MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

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by Published on 2015-07-24 05:25 AM

Ruins of Sescheron Preview, Legendary Gems' "Gift", Kanai's Cube Preparation Guide

New Card Reveal: Justicar Trueheart - Gives you new Hero Powers!

Dustin Browder Tweets, Future Balance Changes, North America July Open Video Recap

Patch 6.2 Hotfixes - July 23
Don't miss the change to healing and absorbs in PvP!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Creatures and NPCs
Tanaan Jungle
  • Supreme Lord Kazzak should now be immune to taunts from Bodyguard Followers.

Raids and Dungeons
Hellfire Citadel
  • Combat Rogues should no longer receive daggers via Personal Loot or Bonus Roll.
  • Affliction Warlocks should no longer receive Prophecy of Fear via Personal Loot or Bonus Roll.

Dragon Soul
Warmaster Blackhorn
  • Fixed a condition where damaging Warmaster Blackhorn and Goriona too quickly could cause players to be unable to progress onto the next boss encounter.

  • [Hotfix in testing] All healing and damage absorption has been reduced by 15% in PvP combat.
  • Players that accept the queue and teleport into Ashran should now correctly receive credit when their faction wins an event.

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an internal bag error that could occur upon entering a seamless instance with the prospected ore window open.


Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • [Hotfix in testing] Starsurge now deals 15% less damage in PvP combat.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Haunt now deals 25% less damage in PvP combat.

WoW Token – Additional Details
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As many players are aware, there are certain limits in place regarding how many WoW Tokens can be purchased per account, both from the in-game Shop and through the Auction House. Today, we’d like to provide a quick update on the current limits to help you better plan your Token purchases.

  • A maximum of 10 Tokens per week may be purchased for real money from the in-game Shop, to be sold on the Auction House for gold.
  • A maximum of 36 Tokens every 24 months may be purchased for gold via the Auction House, to be used for game time.
  • Players may only have one type of Token in their inventory at one time. If any character on a account is currently holding a Token purchased from the in-game Shop, that player will not be able to purchase a Token from the Auction House. Likewise, if any character is holding a Token purchased from the Auction House, that player will not be able to purchase a Token from the in-game Shop.
  • Players may hold a maximum of 10 Tokens in their inventory at one time. This limit is shared across all characters on the account.

Poll - Subscription Payment Method
How are you paying for your subscription now? If you are no longer subscribed, please press View Results rather than voting.

NA Qualifier Cup 2 Signups Open
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
There’s still time to register your team for the second North American Online Qualifier Cup! Signups will be closing at 8 PM Pacific time (11 PM Eastern) on Sunday, July 26.

In order to be eligible, everyone on your team must have reached a 3v3 Arena Ladder rating of at least 2000. What’s more, the higher your ladder rating, the better position you’ll be given when we seed the brackets for the Online Qualifier Cup. We’ll be checking ratings at 10 AM Pacific time (1 PM Eastern) on Monday, July 27, so you’ve got until then to get your rating as high as you can!

Remember, two teams will advance to the Americas Regionals in this Online Qualifier Cup. There, eight teams (six from North America, one from Latin America, and one from Australia & New Zealand) will fight for three chances to continue on to compete at BlizzCon for their share of the $250,000 prize pool.

Of course, you can’t advance if you don’t sign up, so head over to Battlefy now and register your team.

And don’t forget to tune in and watch the Round of 8 on Saturday August 1st at 2pm Pacific on!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Warlock Instant CS Macro
Thanks for the report. We're looking into this and hope to have a fix soon.

I've gone ahead and deleted the exploit from the earlier posts in this thread. For future reference, we have the ability to look at previous versions of posts, so if you do need to share information on how an exploit works, you can edit that information out once your post is made and we'll still be able to see it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character / Items
Hey can you fix the Noble's Fancy Boots from darkmoon faire vendor to be cosmetic? It's still labelled cloth for some reason.
We hope to have this addressed in an upcoming patch. (WarcraftDevs)

I'm really not supposed to reply on my personal account. Sometimes my enthusiasm gets the best of me and I do. (holinka)

Will this new feature allow for crossfaction arenas? Hate being tied to one faction because everyone else is
No, the intent of this feature is to reduce queue times for battlegrounds and Ashran. (WarcraftDevs)

.Will certain class/race combos always trigger other races in Merc Mode? ex Troll/Shaman always Dwarf, or will it be random?
You will be changed to a different race based on your class. (WarcraftDevs)

considering mercenary mode for rated content? Alot of comic books have horde and alliance fighting on the same side in arenas.
No we are not. (holinka)

Failed the naval mission for the Black Market AH item. I thought failed missions could be retried? It's not available anymore
It will come back, but you may have to wait a while. Not all missions reappear immediately if failed. (WarcraftDevs)

is there an ETA on fixing the Spirit Lodge/Mage Tower constructs? They haven't worked since 6.2.
This is slated to be addressed in an upcoming patch. (WarcraftDevs)

Hearthstone - Grand Tournament Cards
New cards for The Grand Tournament expansion were revealed today. Justicar Trueheart gives you an upgraded Hero Power!

