MMO-Champion - Dark Portal, Female Gnome Faces, New Music, Tank Squish, Blue Posts, Proving Grounds
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Skin Spotlight: Master Kerrigan

Warlords of Draenor - Dark Portal Updated
The Dark Portal was previously red in beta, but it seems the ramp has now been turned into rubble, along with a few other tweaks.



Warlords of Draenor - Female Gnome Faces
The latest build made female gnomes somewhat less happy compared to the original preview. Her face still does smile when doing most emotes. Keep in mind this is beta, so this facial expression isn't final!



Warlords of Draenor - Build 18816 Music
The latest beta build added some new music, which we have made into a playlist below.



Warlords of Draenor - Upcoming Tank Squish
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hey all. I've briefly mentioned this in tweets, but wanted to provide some more concrete info here for you. In an upcoming build, we're making some major changes to tanks.

But don't freak out, tanks, this is for the better. It'd be very easy to see datamining of these changes and think the sky is falling; don't be deceived! If you do the classic "scroll to my class, read datamined changes to my class only", you'll be sad and angry. And I'll be sad that you're sad and angry.

The core issue that we're aiming to solve is with the power level of tanks' defensive abilities. And I don't mean their gameplay. Their gameplay is great, especially Active Mitigation; that's not changing. I mean their total defensive effectiveness. Health, damage reduction (flat, percentage, random avoidance, etc), passive and active, cooldowns, etc.

Tanks have gotten a lot of power creep. A tanking specialized character should be better at tanking than a non-tanking specialized character, obviously. But by how much? 3x? 5x? 10x? It's gotten to be more like 50x or even 100x. Fun fact as a point of comparison: Most of the Mythic raid bosses (first raid tier) we've been testing deal tank damage roughly equivalent to what Heroic Lei Shen (second raid tier) did, after accounting for the squish and level difference. Some even more.

So, what are we doing about it? We're effectively doing a squish to tanks defensive effectiveness, and to dungeon and raid mob damage to tanks. This list is going to sound like a big pile of nerfs, but it's important to understand that it's not. It's happening to *all* tanks, and mob damage is coming down as well, to compensate.

Additionally, before anyone points it out, yes, some of these changes affect the defensive effectiveness of non-tanks. We didn't forget that; this was done consciously, because we think these changes should be made anyway, or we're considering other changes to compensate them if necessary.

Here's a summary of the actual changes (please post this around, and discuss this, not the datamining which will paint a very skewed and incomplete picture):

  • Creature damage has been retuned. In particular, the damage of creatures intended to be tanked in dungeons and raids has been drastically reduced to offset the below changes.
  • The amount of Armor on Plate, Mail, Shields has been reduced significantly.
  • Many tank abilities that increase maximum health have been reduced in effectiveness: Guarded by the Light, Stance of the Sturdy Ox, Bear Form, Empowered Bear Form, Blood Presence, Veteran of the Third War, Shadow of Death, Ursa Major. In most cases, the magnitudes of these effects have been reduced.
  • Many tank abilities that passively reduce damage taken in some way have been reduced in effectiveness: Unwavering Sentinel, Improved Defensive Stance, Mastery: Critical Block, Defensive Stance, Sanctuary, Guarded by the Light, Stance of the Sturdy Ox, Bear Form, Blood Presence, Primal Fury. In most cases, the magnitudes of these effects have been reduced.
  • Many tank abilities that provide Active Mitigation have been reduced in effectiveness: Shield Block, Shield Barrier, Shield of the Righteous, Mastery: Divine Bulwark, Bastion of Glory, Guard, Stance of the Sturdy Ox, Shuffle, Savage Defense, Pulverize, Frenzied Regeneration, Tooth and Claw, Death Strike, Rune Tap. In most cases, the frequencies or magnitudes of these effects have been reduced.
  • Many tank abilities that provided long-cooldown temporary defensive buffs have been reduced in effectiveness: Shield Wall, Last Stand, Demoralizing Shout, Divine Protection, Guardian of Ancient Kings (Protection), Fortifying Brew, Barkskin, Bristling Fur, Survival Instincts, Might of Ursoc, Bone Shield, Dancing Rune Weapon, Icebound Fortitude, Vampiric Blood. In most cases, the durations of these effects have been reduced.
  • Resolve has been changed to no longer scale with Stamina, only incoming damage over the last 10 sec, and its scaling rate changed.
  • Resolve % = 100 * MAX(0, 8.5 * (1 - e^(-0.045*DamageMod)) - 1)
  • DamageMod refers to the % of a basic equal-level creature attacking you that you've had directed at you over the last 10 sec.

