MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

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by Published on 2015-05-20 05:08 PM

Dev Watercooler - Itemization in 6.2
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In World of Warcraft Patch 6.2, we’re making some changes to our Raid itemization with the goal of improving the Personal Loot experience, creating more interesting distinctions among items, and providing rewards that more closely reflect the challenge players face to earn them.

Personal Loot Improvements
The Personal Loot system offers several advantages to certain group types, but there are still several areas where we think we can make improvements. Our goals with Personal Loot going forward are threefold:
  • Make Personal Loot more consistent and rewarding.
  • Bring Personal Loot up to be competitive with Group Loot, so players who prefer Personal Loot receive rewards comparable to those you get from groups using Master Loot or Need/Greed.
  • Celebrate rewarding Personal Loot within the group in a way that captures the excitement of receiving rewards in Group Loot.

First, rather than treating loot chances independently for each player—sometimes yielding only one or even zero items for a group—we’ll use a system similar to Group Loot to determine how many items a boss will award based on eligible group size. As a result, groups will receive a much more predictable number of drops when they defeat a boss. In addition, set items will reliably drop in Personal Loot, just like they do in Group Loot today. The end result is that groups using Personal Loot will acquire their 2- and 4-piece set bonuses at around the same time as groups using Group Loot acquire theirs.

We’re also increasing the overall rate of reward for Personal Loot, giving players more items overall to offset the fact that Personal Loot rewards can’t be distributed among group members. We know that finding that one awesome specific trinket to round out your gear set can be difficult with Personal Loot, and this should help increase your odds.

Finally, the most visible change is the new Personal Loot UI. Part of the fun of raiding is progressing and improving as a group, not just as an individual. The previous Personal Loot system celebrated your own rewards, but would bury what your groupmates received in the chat log. However, the moment when your friend finally wins that long sought-after sword can be just as important to you as that moment you won your boots—and we wanted the game to help you celebrate it, too. Now when you loot an item, everyone in your group will see what you won!

These Personal Loot improvements aren’t limited to Hellfire Citadel—we’re updating all of our Draenor dungeons, including Mythic dungeons, to use the same system.


Secondary Stats
In the early days of World of Warcraft, Raid bosses didn’t have that many items to drop—there were only 150 items in all of Molten Core, and more than half of those were set items. This small amount of total gear in a Raid meant there might only have been one or two items per slot in an entire tier that were appropriate for your class—and if you were a Hunter or a Shaman in a place like Molten Core, that meant your only option for a belt in the entire Raid zone was your class set piece. On top of that, if an item wasn’t class restricted, it was shared between many other specializations with wildly different ideas of which stats were good or bad. When very few items were available to fill any given slot, the desire to make sure they were useful for many specs led us to keep from straying too far from a 50/50 split on secondary stats.

As the game has evolved, we’ve increased the number of items that bosses drop per kill, as well as the variety of items they drop. We’ve made secondary stats more competitive with one another, and we’ve reduced the frequency of oddball items that were only useful to a few classes. This made more items useful to more people, but eroded the distinction and sense of identity that items held in the past. Too rare became the situation where you knew for sure that this drop was your awesome piece of equipment, and that feeling of finding a truly special item came less often than we would have liked.

To help bolster that sense of excitement, we’ve decided to shake things up when it comes to how secondary stats appear on Raid loot in this patch. Inside Hellfire Citadel, you’ll see a wider range of high and low secondary stat values on items than you have in a long time. Alongside some tuning adjustments that should ensure your attuned stats are the right choice, this change should also make it easier for you to identify which items are good for you in a more interesting way than just “equip the highest Item Level.” Our goal is to help make Hellfire Citadel Raid items more distinct and meaningful to you, and we hope you’ll let us know how things feel once you start collecting your new gear.

Item Level Ramp
As this expansion has progressed, it’s become increasingly apparent that there is a mismatch between challenge and reward for guilds that delve deep into large Raid zones. When the Item Level for rewards across a given difficulty of a zone is flat, a caster staff from Heroic Imperator Mar’gok is largely equal in power to one from Heroic Tectus, despite Mar’gok being the far more challenging boss. We often see and hear about guilds killing a late-zone boss like Blast Furnace for the first time, only to disenchant most of the drops because everyone already has loot from earlier bosses in those slots. On top of that, many guilds move on to higher difficulties before they fully complete a difficulty, because Heroic Darmac loot is stronger than Normal Blackhand loot—and you can get it for much less effort.

To address this, we are structuring Hellfire Citadel so that the Item Level of the loot awarded by bosses increases as players proceed deeper into the zone, culminating in Archimonde—providing both the ultimate challenge and the ultimate reward.

We’re doing this for a few reasons. First, it feels good to get higher-level items as you progress through a zone. One of the more prominent pieces of feedback we got about Blackrock Foundry was that it felt unrewarding for challenging bosses like Iron Maidens to drop loot that was just as good as—or possibly worse than—Gruul’s.