Overwatch Legacy
A nice fan-made live action Overwatch video was released today!

by Published on 2015-07-23 06:58 AM

Ruins of Sescheron Preview, Legendary Gems' "Gift", Kanai's Cube Preparation Guide

New Expansion: The Grand Tournament - New Cards, Card Back, Hearthstone Patch 9554

Leoric Community Builds, ESL Announces Road to Blizzcon Tournament, Void Prison on BHB

Patch 6.2 Hotfixes - July 22
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Raids and Dungeons
Hellfire Citadel
Hellfire High Council


  • Etheralus, the Eternal Reward absorption effect should now correctly factor in Multistrikes from Healing Stream Totem and Healing Tide Totem. Additionally, healing dealt by Spirit Link's health redistribution no longer counts towards the absorption effect.
  • Nithramus, the All-Seer damage effect should now correctly factor in damage caused Prophecy of Fear's Doom Nova.
  • Prophecy of Fear Doom Nova effect should no longer be incorrectly triggered by Sunfall.

  • Fixed an issue where Venom Rush could incorrectly persist indefinitely.

Paragon - Mythic Mannoroth Kill Video
We looked at Method's Mythic Mannoroth video recently, so today we are taking a look at Paragon's video while we wait for more guilds to clear Mythic Hellfire Citadel.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Arms Nerf Justification
Prior to the nerf earlier this week, Arms was outperforming most specs by a considerable margin on virtually every fight in Hellfire Citadel. Our intent with the reduction of the 4-piece bonus this week wasn't to drastically reduce the viability of Arms Warriors, but rather to tone their DPS down just a bit and bring them more in-line with other damage dealers, while also fixing a bug that exacerbated the issue.

The nerf has only been in effect for a little over 24 hours, but so far Arms still seems to be doing very well. We'll continue to monitor how this change -- along with the changes we made to other DPS specs this week -- play out in Hellfire Citadel. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
The only reason I play Horde PVP in WoD is for the faster ques, same reason I played Alliance in MoP. Dont take my fast ques away.
Why do you think it will make your queues longer? (holinka)
Competition for spots, beforehand the horde would go straight in the spot, now loads of ally are contending for it
It is based on queue times. Currently, it would only be available when there are a lot of Alliance waiting. (holinka)
If it ever got to the point where the other faction was waiting too, it would turn off. (holinka)

If mercenary system get approved from the community on unranked pvp is there any chance to bring it to ranked arenas/rbgs?
The intent of Mercenary mode is to fix long queue times caused by faction populations. Doesn't apply to Ranked PvP. (holinka)

Why merc mode over, say, this:
A number of reasons. First, assuming the proposal as a non-optional thing: Sometimes Alliance just end up on Horde side. (holinka)
It is very jarring to suddenly be on the opposite side in starting area themed around the other faction. (holinka)
Second, it doesn't benefit the less represented faction in any way. Merc allows savvy players to switch sides to help. (holinka)
Third, we want to preserve the faction conflict in our unrated battlegrounds. (holinka)

In Mercenary Mode mode will players who are placed on opposite side wear the mask or is that a blog element only?
The NPCs have masks. (holinka)

It's just funny, Darkmoon firewater stacking, hotfixed in 2 days. PvP gear hotfixed in two months. Fun nerf > PvP
Bugs and design changes are not created equal. (WarcraftDevs)

Mount size nerf, undocumented in 6.2 notes. Can I get clarification on this please?
The change in 6.2 was too severe. We're currently discussing how to find a happy medium. We don't hate fun. (WarcraftDevs)

Hearthstone - The Grand Tournament
Blizzard announced another Hearthstone expansion today! Check out the full details on Hearthpwn.

  • The Grand Tournament launches this August with 132 new cards, many of which affect hero powers.
  • There will be a 50 Pack pre-purchase available next week for $49.99 USD which gives you a card back.
  • All of the new cards that have been revealed so far have been added to the deckbuilder on Hearthpwn!

by Published on 2015-07-22 05:43 AM

Diablo 2.3 PTR Patch 1 - Datamined Info

Special Announcement Tomorrow, Class Design Competition Finalists, Archon Team League Week 4

Leoric - Hero Trailer, Skins, Lore; Bans Coming to Team League

Armory Stats - Shipyard Achievements
Today we are taking a look at some of the shipyard achievements added in Patch 6.2. The data used today is a set of 1.8 million accounts that had a character active after June 15, 2015.

