Looking back on it I have to admit it's worded fairly poorly. The intent has always been that they won't contain raid mounts, but can contain mounts from anywhere else. It's really at the discretion of the designers to choose the mounts, we just didn't want people to think it'd be dropping Mimiron's Head or anything like that. You're right, it's a bit misleading. I wish we had caught that.
Sorry for the confusion.
Battlegrounds Win/Loss Ratio - Does the Horde win more in Battlegrounds? (Source)
Assuming the numbers you referenced from a third-party site about win/loss ratios between factions are accurate -- color me skeptical -- do you believe the Horde won 10% more often in Battlegrounds because of the way the two factions are designed (in terms of gameplay)?
If so, what distinct design imbalances exist between the two factions that you believe would cause the Horde to win overall in Battlegrounds 10% more often? They'd have to be major imbalances to produce such a ratio.
If it's not by design, but by player preference -- meaning more PvP-oriented players perhaps tend to roll Horde -- then what do you suggest we do? You say people will quit if we do nothing. Would they not quit if we maybe forced a percentage of PvPing Horde players over to Alliance?
Here is my take. If there are any discrepancies in Battleground performance between Horde and Alliance, they exist in each individual Battleground (not all of which favor Horde), are almost negligible in the grand scheme of balance to which you're referring, and really aren't reflective of overall design flaws. In terms of gameplay, the two factions are roughly equivalent. We designed both with love and care -- what faction, race, and class you choose to pick should entirely be based on your personal preference.
So, while there might be very small design flaws in making all Battlegrounds absolutely even for each faction, every other discrepancy is more a sociological issue. Could you argue we've designed one faction to be more appealing than another? I guess so, but then you're really starting to press into subjective arguments.
Are bosses too hard/is information too difficult to find? (Source)
When you use the word "study" here, are you referring to a normal learning curve (which is standard for most games, even simple ones like checkers and hopscotch)? Or are you being more specific, suggesting that even if someone learns how to play World of Warcraft, the only way he or she can progress through any kind of end-level or dungeon content is by spending countless hours pouring over manuscripts of boss encounters, class specializations, and item spreadsheets?
Standard learning curves aside, I'd argue that most players are capable of tackling dungeon content reasonably well (albeit not necessarily willing to, and that's fine) without referring to outside resources . Do those resources help? Definitely. For a lot of people, they do a great job at breaking important information into palatable, easy-to-digest pieces. And, of course, the more you know about a certain subject, the easier it is to approach. The same applies for most things in life: riding a bike, driving a car -- even playing other popular video games like Portal, Smash Bros, and League of Legends.
Now, could we make it easier for players who want to become more proficient to get their hands on helpful information? Absolutely. To touch upon your concerns specifically, we think the upcoming Dungeon Journal in 4.2 will be a huge boon to players when it comes to jumping into new encounters (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2456449381). We also think that the game could do more to prepare players for those situations, in general -- in terms of actual gameplay -- and have a few ideas regarding how we might be able to accomplish that in the future.
Amani War Bear Color (Source)
It's purple. Yes, the one we originally previewed is a different color and we may make use of it one day. We try to get information to you as quickly as possible via content previews. The major issue we run into though, is that we're pushing for image assets and functionality information as soon as they come off the presses from our developers. So the quicker we are about getting you information, the more likely it is that something will change between the time the preview is posted, and the time the feature/content goes live. This is one of those cases and we're trying to work on ways to minimize them as much as possible.
Flying mounts in no-fly areas (Source)
Allowing more flying mounts to be used as ground mounts in no-fly areas is definitely something we're looking into. Right now, we sort of place flying mounts into three categories: Those that already make sense running around on the ground, and look good doing it. Those that would require a few more animations before they'd really look and feel appropriate. And those that would still seem out of place no matter what kind of visual tweaks we'd make to their ground run/walk.
Hippogryphs are a good example of a flying mount that we feel could work in no-fly areas with some additional animations. It's something we'd like to do in the future, definitely, but we wouldn't be able to guarantee any sort of timeframe when a change like that could occur.
Paying for premium services (Source)
These are premium services added to better accommodate the wants and needs of players. They do not factor into what you get for buying the game/expansions and paying monthly for access to the serers. By no means do you need any of these premium services to enjoy World of Warcraft gameplay to the fullest extent. Should you desire to take advantage of some extra services to enhance your enjoyment of the game though, they're certainly there for you... if you feel it's worth the price.
We've made countless quality-of-life improvements to the game in terms of content, UI, data storage, character profiles, etc. We've expanded upon what you get for your monthly subscription by leaps and bounds since the game was first released, but the subscription price has not changed.
Everything we do and every service we add costs more money than you might realize. So, if we do occasionally add some premium services which are purely to give you more options for enjoying the game how you want (changing your realm, faction, race, name, physical appearance, etc.), we need to make sure there is an appropriate value added to those services so we can sustain them, sustain our business, and keep focusing on making this the best game possible.
WarlockUnstable Affliction Hotfix (Source)
Spell power still affects it, but we felt the buff to the "backlash" damage from UA being dispelled was a little too high when the coefficient remained the same. Now you're getting about half the spell power bonus to the UA dispel damage, but the net effect should still be a buff to that damage in 4.1 compared to 4.0.6.
[...] It was my understanding that this hotfix was to compensate for an oversight. I believe it was intended that the coefficient be changed along with the buff in 4.1, but was missed originally, then caught when we started parsing the post-4.1 class performance data. I could be wrong though, so I'll see if I can get a better answer for you when I'm not at home trying to level an alt.
Yay! Let's nerf things before we fix the bugs! (Source)
That's a bit of an oversimplification of the issue here. When I say "a bit," I'm oversimplifying how drastically off the mark your comment is.
We pushed a hotfix for the pushback issue on April 27. Around the same time a change was checked in to tone down the dispel damage of Unstable Affliction. We understand some of you disagree, but the numbers were too high. Affliction warlocks are faring quite well right now, particularly in Arenas where this change really matters.
The reduction to the UA dispel damage was made on May 2, but we also found out that a programming issue prevented the original hotfix to the pushback bug from working correctly.
Performing server-side fixes to the game is tricky. Sometimes a bit of trial and error is involved to ensure the code changes we're making don't have major adverse affects on gameplay. We've been doing extensive testing on ways to fix the pushback issue for the last few days now. It looks like a client-side patch will be required. That's still not going to stop us from making other necessary adjustments. Even with the pushback issue, UA dispel damage was too high.
[...] I take it back. The pushback fix should now be live. You might need to log out for about 10 minutes to ensure it's picked up properly. It otherwise doesn't require a realm restart though.