We understand that these changes will sound scary, but ask that you keep an open mind and try to comprehend the complete picture. Tuning may be pretty rough for a few builds as we iterate on these changes, so please be patient.

I'll try to answer questions as I have time, but please understand that we're all extremely busy trying to finish and polish things over here, so time is limited.

Thanks, everyone!

Is the plan for tanks to still do ~70% of DPS damage? Just wondering.
I don't know that we've given specific numbers, but those plans haven't changed.

First thing stood out to me is that some of the long-CD abilities being altered will have an affect on Melee DPS's raid survivability.

And while I will concede that in 1st teir, incidental AoE damage on the raid (melee specifically) wasn't too terrible in Mists, I'd like to know if this is something that's being kept in mind as you alter those cooldowns. Especially in the long run, as we proceed to the 2nd (and maybe 3rd) teir of raiding in WoD.

Yes, it is indeed being kept in mind.

I'm confused as to why these changes would be introduced near the very end of mythic testing. Would it not have made more sense to make all of these major class changes, such as the gimping of Holy Paladins and now the squishing of tanks at the beginning of mythic testing so you have more than a week or twos worth of data to play with?
We'll still be doing considerable testing.

I am somewhat concerned with one change. The reductions to both the power and duration of long cooldown tank CDs.
We just reduced the duration of long cooldown tank CDs, except for a couple where we changed the cooldown or magnitude instead. I don't believe anything had both the magnitude and duration changed.

This sounds interesting. It sounds like non-tanks will have better survivability compared to tanks. In my opinion, non-tanks should be able to take a hit or two without being one-shot while tanks can take a few more hits before they risk dying. Healing a non-tank should be doable for short periods of time, but not sustainable over a large part of an encounter, but tanks shouldn't be indestructible.

That sounds like the goal, so I'm interested to see how it plays out.

Indeed.

Well if this is scaled with encounters, I guess it's not too bad, but how will this effect our effectiveness in PvP?
We had been planning to raise the amount of damage tanks take in PvP further, but are doing this instead. We're going to see how that works out, and may leave it at 25%, or even remove it if that looks reasonable based on testing.

Actually, can't edit it into the OP; post is getting too long. So, editing in a link to this post.

  • Resolve has been changed to no longer scale with Stamina, only incoming damage over the last 10 sec, and its scaling rate changed.
  • Resolve % = 100 * MAX(0, 8.5 * (1 - e^(-0.045*DamageMod)) - 1)
  • DamageMod refers to the % of a basic equal-level creature attacking you that you've had directed at you over the last 10 sec.
  • This Resolve amount is much much larger than previously. To compensate for that, baseline healing and absorption from tanks is being significantly reduced. The net result will be a curve that keeps abilities such as Word of Glory, Frenzied Regeneration, or Shield Barrier scaling roughly in parallel to other %-based abilities such as Shield of the Righteous, Savage Defense, or Shield Block; weak when fighting weak enemies, and strong when fighting strong enemies.

With these changes, all that you said are the roles of a tank can be served by a DPS in defensive stance. If that puts out better DPS and we still survive, then why be a tank?

The need to be very careful reducing damage done by mobs just so they can reduce our defensive ability. There is a point where a tank is no longer required and can just be done by a plate wearing dps.


There is a point, but it is *extremely* far away, and we are nowhere even remotely close to that point. This isn't going to make non-tanks able to replace tanks.

So if I'm understanding this correctly, at level 100, DamageMod = (damage taken in last 10 seconds) / ( 3615.3 * 10 ) ?

Is the time-decay mechanism of the previous version of Resolve, in which an attack was worth 2x Resolve at the time of impact and decayed away continuously to being worth 0 Resolve after 10 seconds, gone entirely?

The time-decay mechanism from the previous version is still there. So it's (weighted damage taken in last 10 sec) / (3615.3 * 10).

Also I have to echo the opinions above about AM. If AM is nerfed too much it will get to a point where it doesn't matter if you use it or not. AM should feel meaningful to use.
Fear not. We're not making anywhere close to that level of change.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
New Character Models
Why all the fuss or so little change. i can barely tell a difference. more would have been better.
Wanted to clarify that having the new character models look like the old models was intentional. We wanted to increase fidelity while retaining the same look and feel of the old models. The new models have more polygons, double the texture resolution, updated animation, and support for facial expressions.