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!

Name Points Percent Category
Set Sail! Construct a shipyard for your garrison.
Naval Fleet Upgrade your shipyard to level 2.
Naval Armada Upgrade your shipyard to level 3.
Seaman Complete 50 Naval Missions.
Naval Treasure Specialist Complete 25 Naval Treasure Missions.
Ironsides Upgrade a ship of every type to Epic quality.

Patch 6.2 Hotfixes - July 21
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Tier-18 2-piece set bonus for Protection Paladins' Avenger's Reprieve effect no longer stacks and will refresh the duration of the effect instead.
  • Fixed an issue that caused Hammer of the Righteous to often hit the primary target twice instead of damaging one of the secondary targets.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Fixed an issue where the damage increase in a hotfix from June 26 for Repudiation of War was not working correctly.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Felhunter should now correctly require line-of-sight with its target to use the Spell Lock ability. Previously, it was incorrectly using line-of-sight with the Warlock instead.

Naval Missions
  • Black Market Journal: This naval mission should now have the correct blockade prerequisite for Barrier Sea.

  • Filling the Ranks: Tracking for progress towards completing the achievement should now be working correctly.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Two important notes about Mercenary mode: 1. You have to elect into it. 2. Mercenaries look and play 100% like the opposite faction. (holinka)
If someone wants nothing to do with mercenary mode, their experience will essentially be the same as it is now. (holinka)
I don't play human. But obvious question is what happens to them when they become orc but have no trink? Thx for all u guys do btw!
We're discussing solutions to that problem. (holinka)

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
Do you think WoW 7.0 will be released on consoles, too? WoD ability pruning feels like a preparation for game controllers.
I would be surprised. WoW is really dependent on mouse + keyboard. But I have no insider knowledge either way. (OccupyGStreet)
Seems like 80% of the mmoc crowd dislikes the WoD changes.
I can't comment on specific changes because I'm out of touch. (OccupyGStreet)
My experience has been that players often remember how they felt when the game was new. (OccupyGStreet)
They remember that feeling and associate the older designs with those fond memories. (OccupyGStreet)
I loved the experience I had in BWL. Does that make BWL a better raid than Ulduar or ToT? Not in my opinion. (OccupyGStreet)

At lunch we were discussing progression rates in various games. (OccupyGStreet)
I postulated you can never effectively increase game time by drawing things out. You always have to add new rewards to justify it. Thoughts? (OccupyGStreet)
An example might be level rates in RPGs or farming loot in order to be able to handle bigger challenges. Just adding time always falls flat. (OccupyGStreet)
drawing out the rewards will make probably a third of players say Ill never get there. I quit.
Right. That was my thought. You can add more rewards to increase the time commitment though. (OccupyGStreet)
depends on the "experience". Are you trying to take a 20 hour experience and stretch it into a non meaningful 200hr exp?
No, I think there are games that do a good job of offering both. But some people want the shorter version and just get overwhelmed. (OccupyGStreet)
If it was a compelling enough game for me to want to play it again, I'd choose 200 on the second play thru.
Yeah, exactly. The same way you might go do new game+ for a harder version (or move on to another game). (OccupyGStreet)
only if the 20 hr experience cost less $$
Interesting.... (OccupyGStreet)
I think that's better done through design. If you ask people whether they want to miss out on stuff, they'll choose not to.
It's an issue of discipline. You can tell yourself to ignore all the collectibles on your map, but it's hard in actuality. (OccupyGStreet)
I would prefer they just give me the 20 hour experience because dev resources still would have been drained to make the 200.
I like the 200 hour experience in Witcher 3 and Assassin's Creed. I didn't want it for Batman. I think it's individual taste. (OccupyGStreet)
Maybe 20hrs gives you the main story directly and no side quests while the 200 throws you into the world like Skyrim
Yeah that's what I was thinking, or at least far fewer side quests. (OccupyGStreet)
I had friends quit Witcher because they were overwhelmed rather than just try and focus on the core story. (OccupyGStreet)

What if a game asked you at first launch if you wanted the 20 or the 200 hour experience? Sort of like choosing difficulty? (OccupyGStreet)
You mean similar to how Bioware had that 'Dialogue heavy, combat light' option for Mass Effect 3, but for open world?
Exactly. (OccupyGStreet)

Heroes of the Storm - Leoric
Leoric was added to live servers today and his trailer was released. Check out the skins and lore on HeroesNexus.

by Published on 2015-07-21 06:16 AM

Diablo 2.3 PTR Patch 1 - Datamined Info

Champions Pursue Valor, Glory, and Fun, Popular Decks of the Week

North America July Open Stream, Epic Plays of the Week #39

Patch 6.2 Hotfixes - July 20
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Class Tuning Changes
Please note that the following class tuning changes are still in-testing.