This also breaks up where your best items are in a good way. The power of the items that you can get in a particular slot will differ based on how far through the zone you are. The best boots for you will likely be different if you are on Normal Gorefiend than they would be if you’re on Heroic Mannoroth, which would be different than if you’re on Mythic Iron Reaver, and so on.

We can’t overstate how much we appreciate your feedback on topics like this, especially when you’ve taken the time to join us on the Patch 6.2 PTR and experienced the changes for yourself. As always, everyone’s encouraged to join us and other testers in the PTR Discussion forums as we prepare to unleash Hellfire.
by Published on 2015-05-19 08:57 PM

Patch 6.2 on the Background Downloader
Patch 6.2 went on the Background Downloader this afternoon.



Patch 6.2 PTR - Build 20033
Build 20033 will be deployed to the PTR realms soon.

  • Mass Milling was added for Warlords herbs.
  • Hellfire Citadel Raid Finder gear is now item level 675 - 685. (The Apexis gear you can buy for gold is item level 675)
  • Many Naval missions now require 1 or 2 ships, down from 2 or 3.

New Icons



New Items

Level Type Name
100Junk Bejeweled "Egg"
100Other Iron Fleet Treasure Chest
100Inscription Technique Recipe: Mass Mill Frostweed
100Inscription Technique Recipe: Mass Mill Fireweed
100Inscription Technique Recipe: Mass Mill Gorgrond Flytrap
100Inscription Technique Recipe: Mass Mill Starflower
100Inscription Technique Recipe: Mass Mill Nagrand Arrowbloom
100Inscription Technique Recipe: Mass Mill Talador Orchid
100Food & Drink Elemental-Distilled Water


Achievement Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Cataclysm Raid
Dungeons & Raids
  • Chromatic Champion Destroy Deathwing in Dragon Soul on Normal or Heroic Difficulty after beginning the encounter on each Aspect's platform: 10 points. and allowing Deathwing to assault that Aspect: 10 points.

Draenor
Quests

Feats of Strength

Shipyard
Garrisons
  • Admiral (New) Complete 1000 Naval Missions. 10 points.
  • Charting a Course Complete all Complete three of the Rare Naval Missions listed below. Reward: Fleet Commander's Hat. 10 points.
  • Charting a Course Complete all Complete three of the Rare Naval Missions listed below. Reward: Fleet Commander's Hat. 10 points.
  • Fleet Commander (New) Complete 500 Naval Missions. 5 points.



Set Bonus Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Leather

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Item - Mage T18 Arcane 2P Bonus Each time you cast Arcane Blast, the cooldown of your Presence of Mind is reduced by 30 sec. Your Arcane Blast has a 40% chance to trigger Presence of Mind without triggering its cooldown.

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Item - Warrior T18 Protection 2P Bonus Reduces the cooldown of your Last Stand by 50%. While in Gladiator Stance, your Enrage generates 30 additional Rage. the damage bonus from being Enraged is increased by 20%.



Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Druid (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Talents

Hunter (Forums, Talent Calculator)

Mage (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Frost

Monk (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Mistweaver
  • Revival now has a 40 yd range, down from 100.

Paladin (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Holy
  • Infusion of Light Your Holy Shock criticals reduce the cast time of your next Holy Light or Holy Radiance by 1.50 sec. or increase the healing of your next Flash of Light by 60%. Also increases your haste by 10%. Paladin - Holy Spec.

Priest (Forums, Talent Calculator)
  • Cascade Launch a Shadowy bolt that grows in power with distance, damaging an enemy for up to [ 183.6% of Spell Power 0;], and then bouncing to additional enemies 4 times. Each time it bounces, it splits into 2 bolts. 40 yd range. Instant.

Talents
  • Cascade Launch a Shadowy bolt that grows in power with distance, damaging an enemy for up to [ 183.6% of Spell Power 0;], and then bouncing to additional enemies 4 times. Each time it bounces, it splits into 2 bolts. Priest - LvL 90 Talent. 0.75% of Base Mana. 40 yd range. Instant. 25 sec cooldown.

