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by Published on 2015-09-05 11:52 AM

Death's Breath Farming Builds for WD and DH, Bounty Speed Farming Crusader, Rank #1 DH

Nozdormu Jousting Bug has been Hotfixed, Hearthstone Loot Crate Goodies

Eternal Conflict Ending on Sep 8th, Hero League Changes, Sylvanas Hotfix Deployed, Epic Plays of the Week #44

Dragoncon 2015
TheCrafticus was at Dragoncon and talked about Legion! MMO-Central and Elvine were also there and live tweeted the whole thing.

Classes
  • Demon Hunters are starting at Level 98 right now.
  • Death Knights will continue to start at Level 55.
  • Demon Hunters will have a short transform, with inner demon visuals.
  • Only Demon Hunters will be able to use glaives.
  • Double jump won't be disabled anywhere.
  • Survival Hunters will get a Harpoon ability that allows them to throw a spear to pull mobs towards them.
  • Most specs are getting overhauled, tweaking them to fit the fantasy of the spec. Some will be renamed.
  • Some specs will use a renamed resource, such as Insanity for Shadow Priest.
  • The sewer class hall for Rogues looks great, not really like a sewer at all. It will have treasure chests.
  • The Moonkin model will be updated.
  • No new major glyphs will be added.
  • No Gnome hunters yet, maybe when it makes sense to add them.

Professions
  • There will be a "single system" to upgrade profession items. The current item will be destroyed, giving you a reagent needed for the upgrade (Obliterium).
  • A new team will be working on professions this time, including profession quest lines.
  • Professions will get some crafting items from dungeon loot.
  • Professions won't have daily cooldowns.
  • Prospecting could make a return.

Transmog / Items / Stats
  • If the new transmog system is account wide, the item must be usable by the class trying to use it.
  • No tabard tab is currently planned, but the new transmog system should help to clear up some space.
  • Multistrike is being removed and other secondary stats will have changes as well.
  • Players can still only equip three profession crafted items.
  • There won't be specific item art for each race and class, as Artifact weapon art is the priority.

Misc
  • Dungeons will absolutely be relevant again.
  • Illidan is ready to lead Demon Hunters against the Burning Legion.
  • The Park in Stormwind won't be repaired yet.
  • There are plans for Jaina.
  • The backpack might be updated.
  • Warlords was not a filler expansion and built some things that will be used going forward.


Patch 6.2.2 Hotfixes - September 4
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Raids and Dungeons
Timewalking
  • Gundrak
    • Fixed an issue where the loot tables for Gal'darah and Eck the Ferocious got swapped while Timewalking.

PvP
General
  • Fixed an issue where players were not transforming correctly into the opposite faction in Mercenary Mode.
  • Players with the Mercenary Contract effect should now be able to use faction mounts while in an Arena Skirmish, Rated Arena match, or Rated Battleground.
  • Fixed an issue where Rated Battleground faction auras were incorrectly applied while in the Arena.

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an issue where some characters were unable to complete bonus objectives.

Legion - Moonkin Model Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Sounds like there’s been a misunderstanding somewhere here. Our current plan is that Moonkin Form will indeed receive a high-res model update in Legion.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP
What's your favorite thing about PVP? What first attracted you to it? What keeps you playing it? (holinka)

Heroes of the Storm - Rexxar Spotlight
Blizzard shared a Rexxar spotlight video today!



Final Boss #94 - Avoidance Tanks
Final Boss talked to some avoidance tanks last week!

by Published on 2015-09-04 09:52 AM

Helltooth Lag Fixes, Reddit Q&A Recap, Barbarian Guides Thread, Kanai's Legendary Rolls

Nozdormu Jousting Bug has been Hotfixed, Hearthstone Loot Crate Goodies

Eternal Conflict Ending on Sep 8th, Hero League Changes, Sylvanas Hotfix Deployed, Epic Plays of the Week #44

Dragoncon 2015
This recap was moved to the latest news, along with updates so that daily visitors wouldn't miss the updates.


Timewalking Reward Costs
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
They already tweeted a pretty stand-pat stance about this. Their claim is it's "meant to take dedication". I'm not expecting any type of change until after BlizzCon at the earliest.
One of the problems with Twitter as a medium is the lack of space for nuance. There are hundreds of mounts in WoW, and they are obtainable by a wide variety of different means. Some are simple to get, and cheaply bought off vendors; some require great feats of skill like Gladiator and current Mythic raid mounts; some require tremendous luck (e.g. the Elegon mount); and some require long-term effort (e.g. the Violet Proto-Drake from A Long Strange Trip, or Darkmoon Faire prizes).

Ultimately they are all cosmetic rewards, and Timewalking is designed to be an evergreen system that we will be expanding over the years. Unlike, say, a Tanaan rep mount that clearly was designed to be earned within the scope of this patch, there will be people doing Timewalking (especially as more dungeons, and more expansions' content get added) throughout the future of WoW, and this represents a long-term goal within that framework.

