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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Grim Batol Preview

During a bloody civil war among the three dwarven factions of Ironforge, the Bronzebeards ousted the Wildhammer and the Dark Iron clans from the ancient corridors of the mountain city. In the wake of the defeat, the Wildhammers ventured north and forged a new home, Grim Batol, in the mountains of what is now the Twilight Highlands. However, although they worked tirelessly to create a better future for themselves, the Dark Irons, who established the city of Thaurissan in the Redridge Mountains, could not move beyond the memory of their defeat. Consumed by the desire for revenge and desperate to control the entire dwarven region of Khaz Modan, the Dark Irons led a two-pronged assault on the Bronzebeards in Ironforge and the Wildhammers in Grim Batol. Despite their past differences, these two embattled rivals joined forces and drove the Dark Irons out of Khaz Modan, decimating the armies of the treacherous clan’s sorcerer-thane, Thaurissan. Yet victory carried grave consequences.Although Thaurissan’s wife and queen, Modgud, was slain during the attack on Grim Batol, her death tainted the mountain fortress. While the Bronzebeards rebuilt their glorious city of Ironforge, the Wildhammers felt forever changed by the horrors they witnessed at Grim Batol. They fled their cursed home and never returned.The abandoned city’s defiled corridors later became home to a number of nefarious plots. When the Demon Soul was discovered by the Dragonmaw clan and used to force Alexstrasza’s drakes to serve the Horde, Grim Batol acted as the red Dragon Aspect’s torturous prison. The Dragonmaw held Grim Batol through the Second War, before they were driven out by Deathwing, who planned to steal Alexstrasza’s eggs. Yet as Deathwing carried out his plan, the Demon Soul was destroyed, and the powers locked within were returned to Alexstrasza, Ysera, Nozdormu, and Malygos. Deathwing narrowly escaped an assault by the four re-empowered Dragon Aspects, although he did not leave empty-handed; in his grasp were the eggs of Alexstrasza. For their vile transgressions, the fleeing Dragonmaw were shown no mercy, and the struggle came to a quick end. Members of the red dragonflight were left behind to keep watch over Grim Batol, and for years they successfully guarded its desolate halls from further intrusion… until the arrival of the Twilight’s Hammer, a sinister cult who worshipped Azeroth’s malefic Old Gods.
The cult, seduced by Deathwing’s thirst for absolute domination over Azeroth, has claimed the Twilight Highlands as its base of operations. The black dragonflight has driven off the agents of the red dragonflight who guarded Grim Batol so that it may be used as a fortress for training Deathwing’s minions. The halls of Grim Batol run so deep into the highlands that it is unknown to what twisted end the Twilight’s Hammer is using this doomed dwarven marvel.
Called to action by the red dragonflight in the Twilight Highlands, players will be charged with putting a decisive end to the foul machinations developing within the level-85, 5-player dungeon of Grim Batol. The ferocity of the enemies within should not be underestimated, and with the assistance of brave Red Drakes and a handful of explosives, players can thin the ranks of Grim Batol’s occupiers through bombing flights into the ruined city’s corridors. Regardless of how successful these attacks might be, General Umbris will not allow his army to fall so quickly. In the end, adventurers will be left to their own devices, venturing into the darkest recesses of the dwarven fortress, where a nightmarish enemy is taking shape. Will you be able to uncover Grim Batol’s secrets and emerge unscathed, or will your destiny be sealed within this tortured city, like so many brave heroes before you?
\Cataclysm Beta - Grim Batol

Build 13117 Models - Spectral Steed/Wolf Mounts and Dark Phoenix/Sunflower Pets

The latest beta build added a couple of interesting models. The Reins of the Spectral Steed and Reins of the Spectral Wolf from the Tol Barad quartermasters finally have their own models. Also, the model of the Dark Phoenix Hatchling (Reward from United Nations) has been updated to a nicer version in this build and Brazie's Sunflower got a ridiculously awesome unique model. (Quest reward from the Peacebloom vs Ghouls questline)


Patch 4.0.1 - PTR Build 13131

The test realms have been updated with a new PTR build, this build is tagged as (Release) and seems to be a release candidate for live servers, it's a very small patch with only a few changes to spell data. You can still expect the patch on October 5th or 12th as far as I'm concerned.


Achievements Changes
A couple of beta achievements have been updated and some of the "old" achievements have been reverted to fit the 4.0.1 environment (you have to kill Thrall in Orgrimmar instead of Garrosh, etc ...). Blizzard is definitely polishing for live release.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Guild Achievements - Raids & Dungeons
Raids & Dungeons
General
Quests

Spell Changes
This is a 4.0.1 build and beta is 4.0.3, I strongly suggest that you do not consider these changes as upcoming beta changes, they might be 4.0.1 only. (A couple of changes from the latest beta build have been reverted)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Balance
Feral
  • Stampede Ravage effect now lasts 10 sec, up from 8 sec.

Hunter (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Marksmanship
  • Aimed Shot now scales from 31% of Ranged AP, up from 26%.

Beast Mastery
  • Focus Fire now has a 15 sec cooldown, down from 30 sec.

Mage (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Frost
Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Holy
  • Speed of Light now grants 10/20% spell haste, up from 5/10%. Now grants 20/40% movement speed, up from 10/20%.
  • Infusion of Light now has an additional effect, Increases the critical effect chance of your Holy Shock by 5/10%.

Protection
Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Discipline
Shadow
Holy
Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Elemental

Why was threat decay scrapped?

Blue Post
We still like the idea and it might return someday.

We scrapped it because we didn't think it was necessary and we wanted to focus on things we thought were necessary. We ended up changing threat modifiers quite a bit and getting rid of a lot of the threat management talents. Furthermore, Vengeance is keeping tank dps up pretty well in beta tests -- often 75% or higher of dps. Finally, it was causing a lot of concern among tanks. The intent was to make threat generation more engaging, ultimately to make tanking more fun. But I think we ended up changing so many aspects of tanking (large health pools so avoidance matters more, less AE tanking, mana mattering more, Vengeance, etc.) that changing threat on top of all of that just seemed to some* tanks to be that final straw that made Cataclysm tanking feel totally unfamiliar to them.

* -- This kind of thing is always subjective. We didn't poll every tank; nor would we put a lot of weight on that anyway. Instead, we read a lot of forums and talked to a lot of tanks we knew to gauge whether this was something they were excited about or not. We know there are tanks that hated the idea and those that will be sad to see it go, as is the case with almost any design change. I offer all of that footnote just to try and stave off some of the inevitable threads that will launch from this one. "Healers don't like running out of mana -- remove that. Warriors don't like rage normalization -- remove that." We welcome your opinions on all of those things, but encourage you not to search for the magic switch that will get us to change out minds in areas where we disagree. (Source)