Professions
Inscription



Strings Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • AJ_LFG_REWARD_DEFAULT_IRANGE_TEXT - %s drops item level %i to %i gear.
  • AJ_LFG_REWARD_DIFFICULTY_IRANGE_TEXT - %s (%s) drops item level %i to %i gear.
  • AJ_PRIMARY_REWARD_TEXT - Reward:
  • GARRISON_NO_SELECTED_SHIP - Select a ship from the list
  • GARRISON_SHIPYARD_MISSION_TUTORIAL_AREABUFF - Completing Missions like this unlock Area Buffs on the map.
  • GARRISON_SHIPYARD_MISSION_TUTORIAL_BLOCKADE - You must defeat this Blockade mission in order to run other missions in the area.
  • GARRISON_SHIPYARD_MISSION_TUTORIAL_FIRST - Click to view Mission Details.
  • LIST_DELIMITER - %s, %s
  • SPELL_FAILED_CUSTOM_ERROR_263 - You must be at your shipyard.
  • SPELL_FAILED_CUSTOM_ERROR_264 - Requires a level 3 Mage Tower.
  • SPELL_FAILED_CUSTOM_ERROR_265 - Requires a level 3 Spirit Lodge.
  • VAS_APPEARANCE_CHANGE_CONFIRMATION - %s, %s
  • VAS_FACTION_CHANGE_CONFIRMATION - %s, %s|nFaction change to %s
  • VAS_FACTION_CHANGE_VALIDATION_DESCRIPTION - This character's faction will be changed to:|n|c%s%s|r.|nYou will customize your character on the character select screen.
  • VAS_NAME_CHANGE_CONFIRMATION - Old Name: %s|nNew Name: %s
  • VAS_RACE_CHANGE_CONFIRMATION - %s, %s
  • VAS_RACE_CHANGE_INELIGIBLE - |cffff2020This character does not have any eligible races to change to.|r
  • VAS_RACE_CHANGE_VALIDATION_DESCRIPTION - This character can be changed to:|n|c%s%s|r. You will select your new race on the character select screen.



Garrison Ability Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Ability

Trait



WoW Selfie Scavenger Sweepstakes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hunt down the weekly location, take a screenshot of yourself there, submit it on our sweepstakes site, and you could win big prizes!

The WoW Selfie Scavenger Hunt sweepstakes has begun, and every week you have a chance to win Blizzard gear, Battle.net Balance codes, or an iPhone 6—and every week you enter it increases your chances to win the Grand Prize: a trip for two to BlizzCon 2015!




Visit the WoW Selfie Scavenger Hunt site now to enter, and come back each week for a new challenge.

Awesome! Now, if only that camera would come up...
Per the rules and posted "How to take a screenshot..." section of the site, use of the S.E.L.F.I.E. camera is encouraged but in no way required. A normal screenshot works too.

how close to replicated do you want it? Clearly the person in the picture for week 1 is missing some clothes and is getting attacked. Are those required as well? Or just the location?
Really just location and direction of the camera. We'll only disqualify entries that clearly were not replicating the weekly image.

Not available in my country. great, thanks, 10/10.
I'm sorry to hear that. It's a sweepstakes which does limit the number of countries and states that can participate due to their local laws and regulations regarding "games of chance." We try to run a wide array of contests, and include as many countries and states as possible for the type of contest we want to run, in accordance with their local laws.

The picture on the scavenger hunt website is way too small. I can barely see what's in the background. Can you make it a higher-res larger image? Thanks.
Thanks for the feedback, we'll look into that. In the meantime if you right click it and open it in a new tab/window you'll get a bigger version to look at.

Raid Testing Schedule - May 20
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We will be continuing our Hellfire Citadel raid testing in the new PTR build. As is always the case with PTR raid testing, it is quite possible that there will be technical or gameplay issues that disrupt our plans. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

Remember that Heroic difficulty scales for any group size between 10 and 30 players, so feel free to assemble and bring a group of any size within that range. Mythic difficulty requires a fixed 20 players. Our general plan is to test every encounter on Heroic difficulty first, and then test sections of the raid on Normal and Raid Finder, alongside targeted Mythic tests.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below on all PTR servers.

Wednesday, May 20
  • Mannoroth - Mythic Hellfire Citadel - 13:30 PDT (16:30 EDT, 22:30 CEST)
  • Xhul'horac - Mythic Hellfire Citadel - 15:00 PDT (18:00 EDT, 24:00 CEST)

We may have additional scheduled testing later in the week, and will update the schedule accordingly if so. We will also be opening the Destructor's Rise Raid Finder wing over the weekend (Zakuun, Xhul'horac, and Mannoroth).

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a PTR environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the boss being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.
by Published on 2015-05-18 03:31 PM

Update (3:45 PM EDT): Wired added high res versions of the Profile and Action shots.

Shadow-Lord Iskar Preview, Blue Tweets, Overwatch Gameplay Videos, Leeroy Jenkins

Warcraft Movie - Updated Preview of Orgrim
Wired posted an updated preview of Orgrim from the Warcraft movie this morning. You can see the previous version in the Blizzcon 2014 Warcraft Movie panel.




by Published on 2015-05-18 12:11 AM

Anniversary Event Clarifications, Cowpocalypse Showcase, Jaetch's POV on Rank #1 4-man

Popular Decks of the Week, Versus Series - JamesHugs vs Jonpi

Kael'thas Patch Q&A

Patch 6.2 - Shadow-Lord Iskar Preview
Today we are taking a look at Shadow-Lord Iskar, another Hellfire Citadel boss.