While I agree the developers took the lazy way out, something is better than nothing at this point.

Am I disappointed all we really got was a slightly updated model with 2004 customization options. Would I like to see more body styles, hair cuts, subrace skins, and more little customization options? Yes, but I've accepted the fact that Blizzard won't ever do it because that would require more than the bare minimum of effort.

It's actually more of a challenge and require more iteration to make a higher resolution character model look like the old one as much as possible than it is to create something entirely new. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 6.0 and Valor Upgrades
i thought item upgrades were going away? and what will come of all our excess lesser charms?
We're not carrying over the Item Upgrades system to new gear added in Warlords of Draenor. We are, however, continuing to support it for the gear it's already available on from Mists of Pandaria. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Mistweaver Consolidated Feedback
--Uplift capping makes sense to make spell more consistent, but to that end, shouldn't reduce healing for full-HP targets.
It doesn't. Full-health targets don't count toward the AoE capping.

First off I'm not really sure what you're getting at when you say "indirectness" - could you please elaborate?
Direct healing: I target someone, cast a spell, and the person I directly targeted gets healed.

Indirect healing: I damage someone, and some person gets healed; I did not directly target them. OR I heal someone, and that person and some other person get healed.

It's about whether you are directing where the healing is going or not.

Does Celestalon not see that ReM is healing for 300 a tick, or 2k healing over 20 seconds? At level 90, that means I only heal 2-3% of a person's HP for 20 seconds with that one spell.

It has to be broken, it is currently the weakest HOT in the game by a long shot. Can we get some sort of confirmation that ReM has scaling issues, or the numbers are placeholders, or something?

Every time someone has posted something like that, it's been due to forgetting that it's a 3-target HoT, not a 1-target HoT. Do you have data to suggest otherwise?

I still would like to see Soothing Mist not break with Renewing Mist and Expel Harm too.
Those take up GCDs. Chi Brew does not. We're not looking to increase the % of your time that you spend Soothing, especially not by such a huge amount as that would do.

Not to mention that only the first application is actually targeted. It's quite possible that the other two jumps could go almost completely to waste.
This is another argument I see, that is possible, but unlikely.

ReM will prefer injured targets over uninjured targets. That means that most of its healing will go to people that need it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Rogue (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
I don't understand how a completely spammable 70% speed boost + snare self-dispel is somehow balanced.
because it has a cost (holinka)
The cost should be a cooldown though, the energy cost is hardly a cost.. Please understand this.
It has a 1 second cooldown (holinka)

Art
any chance of getting visual enchantments for ranged weapons? We're already getting awesome new sounds so I get it if not ;]
That's... a really good suggestion. Let me work on it. (Muffinus)

PvE
How come raid server firsts are gone, yet cm firsts for all gold is still there.
We're going to remove that Realm First as well - the transient realm-best titles are a more fitting representation of CM skill. (WatcherDev)
Does that mean there is literally nothing for being the first on the realm to kill end boss on mythic?
No, Guild Realm First achievements for Mythic kills will remain as they have since Cata. I was addressing Challenge Modes. (WatcherDev)

PvP
In warlords BG deserter will always be 15 minutes. Arenas/RBG will be 1 minute first time, then 5, 10, 15, 20 min. (holinka)

With CTA removed in WoD will doing a specific BG grant conquest? Or only Randoms?
only randoms (holinka)

were there still plans upcoming to revitalize Wintergrasp, Tol Barad, etc? btw guten Job auf Ashran! Ashran look fun!
No plans, just ideas. Really feel like the only way to do it right is make them instances. (holinka)

Lore
Will we at least see a lot of draenei stories?
Yes! The draenei are a major focus with lots of cool characters. (_DonAdams)

Beta Feedback - Proving Grounds
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In the most recent beta build, Heroic dungeons may now be accessed through the Dungeon Finder (LFG) system. However, as will be the case in the live game, you must complete the Silver Proving Grounds challenge for a given role if you wish to queue for a level 100 Heroic dungeon as that role.

Next build there will be a regular garrison NPC that allows you to enter the Proving Grounds, but for testing, the Beta instance teleporter (Nexus-Lord Donjon Rade) should offer direct transport to the Proving Grounds. Tuning is not final, but please give the system a try, and post your feedback in this thread. (Then go queue for a Heroic dungeon and post your feedback in the appropriate dungeon thread!)