If you want to rush through dozens of Timewalking dungeons in a short timeframe to be one of the first to get the mount, and you'd find that experience satisfying, then by all means do so. But I certainly wouldn't say that's the intended approach here. The 500-Badge quest turn-in is a once-per-event thing (which we definitely could have made clearer), so if you want to take a more measured pace and just do the Timewalking quest each time the event comes around while you happen to otherwise actively be playing, you can get the mount with just a few total hours spent (though over a longer period of real time). It's up to you. In the meantime, there are other items (notably some great alt catch-up gear) available through the system, and those are much more attainably priced.

Accolade Trinkets and PvP Gearing
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We do not plan to put the random-stat Accolade trinkets on the vendors.

However, we did uncover a bug that was causing them to provide twice the secondary stat bonus than was intended. That bug was corrected in patch 6.2.2.

Frankly (speaking for myself as a player, and not for the development team), I'm not convinced that the Accolade trinkets are all they're cracked up to be.

The Wild Gladiator's Accolade of Dominance provides 403 Intellect and 403 Versatility in PvP combat. The Insignia provides 469 Versatility and a 20-second 1330 Intellect proc. In sustained combat, it tends to proc around every 60 seconds, giving it roughly a 33% uptime for an average benefit of ~440 Intellect.

Combine that with the fact that you have to actually be damaging someone for it to proc (which increases the effective uptime by cutting out sections where you're not hitting anyone) and the increased burst potential by allowing you to use your hardest-hitting abilities while it's active... and I'd argue that for the vast majority of players the proc trinket is easily better.

Granted, you might want a different secondary stat which isn't available on the Insignia. In that case I would argue that the difference between 469 Versatility and, lets say, 403 Mastery would be EXTREMELY minor at best.

I could also see an argument for those who are playing Humans, in which case you'd likely be comparing the Accolades to the Badges (the on-use trinkets) instead of the Insignias. As you can probably imagine, buffing Humans isn't exactly high on our priority list at the moment.

All that said, I won't pretend for a second that I'm the best Arena player, and these are obviously just my personal opinions. I'm just not seeing what makes the Accolade trinkets so incredibly attractive that they're absolutely mandatory to the point that it's worth doing content you don't enjoy for a chance to get hold of one.

I'm not really defending RNG PvP gearing, and I think the actions the development team has taken since 6.2 released speak pretty well to say that the devs aren't happy with the way it worked initially either. And I totally understand why it's frustrating that those actions aren't extending to the Accolade trinkets. All I'm saying is that, if you really don't like Ashran, just don't do it. There are other trinket options, and they're -- at worst -- still pretty good.

EDIT: I should also mention again that I'm really only speaking on behalf of myself and the way I enjoy the game. Just trying to have a conversation here.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
If you talk about "bad people on the internet", what kind of people do you refer to? Those who are critical? Those who threaten?
Those who cross a line. No one minds critique. (holinka)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Hey GC, got any thoughts on Health of the Game vs Player enjoyment? I always feel bad about Cata heroic difficulty caving.
I could write volumes on this. Players respect sticking by your guns to an extent, but at some point it becomes out of touch. (OccupyGStreet)

Developer Communication
Is there substantial data to suggest that dev/player communication results in higher sales and retention?
No, I don't believe so, which is why it is so controversial inside studios, e.g. Valve doesn't seem to value it much. (OccupyGStreet)

miss the dev watercooler that blizz did to keep peeps informed. was concise and it came from one source. was that your idea?
I can't recall. I worked on it a lot with Bashiok and Zarhym. (OccupyGStreet)
Do you remember how many hours of discussion, drafting, revision and review went into each one, on average?
I tend to write very fast, which is why I can do all of this. (OccupyGStreet)
A blog might take 2 hours depending on topic. No idea on editing. (OccupyGStreet)



Poll - What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been
The post covering rewards talked about the What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been achievement and mount, so we decided to see how active players are doing towards obtaining the Violet Proto-Drake. Only 15.8% of players have earned the achievement! Have you completed the achievement yet?



WildStar Free to Play Launches September 29
The new Free to Play version of the game, WildStar: Reloaded, is coming later this month!

by Published on 2015-09-03 05:48 AM

Reddit Q&A Round-up

Brawl: It's Raining Mana, Season Issues Update, CDC Finalist Voting, Headed to Legend S18

Rotation for Sept. 1, 2015, Upcoming Shop Sales, Kharazim Cost Reduction and Lore

Patch 6.2.2 - Timewarped Badge Rewards
The developers confirmed the mount is intended to take a long time to earn.