Corrupted Nest Guardian Pet


Level Type Spec Name Model Viewer
1Companion Pets Corrupted Nest Guardian
695Finger Filigreed Loop of Zealotry
655Finger Talon-Link Loop
695Trinket Anzu's Cursed Plume
695NeckAll Strength Corrupted Talonguard Pendant
695FingerAll Strength Band of Enthralling Delusion
695FingerHealer Ring of Foul Temptation
655FingerHealer Flickering Nightstone Band
655FingerAll Intellect Soul Prison Solitaire
695TrinketAll Intellect Unblinking Gaze of Sethe
655TrinketAll Intellect Ensared Orb of the Sky
695BackAll Agility Cloak of Desperate Temerity
Modelviewer
655BackAll Agility Cursefeather Cloak
Modelviewer
695ClothAll Intellect Amice of Phantasmal Power
Modelviewer
695ClothAll Intellect Raiment of Divine Clarity
Modelviewer
655ClothAll Intellect Phantasmal Cummerbund
Modelviewer
695Leather Helm of Imagined Horrors
Modelviewer
695Leather Belt of Misconcieved Loyalty
Modelviewer
655Leather Bracers of Supreme Despair
Modelviewer
655Leather Chakram-Gripping Gloves
Modelviewer
695Mail Coif of Untrue Sight
Modelviewer
655Mail Beaked Hood of Betrayal
Modelviewer
695Mail Vestment of Illusory Might
Modelviewer
695Mail Surefooted Chain Treads
Modelviewer
695Plate Chestguard of Ill Fate
Modelviewer
655Plate Corrupted Talonguard Chestplate
Modelviewer
695Plate Wristplate of the Wretched
Modelviewer
655Plate Feather-Embellished Wristclamps
Modelviewer
695One-handed SwordAll Agility Shadowrend Talonblade
Modelviewer
695WandAll Intellect Deceiver's Felbeak Wand
Modelviewer
655WandAll Intellect Demonspine Wand
Modelviewer

Name Points Category
Mythic: Shadow-Lord Iskar Defeat Shadow-Lord Iskar in Hellfire Citadel on Mythic difficulty.
10Draenor Raid
Pro Toss Defeat Shadow-Lord Iskar in Hellfire Citadel without anyone holding the Eye of Anzu for more that 5 seconds in a row, on Normal difficulty or higher.
10Draenor Raid

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
After Iskar's efforts to resurrect Terokk and return to power ended in frustration, he was approached by Gul'dan with an offer and a promise to break the ancient curse of Sethe. No longer flightless, elevated from the shadows yet still a master of illusion and deception, Iskar's hour of vengeance is at hand.

  • Overview -
  • Shadow-Lord Iskar -
    • Focused Blast - Hurls a beam of fel energy, inflicting 714,000 Fire damage split between enemy targets in front of the caster.
    • Phantasmal Winds - Overwhelms enemies with the illusion of wind that pushes them towards the edge of the cliff. Holding the Eye of Anzu removes the illusion.
    • Fel Chakram - Shadow-Lord Iskar hurls a Fel Chakram that ricochets off of three players before returning to him. Upon impact with these targets the chakram will explode, inflicting up to 171,000 Fire damage to all enemies based on their proximity to the explosion. Additionally, this chakram inflicts 171,000 Fire damage to any players through which it passes on the way to the target.
    • Phantasmal Wounds - Shadow-Lord Iskar unleashes phantasmal bolts, that wound their targets causing them to bleed profusely until healed past 90% of their maximum health. It inflicts 85,700 shadow damage, and then deals 28,600 damage every 2 seconds until healed past 90% of their maximum health. Holding the Eye of Anzu removes the illusion.
    • Fel Incineration - A beam of fel corrupted light fixates on a target igniting the ground, inflicting 85,700 every 1.5 sec.
    • Shadow Riposte -
  • Phantasmal Radiance -
    • Chains of Despair - Links pairs of enemies together with Dark Bindings. The Eye of Anzu enables you to see who you are partnered with.
  • Fel Raven -
    • Phantasmal Corruption - Infects the target with Phantasmal Corruption, causing them to explode, inflicting 185,803 Fire damage to nearby enemies and increases damage taken by Fire by 100% for 10 sec. Anyone holding the Eye of Anzu is immune.
  • Shadowfel Warden -
    • Fel Conduit - Channels Fel Chain Lightning every 1.5 sec, dealing 100,000 Nature damage and then jumping to additional nearby enemies. Affects 5 total targets. Every cast of Fel Chain Lightning also increases Nature damage dealt by 25%. Can only be interrupted by an enemy holding the Eye of Anzu.
      • Fel Chain Lightning - Hurls a fel lightning bolt at the enemy, dealing 100,000 Nature damage and then jumping to additional nearby enemies. Affects 5 total targets.
  • Corrupted Priest of Terokk -
    • Phantasmal Obliteration - Shadow-Lord Iskar marks multiple enemies with Phantasmal Fel Bomb and one enemy with Fel Bomb.
      • Phantasmal Fel Bomb - Explodes in a Fel Detonation after 5 sec.
      • Fel Bomb - If dispelled, all Phantasmal Fel Bombs are dispelled. Fel Bomb can only be dispelled by holding Eye of Anzu.
  • Illusionary Outcast -



Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvE
yeah rag, garrosh all that 3 healing is a thing currently, which is bad. 4 is acceptable,I pref 5
What fights do you see get 3-healed currently? It's incredibly uncommon. (WatcherDev)
you can 3 heal everything except maidens blast and blackhand As far as i know
3 healing not especially common. 4 healing everything except Blast Furnace is the norm, however.
The only fights in Foundry that are 4-healed a majority of the time are Kromog, Maidens, and Blackhand, fwiw. (WatcherDev)
Are we talking Mythic, or just in general? Sort of changes the dynamic.
Mythic Foundry specifically - obviously comps vary wildly in Flex-size difficulties. (WatcherDev)
We 4 heal every fight in BRF except BF. Starting to 4 heal BF as extra dps bypasses mechanics.
Right, but huge difference between dropping a healer for speed/efficiency on farm vs. progress norm. (WatcherDev)
Well most fights were 4 healable because of a lack of raid damage (flamebender)
Sure, though there's a difference between "4 healable" and "doing it wrong if you bring more than 4" (WatcherDev)

Reputation / Questing
Great feedback that I'm sure you'll appreciate, and maybe even relate.
Thanks for forwarding! (craig_amai)

Patch 6.2
Tannan is tuned to Heroic/Mythic geared? Is this accurate, because that's what's being reported.
We'd be curious to hear specifics about mobs or areas that felt too punishing. Definitely not the intent. (WatcherDev)
should be the intent. Endgame zone built up 2be the Fortress of new "Fel Horde " should be challenging
Definitely should be tougher than the rest of Draenor. Definitely should not require high-end raid gear (WatcherDev)

Overwatch - Zenyatta and Mercy Gameplay
Blizzard released some gameplay footage of Zenyatta and Mercy this week.



Leeroy Jenkins in the Warcraft Movie
It looks like Leeroy Jenkins was in the script for the previous version of the Warcraft movie that Gary Whitta was involved in.

by Published on 2015-05-16 08:53 AM

D3 Anniversary Buff, Basic Whirlwind IK Barbarian

HTC Invitational this Weekend, New Cards Old Faces Design Competition

Matchmaking Changes, Into the Nexus #50

Patch 6.2 - Apexis Crystal Gear for Gold
Patch 6.2 will change the Apexis Crystal gear prices to gold rather than Apexis Crystals. Gearing up alts will be easier, but not cheap! Each item level 675 item is 20,000 gold, so it will cost you 120,000 gold for all 6 slots. Hellfire Citadel Normal loot ranges from item level 690 to 705 depending on the boss / item.

As always, keep in mind that PTR prices are not final until they are live.


Item Level Name Item Cost
645 Crystal5000
645 Exceptional5000
655 Flawless10000
675 Ethereal20000


Patch 6.2 - Skip Mission Complete Animations
If you aren't using Master Plan and still doing missions manually for some reason, Patch 6.2 adds a nice way to skip the Mission Complete animations from garrison missions!



Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character / Items
What ever happened to the Frostwolf cosmetic armor?
We have no plans to make this available to players at this time. (WarcraftDevs)

Will Felblight be purchasable with primal spirits?
Nope. (WarcraftDevs)

PvE
I wish dungeon finder would auto switch you to your desired role like it does in battlegrounds. @WarcraftDevs
Great suggestion, thanks! (WarcraftDevs)

Will the Mythic Dungeons have new mechanics, or will they be a scaled up version of the Heroic mode?
Current PTR state isn't final. They’ll be like scaled up versions of Challenge mode w/ mechanics changes from Heroic accordingly. (WarcraftDevs)

Garrisons
Will the new seals be available from Level 3 War Mills?
Yes. (WarcraftDevs)

Misc
are you all going to do a watercoooler for the next patch?
There are several more blogs in the works that will dig into specific patch features in more depth. (WarcraftDevs)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
While the developers have been pretty quiet since @WarcraftDevs appeared, Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Subscriber Loss Interview
Very curious as to your take on Watcher's interview yesterday.
I do think / know the challenges of creating content faster than players can consume it are very real. (OccupyGStreet)
If I was going to make an MMO (I'm not) I think I'd shoot for something episodic with the expectation players come and go. (OccupyGStreet)
Do you think "it's cyclical" is a good or even fair way to summate it tho?
Yes. Players come for content and leave when they run out. "But I should never run out of content," feels unrealistic to me. (OccupyGStreet)
Neverending content leads to making things so difficult you can't progress or asking you to run the same content 100 times. (OccupyGStreet)
Is there something to be said for the staying power of the content? Or implementing it in a way that allows for a medium?
If there were 40 boss raids, maybe. I get tired of killing the same ones over and over no matter how great they are. (OccupyGStreet)
How does the social aspect play into that, though? Sounds like it would be hell on guilds.
I agree, but I think players are episodic already so the business model might as well be. Social hard either way. (OccupyGStreet)