2014 World of Warcraft North American Arena Tournament
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The time has come for those interested in taking part in the World of Warcraft North American Arena Tournament to earn qualification for BlizzCon®. The qualifier is open to all 3v3 Arena teams at or above a 2500 rating on their North American realm.

Don’t miss your chance to compete for your portion of the $250,000 prize pool. To sign up and read more about this event, visit http://www.nationalesl.com/us/americaqualifier2014/wow.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Dark Portal, Female Gnome Faces, New Music, Tank Squish, Blue Posts, Proving Grounds started by chaud View original post
Comments 91 Comments
  1. Byne's Avatar
    Those gnome faces are great. I had been considering changing one of my male gnomes to a female gnome but I was really put off by the ridiculous faces of the new female gnomes. With a few tweaks to these faces I would gladly change my gnome.
  1. Rindrae's Avatar
    Every face looks pissed off now.
  1. Febronia's Avatar
    Nice, I never cared for the forced gnome smiles all the time. It was really offputting. I'd rather play a character whose expression looks as serious as all the other races and genders.
  1. Bobakanushe's Avatar
    The female gnome now just looks so damn pissed all the time. I mean, they still look great, but she was just so happy before! I don't want to pinch those faces cheeks. They might bite.
  1. Zigrin's Avatar
    PMS gnome subrace also... I hope "the tank squish" won't push tanks to feel obsolete
  1. Theendgamelv3's Avatar
    I liked her happy face =(.
  1. Toiran's Avatar
    All gnomes suddenly suffer from insomnia?

    Dem bags.

    Edit: Whilst the cheesy perma-smile was bad, this is far worse, imo of course.
  1. Dalanos's Avatar
    Holinka is a F'n idiot. Burst of Speed is so ridiculous, a one second cooldown isn't shit.
  1. Zka's Avatar
    I dislike the tank squish. Mostly because it's too late to make such a huge change and this will end up unbalanced at release.
  1. papajohn4's Avatar
    The thing I loved about my tank main is that I could solo things slow and easy...if these changes remove this ability or make it no significant difference from a DPS then I don't see a reason to play my tank anymore (for the reasons that I play tank of course...others may enjoy just tanking raids). On the other hand I think all the burden will go to healers. So in pugs, DPS is the way to go in this expansion.
  1. Grishnok's Avatar
    Oh look. Its blizzard trying something again. Another band-aid over the band-aid that is over the gaping wound that still hasn't even been treated with neosporin. Thank christ I am abandoning tanking this xpac (after tanking since late vanilla) and just going dps. It seems an awful lot like the horrendous cata healing model... oh wait its also the new healing model for WoD. In before guilds are having a hard time finding players who heal or tank in WoD because of fixing shit that is beyond help by breaking it more.
  1. shoooter's Avatar
    I feel bad for the players that get their current face translated into one of those gnomes that looks like she's been smoking a pack a day for 30 years.
  1. papajohn4's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Grishnok View Post
    Oh look. Its blizzard trying something again. Another band-aid over the band-aid that is over the gaping wound that still hasn't even been treated with neosporin. Thank christ I am abandoning tanking this xpac (after tanking since late vanilla) and just going dps. It seems an awful lot like the horrendous cata healing model... oh wait its also the new healing model for WoD. In before guilds are having a hard time finding players who heal or tank in WoD because of fixing shit that is beyond help by breaking it more.
    yea and I am sure people will respond to you like they did in cata with "great, is better the true and skilled tanks/healers play and make a difference from the nobs" (as they said in cata)... and we all know how this ended.
  1. endersblade's Avatar
    The statues don't look evil and creepy anymore...
  1. Fablewynd's Avatar
    The new music is so beautiful. As always. They never disappoint where music is concerned. Blackrock is fantastic; such a call back.
  1. kmf65's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobakanushe View Post
    The female gnome now just looks so damn pissed all the time. I mean, they still look great, but she was just so happy before! I don't want to pinch those faces cheeks. They might bite.
    You'd be pissed off too after being left out of another cinematic!
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    It's like they want less tanks and healers. They want queue times to be longer.
  1. Alenarien's Avatar
    Sad to see them having changed that 'happy' face. I don't see why it's such a crime to have one or two faces here and there not towing the 'neutral/apathetic' line.
  1. papajohn4's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shudder View Post
    It's like they want less tanks and healers. They want queue times to be longer.
    or they want to slowly move into a GW2 style of no-trinity...
  1. Zeror's Avatar
    It's actually a whole new Dark Portal model. The statues are different. The brazier is standing in a different place. The arch is different as well.

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