks like that will not be the case, although I could be proven wrong as higher level details haven’t been released at this stage. From what was released in the walk-through, it will be leveraged in some of the abilities available to the Bounty Hunter, but just being able to quickly shoot into the air a few feet and rain down some damage seems a little understated. At least have the Hunter drop a nuke or something worthwhile – a few puny blaster shots does not constitute “death from above”.

The Sith Warrior was exciting to watch, there’s something about seeing light sabres flash and skewering people effortlessly that is so visually thrilling. It’s eyeball candy, very hypnotising. There was even the occasional use of force choke thrown in for good measure. There wasn’t much to not like about the Sith Warrior, it definitely looked to be a more immersive style of play and the flow of combat between the Sith Warrior and the Jedi Knight near the end brought back memories of the epic light-show dance of death you see in the films. I’m looking forward to what they’ll have to offer with the Jedi (when they officially release the class info).

The environments shown look rich and intricate, a lot of thought and effort has been put into the design of the game world. I’m very curious to see how it will turn out in terms of scale, as we are dealing with Planets in the Star Wars mythos, not simply cities or continents. I’d expect some areas will be richer than others, and I’m really looking forward to combat in varied atmospheres against different species!