Classes
If the WoW devs read this, how likely would it be for them to agree? http://t.co/CIM3r2TTrL
I never felt like all classes had to be equal in all things. Can't someone just be better at burst AE? (OccupyGStreet)

Does Blizzard worry most about dps balance as raid tiers open, and not that much about balance as ppl start farming the tier?
Can't speak for it now, but when I was there, we worried more about new content than farmed content balance. (OccupyGStreet)
The idea being that a low performing spec might get sat on a new boss, but unlikely when stuff was on farm. (OccupyGStreet)
At some point we as a community started worrying about an individual's "right" to high DPS rather than the DPS of the entire raid. (OccupyGStreet)
Rather than "Did we beat the boss?" it became "Did I beat my warlock friend?" (OccupyGStreet)

by the way, I cannot even begin to fathom how hard balancing scaling in MMORPGs is.
Balancing *scaling* isn't hard. Balancing classes overall is pretty hard. (OccupyGStreet)

Dungeons
than blizzard can produce it. Its a design flaw that began in Woltk when took over
Nah, remember I'm the guy who always rails against lowering the barrier of entry too low. (OccupyGStreet)
well then I stand corrected mr street
NP. I still get shit for my "Dungeons should be hard" blog. But I still feel that way. (OccupyGStreet)
man do I miss hard dungeons
The challenge is can't just make hard dungeons and call it a day. You need content for everyone else too. (OccupyGStreet)
I'm not convinced asking everyone to master hard dungeons or making easier versions of them is the way to go. (OccupyGStreet)
And to clarify, I am criticizing my own work, not armchair quarterbacking my old employer. (OccupyGStreet)

Developer Communication
things don't feel the same at WoW without you. You were easily The best communicator Blizzard had.
If my legacy in this industry ends up being communication with players, I will gratefully take it. (OccupyGStreet)

WoW and LoL have been huge in my life. Ty for involvement in both and taking a lot of flack from community during each.
.I'm happy to do it. I think players have a right to communication from developers. (OccupyGStreet)
I think "right" is a bit strong. I agree it's important, but sometimes it gets the developer threatened, not cool.
Well I think devs have a right not to be treated like shit too! (OccupyGStreet)
The issue when the two come to a head. Taking your ball home vs. "Deal with it". Something I struggle w/ as a dev.
I tried the head on a pike strategy somewhat, never with very good results. Mostly I ignore the haters. (OccupyGStreet)

Game Design
Greg, what does "accessibility" mean in terms of MMO's and WoW in particular?
I use it to mean how easily it is for someone to pick up and learn the game. It is a new player term not a casual raider term. (OccupyGStreet)

you once referred to the Mechanar syndrome. Do you think giving players the fastest route is worse than them finding it.
If you're talking about each player discovering what's most efficient for themselves, man that's the holy grail for WoW or LoL (OccupyGStreet)
Not sure there is much distinction bc only a very few players get the joy of discovery and then the others just follow them. (OccupyGStreet)

Unannounced Feature
Is the recently announced "Timewalking" WoW feature the one you said you were looking forward to in an interview long ago?
We had talked about Timewalking before we delayed it. It wasn't super secret IIRC. I don't know the status of the other feature. (OccupyGStreet)

Riot
You haven't gotten a new marine animal-type name now that you're at Riot?
Players and Rioters kept calling me Ghostcrawler so it seemed silly to try and change it. (OccupyGStreet)

Do you think you would ever return to Blizzard if something happened at riot games or any other reason?
I wouldn't rule it out. I mean I parted on good terms and everything. But I am very happy at Riot and believe in our future. (OccupyGStreet)

Misc
I have to say: After years of undeserved bashing you are now a hero at WoW foruns. Quite a turn.
The circle is complete. I just followed in the footsteps of Tigole and Kalgan. (OccupyGStreet)
Everyone and their mother said you were killing the game when you were here Now you're not and they all love you
It's almost as if players assume games are made by those few people whose names they know. (OccupyGStreet)

From hate to love: more forum nonsense http://t.co/YdgSoej6gd
Spoiler: I hired both and and for good reason. (OccupyGStreet)
Can "lackluster" and "abysmal" be the new "clunky" and "undertuned"?
I was always a fan of "gutted" as the hyperbolic term for nerfed. (OccupyGStreet)

