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WoW MoP Beta Release Date

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
MoP Beta Release Date
We haven't announced beta for Mists of Pandaria as of yet. We'll do our best to keep everyone informed however. (
Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

DoTA Style Battleground
Cory Stockton addressed this during the press event. We stated at BlizzCon we had three map ideas we were considering, but the plan was always to choose two for the initial launch of the expansion. The DotA-style map was the one we decided not to run with for launch. It's still a Battleground gameplay style we'd like to do during the Mists of Pandaria life cycle. (
Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

No Squish or New Player Models?
First, we will have to see how things go. If things need a look at (squish wise) we'll look at them, as always. It's too soon to know how this will play out, but I think Ghostcrawler has explained a bit about the thoughts on this in a 
previous blog post.

WoW Insider also does a good job of explaining a bit more about this topic that perhaps make this not the issue it was before.

Rather than compressing item levels and retuning seven years' worth of content, the developers appear to have opted to go with the concept of Mega Damage, replacing a bunch of spare 0s with a K or an M where appropriate. When killing mobs in Pandaria, my four-digit damage was not compressed. If I hit something for 3,000 damage, it displayed as 3,000 damage. However, five-digit numbers and higher were compressed. 30,000 became 30K. It's a very simple solution and should have very little impact on your gameplay overall.

We'll be keeping an eye on things however.

Second, we are working to update character models, but this isn't an easy undertaking. As you may have seen already, there has been a lot of work done to get Mists of Pandaria this far (from BlizzCon) and I'd hope that everyone can see that the developers have been very hard at work getting us here. Character models aren't something you can do overnight and make them stack up to the expectations of what that means. We want to make sure (like everything we do) that we do our best to get it right.

There's a lot of information out in the wild right now that we are working to gather for you all, and understanding the concerns or questions people have after seeing all of that will help us to provide more insights or answers where needed. (
Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Garrosh Spoilers
We run into a couple problems with the idea of keeping this a secret. As you mentioned, everyone knew who the end bosses were for the previous expansions. This set an expectation for each one. You could argue that this had to be done since the storyline was largely based on getting to that end boss and killing them.

But, either we don't say anything now and expectations go a different direction than we intend, or we tell people and "spoil" it. There's not going to be that same direct path to an end boss (at least initially) to get people prepared the same way as you were for Arthas or Illidan, or Deathwing. That said though, I don't think that, in the end, we're spoiling anything.

The news is out there now and we can focus first and foremost on getting to Pandaria and exploring it (while killing new and exotic creatures) and secondly, we can get right to the real enemy (war itself) after we've run amok there and caused all kinds of havoc with what should have remained a relatively tranquil place in the world. (
Blue Tracker /Official Forums)

Female Pandaren Model
I'm going to attempt to nip "complaints" in the bud a bit. First I'll link you to WoW Insider's write up about what they saw so that it's not just my word about how great this model looks- Go 
here to read.

Next, I'm going to simply say that what you are seeing is a small sample of what this character looks like. You have a choice of the red version (with long tail) or the more traditional pandaren style with the stub tail. She has many amazing new hairstyles you will get to see as well as many choices for her face and features. On top of this, this model looks amazing in motion.

I don't want to squash any discussions, because I think constructive feedback is always valuable, but we're pretty happy with how she came out and from what I've seen so far, a large portion of the community is as well. When you all get to see her within the game, we can talk some more if you still have some concerns. Again, I'm not trying to be dismissive, but seeing the character in motion with all of her options may well change this whole conversation you're trying to start up. 

Don't get too caught up on getting nitty gritty with feature choices/facial choices, but there are a good amount to choose from. (
Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Player Model Update
Considering the female panda looks awful I'm not looking forward to this.
This is a perfect example of why we have to be super careful with updating the models. People have vastly different opinions on what looks good and what doesn't.

Some people will no doubt love any upgrades we make to the models — others may not. When something you see on your screen all the time, something you may have been looking at for years and are perfectly happy with, suddenly gets changed, it may not be a welcome change for everyone. So we're not rushing it. Also, these model updates require the work of our very best artists, and those guys aren't exactly sitting twiddling their thumbs right now. (
Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New LFR Loot System
First, other players will not affect your loot in any way. Another player winning will not cause you to lose. Another player winning a mace will not mean that she took your mace. If there are many rogues in the raid, your chance of winning a rogue item is not diminished. We may decide that each player has an X% chance to get loot, or we may decide that X number of players get loot, and then randomly determine who those lucky players are.

