Hearthstone News from Blizzard HQ
Fansite Event Recap
There was a nice event at Blizzard for fansites on Friday, which gave everyone the opportunity to ask some questions and hear a little bit more about Patch 5.4.
Patch 5.4 and Misc
- The existence of a Patch 5.5 is still to be determined.
- Patch 5.4 may keep item upgrades around, but it isn't set in stone yet.
- Proving Grounds is coming to the PTR in the next couple of weeks. They will start out with basic things like doing a certain amount of DPS or keeping NPCs alive through some damage and then mix in things like not standing in fire or interrupting to prevent CC or heals. You will be put in a group with NPCs that will show up on your party frames, just like players would.
- Timeless Isle is another experiment, similar to Battlefield Barrens but with more content. There are dynamic events, some really difficult mobs, more rare spawns, world bosses, treasure chests, pet battle things, and lots of other things to do. There won't be a central hub where you go to do things, but activities will be spread out and hidden all over the isle.
- Ordos is a difficult world boss that requires you to have a legendary cloak to get to him. He will respawn every few hours or so, but the main gating mechanism for him is getting a group together that all has the cloak. He drops items that will be anywhere from Normal to Normal Thunderforged quality.
- There will be a few UI changes to help alert you to events that are happening on Timeless Isle.
- The first two MoP raiding tiers had mounts that were earned based on luck, but the mounts in this tier are earned by accomplishing something.
- The devs weren't happy with how the Glory of the Raider mounts were working out, as you had to kill Heroic bosses and kill bosses in ways that were incompatible with killing them on Heroic difficulty. This worked before there were multiple difficulties, but doesn't work very well with today's difficulty system. Making the achievements that require you to kill the bosses in a different way available in Flex difficulty and up is a good solution to this problem.
- Heroic Garrosh will have a 100% drop rate mount.
- Siege of Orgrimmar will have a smoother ramp up in difficulty than Throne of Thunder did.
- Flex raid wings will open faster than the LFR wings. For example, week one could have the first flex raid wing open with no LFR wings open yet.
- Flex raid groups can kill 2 bosses, come back the next night and queue again, and then invite other people who had 0 bosses down to avoid having to kill the first 2 again. This is just a workaround to a technical limitation that will hopefully be fixed in the future.
- Heroic scenarios are working out really well. A lot of players are completing them successfully and the design is closer to the initial vision for scenarios.
- Item upgrades worked out better in Patch 5.3 than it did in Patch 5.1. Making them less expensive made it much easier to upgrade an item without having to worry about replacing the item soon.
- Thunderforged gear worked out well and will continue (with another name) going forward. Combined with the Valor upgrade system, it almost guarantees that a raid working on progression will be a little bit stronger every week, making it a better alternative to the progressive nerfs from the past.
- Arena teams are now gone from the UI, allowing you to group with whoever you want, similar to the rated battleground system. This will also come with region wide matchmaking, allowing you to be matched with anyone in your region, not just your battlegroup. There will be a blog post that fully explains the changes on Monday.
- The Defense of the Alehouse battleground won't happen during this expansion.
- Patch 5.2 was supposed to be the last major thing the quest team had to work on before moving to the next expansion, but there is so much storytelling in Patch 5.3 and Patch 5.4 that they got pulled away to work on those. Most of the Patch 5.4 quest team work is done now, so they are back on the next expansion.
- The Golden Lotus still have a few of the more fun quests over on the west side of Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The old quest bosses are turned into rare spawns and other NPCs now give rep.
- Randomizing a large pool of daily quests didn't fix the problem of the quests feeling repetitive, so now the devs are adding other activities that aren't daily quests as an option. Battlefield Barrens was the first step towards this and Timeless Isle will significantly advance it.
- Self directed activities or weekly quests give much more flexibility than daily quests did, so they are a nice additional content option to have.
- Instead of seeing a huge pool of randomized quests, we might see more story based daily quest chains like Patch 5.1 added.
Patch 5.4 - Arena Team Changes
The latest PTR build made a few changes to the PvP UI. The Arena Teams tab is now gone and when you inspect a player you will see their rating and record for each arena size, with no more teams listing.
Raid Testing Schedule - July 1
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
TCG Art Update
Blizzard has updated the Trading Card Game art gallery to feature ten new pieces.