Do you still play any Blizz games btw?
I am taking a break from WoW. I like Diablo and will play the SC expansion. HS was never my thing. I love Overwatch. (OccupyGStreet)
that's really cool! I hope the "one never quits wow but merely takes breaks" is true for you too
We'll see. I realize now I neglected a lot of good games in order to laser focus on WoW (and these days I play a lot of LoL too). (OccupyGStreet)
So many games these days (ours included) really ask players to invest tons of time. It's hard to play as many games total. (OccupyGStreet)

anyway my Mage friend Arthox is telling me every day how much he misses you and refuses to believe you play Holy Priest
I played Disc before it was cool and tried to stubbornly go back to it when it was (even though it was largely my fault). (OccupyGStreet)
Tried to stubbornly NOT go back to it. (OccupyGStreet)

Still trying to be lovingly crusty and sarcastic without drifting into cynical and burned out. (OccupyGStreet)
That explains MoP
I loved MoP but I think we overestimated how many people loved Pandaren. (OccupyGStreet)



Community Spotlight - Chaoyuan Xu
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This week, we’ve cast the spotlight onto Chaoyuan Xu, who has been creating excellent Warcraft-themed art for quite some time. Yuan recently sent us the pieces you see below, and he also provided answers to our questions.

Q: What influences the designs of your artwork?
A: I really love World of Warcraft, with all its gameplay and the design. I especially love the exploration of the game, as it involves a lot of adventure and story - which I very much enjoy. It enhances the experience of roleplaying, and this is something that other games lack. As you can see, several of my pieces focus on Pandaria - the continent I love the most - with races like blood elf or dwarf dressing in pandaren-style clothes.

Q: What sort of gamer are you?
A: In general, I am more of a PvE gamer, and as you can see most of my works are focused on the world. Even "Martial Competition" was done as a "friendly duel" sort of mood, rather than fighting to death. (In a way, it fits the pandaren's life philosophy!)

Q: About how long does it take to create something like these?
A: It depends on how much detail I want to go with the piece. For example, it took me one full week to work and finish "Martial Competition."

Q: What is your process?
A: First is brainstorming and drawing the concept. I need to envision how the finished art would look in my brain. And then I start working on the sketch - a lot of changes might happen during this step and sometimes it's the hardest part of creating an art piece. After I think the sketch has met my standards, I start working on the details, including color, background, and lighting.

Q: What other works inspire you?
A: I like Assassin's Creed, Game of Thrones, and the animation of Studio Gibli. I enjoy different games and movies. No matter what kinds of style the artwork is, I reinvigorate my innovation with whatever I learn and see.

Q: What do you like to do in-game?
A: I enjoy exploring the world the most. I love how the Warcraft team built the world with all their innovation and creative minds. The astonishing landscape and environment we see in game is just fantastic and really inspiring. Sometimes, I dream of living there.

Q: If you could add one thing to the game, artistically, what would it be?
A: I'd like to add an NPC (probably a pandaren) to the game, and he would give you a daily quest to ask to take photos around the world for him so that he could finish his great masterpiece of drawing scenes for Azeroth!



Thanks goes to Yuan from all of us at Blizzard for sharing his talents with us. If you’ve seen a great piece of fan art lately, e-mail us at [email protected] and tell us all about it.
by Published on 2015-05-15 07:49 AM

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Heroes of the Storm World Championship Announced!

Blizzard Q1 2015 Earnings Call - Developer Interview
Ion Hazzikostas talked to GamesBeat about the recently announced loss of 2.9 million subscribers, Patch 6.2, and Warlords of Draenor.

Subscriber Numbers
  • The team was excited to see the number of subscribers increase with Warlords release, confirming they had selected the right idea and setting for the expansion.
  • Their goal is to make a fun and engaging experience and not chase subscriber numbers, as they are confident that the numbers will follow in the wake of that.
  • WoW released at the right time and has been a very adaptable game, which has helped to sustain it over the years. Other MMOs provide inspiration on how to make the game better.
  • The loss in subscribers is partially due to the cyclical nature of the game.
  • Players don't play WoW year-round anymore, they just come back for new content and then go off to play other games. To some extent that is okay. The team doesn't want to prevent people from playing that way.
  • There was a large spike in subscribers for Warlords so they knew there was going to be a "bit of a dip" after that.
  • The WoW Token hasn't had a drastic impact on the number of subscribers.

Dungeons
  • The new dungeons in Warlords were great, but there was no incentive to keep running them after the start of the expansion.
  • Previous expansions had something like Valor Points to keep players coming back for more dungeons.
  • It felt silly to run the same content over and over even as your character got stronger, which is why the dungeon rewards were removed, but they went too far in Warlords.
  • Group dungeons are one of the greatest strengths in the MMO genre and it is a shame that there hasn't been more of a reason to do them recently.