Second, the item you win will be “useful” in the sense that it’s potentially usable by your current spec. This does not mean that warriors will get leather because warriors can equip leather (at a huge stat loss). It also does not mean that the game will always give you an item you want or an upgrade for the items you have. It just looks and says “You are a Holy priest, so here is a random item chosen from the Holy priest-appropriate items that this boss can drop.”

This system is a different feature from the “bonus roll.” When choosing to cash in on your bonus roll, you will always win something, but it may only be gold. If you win an item, the game again looks at your spec and only awards you an item appropriate for your current spec (using the priest example above).

Finally, this loot system will only be used in Raid Finder, and possibly for world bosses. We might consider using it for Dungeon Finder depending on how it works out. However, we still like the basic design of organized groups of guilds or friends deciding who should get loot. We will also no doubt iterate and refine the system once players can try it out in beta. 

This sounds far too complicated for the average player.
That isn’t our intent. We’re providing details here because players want to understand them. In the game, the experience will just be “You won this.” You will either be happy because it’s an item or really happy because it’s a big upgrade for you. You may be jealous of other players who won great items, but you hopefully won’t hate them since they didn’t take an item away from you.

The main reason that they need to "fix" the way loot is gained is because people are too greedy/stupid and roll need on things they don't really need.
There’s probably some of that, but overall it’s not strictly a problem of players being malicious or uninformed. Raid Finder just feels different from a normal or heroic raid. The experience a lot of us have in Raid Finder is an item pops up, but the raid may already be pulling the next boss, and there isn’t time or inclination to sit down and discuss who should get the item, so you just hit Need if the game lets you. Often times you don’t even realize which items you won until the run is over. We think Raid Finder is a streamlined way to raid so it needs a more streamlined loot system. Reducing loot drama among strangers isn’t a bad goal either, but it wasn’t our only concern.

Can that system at least be used to have a boss not drop rogue items for a group that has no rogue...
Perhaps, but our concern was that if players have too much control over what loot dropped, it invites a lot of group engineering. You might be able to force the game to drop druid items if you formed a raid of nothing but druids. Both Valor Points and the new bonus roll design are intended to partially offset the potential for just having really bad luck. 

Say Souldrinker, Bob wins it this week, is it possible for the loot system to give it to him again next week if he wins his roll?
The new system won't have a record of your loot history or check your inventory. In your example, Bob might win the same item off of the boss every week (assuming he's running as the same spec each time).

The only thing the system looks at is 1) if you are eligible for loot (have you killed this guy already this week?), and 2) what your current spec is.

Before this I would try and keep an eye out for good items for my off-spec assuming no one else needed the item in the group. When you do the same instance several times you're bound to get a tank that already has that item and so on
Ideally, you would gear up through dungeons or other sources of loot and enter as main spec. One of the sources of current loot frustration is when a player who isn’t in a role earns gear for that role. We also don’t want to give DPS players a bunch of tanking items that they don’t want. In Mists, the one way you can communicate to the game what gear you want is through the role you're filling in the raid.

We're confident there are enough alternate means to obtain viable loot for your off spec in Mists that you'll be adequately equipped to perform in that role when you want to. 

So you can win the same item over and over? Doesn't this seem like a waste of loot?
Loot gets wasted today if someone needs it who already has it (probably because they need everything), or if the game just keeps dropping the same stuff over and over. Some amount of loot wastage is okay -- we don't actually want loot accrual to be too efficient or players finish the content too quickly. On the other hand, we don't want it to be so frustrating that players give up. Slot machines need to pay off once in awhile, but not every time. 

There seems to be a fair amount of confusion about this system, so let me clarify some of what I'm seeing. Before jumping into it, just know we have plans to do a developer blog on Mists of Pandaria looting soon. We'd like to cover some of the larger questions/concerns in a more visible way, rather than further burying them in responses here.