Patch 6.2.2 Hotfixes - September 2
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Raids and Dungeons
Siege of Orgrimmar
  • Spoils of Pandaria
    • Spoils of Pandaria can now be started by 1 player (down from 5) on Raid Finder difficulty.

PvP
General
  • Winning an Arena Skirmish match now award 40 Honor Points and 25 Conquest Points (up from 20 Honor Points). Skirmishes continue to award bonus Honor if a match goes on for an extended period of time.
  • [Hotfix in testing] Mercenary Mode is now only available to level-100 characters.

Bug Fixes
  • A number of Gnomish NPCs should no longer be unfashionably early in dressing up for Feast of Winter Veil.
  • Fixed an issue with a patch of ocean between Tanaan Jungle and Ashran that could cause characters to disconnect if they fly or swim over it.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Is timewarped gear ment to scale with your level? Warped gear i got at lv70, is still lv70 gear even tho i'm 100 now.
No, Timewarped gear scales to your current level when created, but remains fixed there. (WarcraftDevs)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Developer Communication
How about this question instead: "what can developers do if they actually care about engaging meaningfully with (at least some section) of their playerbase?"
Great question.

Let me say first that I don't want to come off across as the grandmaster of this shit. I make a ton of mistakes.

1) Don't come across as arrogant. This is really hard because you do want to come across as confident. Players don't want to hear that you really have no idea what you're doing. I try to couch things in terms of intentions or goals rather than promises or certainties. I try not to take myself too seriously.

2) Show empathy. Chances are the players are engaging because your game is important to them. Their idea or suggestion may be ridiculous. It might ruin the game. That doesn't matter. You still need to put yourself in their shoes and understand *why* they are saying what they are saying. This can be as simple as acknowledging that the player is upset. Being upset is a totally valid way for them to feel! Players are often better at detecting problems than they are at suggesting solutions. Try and understand the problems they are trying to solve. But at the same time, don't dismiss or belittle their suggestions, even if they aren't feasible.

3) Build trust. This can take a long time and unfortunately can erode quickly. But if you have a reputation then players will often forgive the mistakes that you are almost invariably going to make.

4) Be authentic. This is a great way to build trust. Be as honest as you can. Don't leak information or throw colleagues under the bus, but otherwise try and be transparent about your reasoning. Admitting mistakes here can help a lot.

5) Don't get sucked into arguments. Yeah, I know: sometimes people on the internet are wrong. But it's not your job to win arguments. It's your job to communicate with players. If something has gone back and forth a couple of times, it may be time to move on.

6) Stick to higher ground. This one is tough, but the fact is you are in a position of power since you are the one working on the game. If you pick on a player, even if they made an abusive comment and totally deserve it, you are going to come across as a bully. If you insult someone who insulted you, it's only your comment that will get quoted across the internet.

7) Be transparent about the process. You don't want to convey that your opinion is set in stone, but you also don't want to suggest that it's up to player vote (unless it is). The way I try and describe it is that developers want to make informed decisions. The players provide the information, but the development team makes the final call.

8) Don't get addicted. This is a mistake I see a lot of developers make who are new to community interaction, and no doubt I did it myself on my first job. Having players hang on your every word can be exciting. Making someone happy by promising a change can be rewarding. Just be careful. It's easy to over-promise. It's easy to neglect your day-to-day responsibilities by trying to be too responsive to player engagement. Players would rather have you for a year than every hour for only a week.



Road to BlizzCon – Watch the Americas Regionals Live September 12–13
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Eight teams have qualified for the 2015 World of Warcraft Arena Americas Regionals tournament—one from Latin America, one from Australia and New Zealand, and six from North America. On September 12 and 13, three of those teams will advance to the WoW Arena World Championship at BlizzCon 2015 . . . and five will be heading back home.

You’ll be able to watch the carnage unfold live on Twitch.tv/WoW on September 12 and 13 at 12 p.m. PT—but in the meantime, let’s meet the contenders who’ve risen through the ranks over the past few months


Guild Wars 2 - Base Game Free to Play
ArenaNet made the base Guild Wars 2 game free to play over the weekend! You will still need to purchase the new Heart of Thorns expansion if you want to play the new content, but you can still play the base game for free without purchasing it. You can see the different account restrictions in the official FAQ.

by Published on 2015-09-02 12:37 AM

Reddit Q&A Round-up

September Ranked Card Back - Exodar's Exodus

Placement & Ranking Changes, Americas Championship and Giveaways, Fails of the Week

Patch 6.2.2 Downtime
It looks like the team has managed to speed up the patching process, with Patch 6.2.2 requiring less than 2 hours of downtime in the US and less than 1 hour in the EU!



Timewalking Rewards
The Wrath of the Lich King Timewalking event is live! You can purchase rewards from Auzin in the center of Dalaran.