New Content and Patch 6.2
  • Patch 6.2 is one of the largest content patches ever released.
  • Patch 6.2 adds Timewalking and Mythic dungeons, making group dungeon content relevant again.
  • Patch 6.2 iterates on existing systems, polishes things, and adds some new content.
  • Massive class overhauls aren't as likely to appear in content patches anymore, as returning players come back to find that their class has changed once again.
  • The amount of content added in a patch is a balance between satisfying the hardcore players that go though content very quickly and the players that go at a slower pace.
  • The team also has to make progress on future projects that are important while still working on upcoming content patches.
  • Certain types of changes are reserved for expansions rather than patches to keep complexity in check.

Accessibility
  • Accessibility is a core value of the game and has helped WoW grow and sustain itself.
  • Classes are more complex now than they used to be back in the day. Destro Warlocks in Burning Crusade raids would literally keep up one debuff and press Shadowbolt really hard and fast to beat everyone else. The game hasn't been "dumbed down" from that.
  • Changes have been made to trim excess and keep things focused, but there is still a very high skill cap.
  • Both more casual raiders (Normal difficulty) and hardcore raiders (Mythic difficulty) can now see the entire story. This wasn't possible in older expansions like the Burning Crusade.
  • Accessibility means allowing players that have been playing for a long time to continue to enjoy the game, even if it is at a different level of commitment as their life changes. Many players started out as students and are now professionals with families.

Raids
  • More people are doing organized raiding than ever before thanks to some of the conveniences that have been added recently.
  • It would be nice if Mythic could scale with the raid size, but the team isn't sure that level of tuning is possible.
  • Making specific mechanics and encounters for Mythic difficulty is possible now because of the fixed raid size, but if the raid had to scale down to 10 players that would no longer be possible.

Social
  • The social aspect of the game is very important to the overall experience.
  • The convenience features added over the years have made the game slightly less social.
  • Sitting in town for an hour trying to find a tank in trade chat to go and do a dungeon was inconvenient, but it allowed you to make stronger social bonds.
  • The Group Finder is an attempt to try and create environments where you can still meet new people without spending an extremely long time forming groups.

Misc
  • The group finder is getting lots of use for PvE and PvP content.
  • Garrisons give players reason to log in for a short time when they wouldn't have had any reason to log beofre. It doesn't really take away from raiding, PvP, or other longer playtime activities.


Raid Testing Schedule - May 15 - 18
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We are hoping to have PTR login/access issues resolved by tomorrow, and are adjusting our planned testing accordingly.

From tomorrow through Monday, we will continue our Hellfire Citadel raid testing, including both Heroic and Mythic raid testing. As is always the case with PTR raid testing, it is quite possible that there will be technical or gameplay issues that disrupt our plans. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

Remember that Heroic difficulty scales for any group size between 10 and 30 players, so feel free to assemble and bring a group of any size within that range. Mythic difficulty requires a fixed 20 players. Our general plan is to test every encounter on Heroic difficulty first, and then test sections of the raid on Normal and Raid Finder, alongside targeted Mythic tests.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below on all PTR servers.

Thursday, May 14

CANCELED

Friday, May 15
  • Socrethar the Eternal - Heroic Hellfire Citadel - 11:30 PDT (14:30 EDT, 20:30 CEST)
  • Archimonde - Heroic Hellfire Citadel - 13:30 PDT (16:30 EDT, 22:30 CEST)

After Heroic raid testing concludes on Friday, we will open the Bastion of Shadows Raid Finder wing, including Iskar, Socrethar, and Tyrant Velhari, over the weekend.

Monday, May 18
  • Shadow-Lord Iskar - Mythic Hellfire Citadel - 13:30 PDT (16:30 EDT, 22:30 CEST)
  • Hellfire High Council - Mythic Hellfire Citadel - 15:00 PDT (18:00 EDT, 24:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a PTR environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the boss being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.

PTR Account Issue
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We are aware of an issue affecting multiple users' PTR accounts and are actively looking into a fix. We will do our best to keep you informed of any status updates, and will let you know if the raid testing schedule needs to be adjusted or pushed back. Thank you for you patience while we investigate into this matter.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character / Items
On PTR says new glad mounts are account wide, I'm guessing this is a tooltip error?
Correct. They are not account wide. (holinka)

Garrisons
PTR: Is the mission awarding +50 follow ilvl reward ("Blizzard Convention") a 1 time only mission or can it be repeated?
Repeatable. (Muffinus)

What is the best garrison building? (Muffinus)

HeroesNexus - Hero Builds
Our friends over at HeroesNexus have added Hero Builds to the site! Create, find, and rank builds for your favorite heroes to help improve your gameplay or other the gameplay of other players.



OpenRaid - Transmog Competition With Michele Morrow
Our friends over at OpenRaid are having a transmog competition with Michele Morrow as a guest judge!


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