Will the items that we win be trade-able?
You can’t trade loot if the game assigns it to you in LFR. That would defeat the whole purpose. Imagine it works like completing a quest – here is your personal, soulbound reward. If you enter with a full pre-made group, then you can use Master Looter or the loot system of your choice (just like today) and can trade items as normal.

You have a personal slot machine to play, and so do each of the other 24 raid members, and no ones personal slot machine affects the outcome of anyone ELSE'S slot machine.
This is correct. The only reason I offered that the game might decide how many players get loot in advance, is we thought it might be weird if sometimes 25 players or 0 players got loot -- that might feel broken to participants. However, for the sake of argument, just assume that other players won’t affect your loot. That is the whole point. It won’t matter whether you killed the boss with 1 player or 25 players, and it won’t matter what the spec or class is of those players. The loot is per person and not per raid.

If you are in a 25-player group, can people "pass" and increase the chance that other players will win, by reducing the number of people rolling in the group?
No. There is no concept of rolling in today’s sense (again, only when using this particular LFR looting system). A boss dies and the game says “You won this,” and gives the item to you… hopefully with a little more ceremony than that. 

What's going to happen with bows?

In Mists of Pandaria, bows, crossbows and guns would be considered hunter-appropriate weapons. In LFR, a rogue or warrior would never be offered a bow as a loot reward. Rogues and warriors will still be able to equip ranged weapons, but they would be very sub-optimal for doing so (sort of the equivalent of a warrior wearing cloth). We left the ability to equip weapons for role-playing reasons and because some existing rogues and warriors have epic or legendary ranged weapons, and it would be mean if they could no longer equip them at all.

Everyone rolls - after everyone rolls, the top rollers will be eligible for loot - the boss then releases its random loot and whoever the top rollers are (who are able to use the items) wins the item
The new system is more different than that. Players aren’t asked to roll. The game just “makes the roll” behind the scenes. The game then picks appropriate loot for each of the winners. This is an important distinction because you aren’t competing with other players for specific items – all of the Arms and Fury warriors could win the two-handed Strength sword, or two could win the sword and the third could win a plate Strength helm, if that were also on the boss loot table.

Can't you guys just make the obvious: Make all the drop items unique?
Sure, we could do that, but it seems like all you are really asking for is for the loot system to be more efficient so that you have to run the raid fewer times to get the items you want (since you won’t “waste” a roll on a duplicate item). If we need for raiding to be more loot-efficient, there are many ways to do that, but we don’t want players to gear up too quickly or they run out of things to do. (We also don’t want them to gear up so slowly that they could lose interest.) Also consider that some players may want more than one copy of the same item for different spec or gemming purposes.

This still doesn't really address the problem of people rolling when they really don't need anything. What if those top 4 or 5 rollers all don't need anything off the boss and just receive gold? Completely unfair to the other 20 people who could have made use of the boss drops.
There is no roll like you are describing. A boss dies, and some players in the game will receive loot. They don’t have an option to pass or to get gold instead. But that’s okay, because what they do won’t affect what happens to you. Imagine everyone entering the raid gets a lottery scratch off card for each boss, and after a boss dies, everyone scratches off a card. Some players win. Some don’t. The game then pushes loot to the winners. Then you kill the next boss and scratch off another card.

I don't have a problem with someone winning a role if they can use the item even if it is offspec. I just don't like people being inconsiderate and rolling need when they don't need it or already have it.
We don’t think it’s reasonable to expect a group of strangers who may never play together again to be considerate, especially at the pace at which most Raid Finder groups progress. Often, there is barely time to hit Need or Pass, let alone have a discussion about who gets what loot. The goal of the system isn’t really to be “more fair,” but to make a more streamlined system to match the fast pace of Raid Finder, and to cut down on the number of arguments over loot, because the game will now be making all the decisions about who gets which item instead of the players. Life may still feel unfair sometimes, in that a player who contributed less than you wins a good item, or the player running the raid for the first time gets an item that you spent weeks to get, or someone may have six trinkets to your one. We still want random loot to be random, though the bonus roll system will help a little with being terminally unlucky. (
Blue Tracker / Official Forums)