Users are reporting that bosses drop 5 x Timewarped Badge per boss, with 10 from the final boss, and 10 for completing a random dungeon. The Frigid Timewarped Prism drops once during the event, allowing you to complete The Unstable Prism for an additional 500 Timewarped Badge.

This means that players that do 5 Timewalker Dungeons during the event for A Frozen Path Through Time will earn ~675 Timewarped Badge (~35 per dungeon + 500 from the weekly quest).



Patch 6.2.2 Hotfixes - September 1
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Creatures and NPCs
Gorgrond

Raids and Dungeons
Hellfire Citadel
  • Gorefiend
    • Players that perish to Digest or suffer fatal damage while in Gorefiend's stomach should now be able to be seen and resurrected once their bodies have teleported back out.
  • Fel Lord Zakuun
    • The Befouled debuff should now clear immediately when Foul Explosion is triggered.
    • [Requires a realm restart] Exhausted Soul should now be correctly removed from players at the end of the encounter.
  • Archimonde
    • Archimonde's Source of Chaos ability should no longer be summoned without having a target on Mythic difficulty.
    • Raid Finder Difficulty Changes
      • Doomfire Spirits now produce Doomfire patches at a reduced rate on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Doomfire Spirit health has been reduced by 30% on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Archimonde's Shadowfel Burst now only knocks the primary target of the ability into the air on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • On Raid Finder difficulty, if less than 7 players enter the Twisting Nether while there are more than 7 players alive in the encounter, additional players will be pulled into the Nether based on role.
      • Shadowed Netherwalker health has been reduced by 20% on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Infernal Doombringer no longer cast Eternal Flame and take 45 seconds to reach full energy (up from 30 seconds) on Raid Finder difficulty.

PvP
General
  • Battle Fatigue should now be correctly applied to player pets in a PvP environment.
  • Players placed into the opposite faction in a Rated Battleground should now be able to receive the quest, Battle Hardened.
  • Fixed an issue where players can carry the incorrect faction flag in an Arena Skirmish.

Ashran
  • Mercenary Mode should now be correctly enabled for the faction with the longer queue times.

Items
  • Aviana's Feather should no longer incorrectly require the character to have obtained Draenor Pathfinding in order to function on Draenor.
  • Felfume Cloth Armor 4-piece set bonus for damage dealers should no longer incorrectly trigger from Polymorph.
  • Tiny Abomination in a Jar no longer incorrectly has a chance to trigger from extra Blade Flurry hits.

Bug Fixes
  • The flight path offered by Tina Kelatara to take players from Warspear Outpost back to Stormshield Hold should no longer go through a wall.
  • [Hotfix in testing] Fixed an issue where Seer Kazal could sometimes not appear correctly in the Garrisons of new level 100 characters.

Class

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Mistweaver

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Discipline
    • Divine Aegis should no longer have its damage absorption reduced by an incorrect amount through Battle Fatigue.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Racials
Did they forget to buff Touch of the Grave? Its still doing the same amount of damage it was before the patch.
We'll look into it. (CM_Lore)

Bugs
what's up with bladestorm? Animation is borked since 6.2.2. Dwarf. Spins once and then stops moving at all until it's complete.
Thanks, I'll pass it on. (CM_Lore)

PvP
why would you nerf anything when it comes to teams that qualified already on a different state of the game? makes no sens
As stated before, we will do what we feel is right for the game but try to accomodate timing when possible. (holinka)
Good players adapt and overcome to shifts in a game's meta. This is the nature of esports. (holinka)

to change the game a lot after the qualifiers for regionals,all the teams are locked and vulnerable to nerfs
I can't speak for other games. We are only concerned about doing what is best for World of Warcraft. (holinka)
Last year there was a new patch before regional's & I believe they played on the old? #Blizzcon
Incorrect. We stayed on Mists for Blizzcon. (holinka)
you are mistaking Regionals for Blizzcon. 6.0 came out after regionals, before Blizzcon. (holinka)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Developer Communication
but having something like that even once every few weeks makes a huge difference.
I don't know that I agree. On WoW, it might make the paladins happy but then the shaman wondered when it was "their turn." (OccupyGStreet)
I can see that issue. I'd still rather 'somebody' got a turn than nobody. My view may not be consistent with forums overall
If you have say 20 devs engaging it may not be an issue. (OccupyGStreet)
And I have been at two of the largest studios out there, which couldn't produce 20. But I can dream! (OccupyGStreet)



Poll - Flying Achievement
Now that flying is here, it is time to see how many of you are ready to fly! We last looked at this a few weeks ago and it was a pretty even split.

Stats on the overall number of players that have earned the achievement are coming within the next week or so.



Overwatch Beta - Still on Track for Fall 2015
There was some excitement recently after an email went out to contest winners about Overwatch beta, but Blizzard confirmed it isn't starting this week and is still on track for Fall 2015.



Dark Legacy Comics #502 - Worgen
DLC #502 has been released.


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