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Guardian
    • Ursa Major now lasts 15 seconds (down from 25 seconds).

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Elemental
    • Mastery: Molten Earth damage has been increased by 11%.
    • Ascendance now has a 2-minute cooldown (down from 3 minutes) for Elemental Shaman.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Affliction
    • Drain Soul damage has been increased by 50%, and now causes all other damage over time spells to instantly deal 50% of their normal damage (up from 40%).
    • Haunt damage has been increased by 25%, and now increases periodic damage dealt by 35% (up from 30%).
  • Destruction

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Fixed a number of issues with Sacred Draenic Incense for Mistweavers where it would benefit twice from effects which increase healing taken, and could bypass area-of-effect healing caps.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Armor Sets
  • Tier-18 4-piece set bonus for Discipline Priests now targets friendly targets to heal with the greatest % of missing health instead of current health. For example, the heal now prioritizes a player with 350k/500k instead of a player with 300k/300k health.

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Fixed an issue with Maelstrom Weapon that caused Healing Surge combined with the Tier-18 4-piece set bonus to heal for more than the intended amount.

Garrison Campaign
  • High Overlord Saurfang and Muradin Bronzebeard in the player's Garrisons now have chance to offer the Hellfire Citadel weekly raid quest when eligible.
  • Ruined Construct: Jewelcrafters in a raid group should no longer see an option to insert 1000 Apexis Crystals into the Apexis Gemcutter Construct.

Creatures and NPCs
Tanaan Jungle
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the demon invasion leading to Painmistress Selora appearing to not work correctly.

Raids and Dungeons
Hellfire Citadel
  • Gorefiend should no longer be using other abilities while channeling Feast of Souls.
Fel Lord Zakuun
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Fel Lord Zakuun to cast two Rumbling Fissures in rapid succession after bringing him depending on when he was brought below 30% health.
  • Xhul'horac's Overwhelming Chaos now increases damage dealt by 15% (down from 20%) per stack on Normal difficulty.
  • Combat rogues should now be able to correctly use Killing Spree again after receiving the Empowered Singularity debuff.
  • Dreadstalkers should no longer incorrectly spawn on players that are not on the platform.
  • Players should no longer be occasionally dropped off the platform when transitioning into the Twisting Nether.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the portal leading to the Archimonde encounter to not reappear in the raid instance after a soft reset.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Archimonde's Shadowfel Burst to not be removed correctly when the ability struck multiple targets.

  • Ancient Artifact should now only appear when there are more than 20 players in the battle, and the item now has a respawn timer.


Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an issue that could occasionally cause the client to crash while loading into an Arena.
  • Fixed an issue where players were unable to queue for Pet Battles through the Pet Journal while in Tanaan Jungle.
  • Fixed an issue where players were unable to queue as a party for Timewalking dungeons if one of the party members had already completed the Timewalking Bonus Event quest.

Patch 6.2 - Cats on Laps
Players recently discovered that if you target some of the cat battle pets and do /sit, they will sit on your lap.

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler has recently provided longer answers to some questions than tweets would allow.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
There's a clear difference in balancing/patching practices between Riot and Blizz. Riot has faster 2-3 week iteration cycles and Blizzard has 4-6 month content patches. What do you feel are the reasons for this difference (dev philosophy/game dev practices/game structure/manpower/management)?
Blizzard was very concern about player backlash from too many changes on WoW. We were always worried about the returning player who couldn't recognize their shaman (or whatever) because the rotation was completely different. It's a tough edge to walk -- keeping current players engaged with enough changes, without alienating returning players.

League players, even if they have mains, don't have characters in the same sense. The individual champions are a lot simpler, even though it is probably still very intimidating to return to League after a long absence and having no idea what all the new champs do. I'd say overall League players expect more frequent balance updates.

I am explicitly not commenting on which approach is right or wrong. They are very different games with different philosophies. I also am not in tune enough with current Blizzard games to know what their balance philosophy is for Hearthstone or HotS.

How much of an impact has modern day theorycrafting (WoTLK-era sophistication with SimC dev/RAWR) had on the design/development process in WoW? Do you think this has in general been a positive force for players and/or developers?
I'll answer from the POV of League, though it is relevant to almost any game where players strive to "solve" it, even D&D.

This might surprise you, but I don't think theorycrafting is healthy overall. It removes a lot of the fun and experimentation for players when the right answer is so readily available from Google search. (Often it isn't even the right answer, but players think it is which amounts to the same thing.

Now I get that it is fun for players to theorycraft and author guides. It's fun for me too. I also get that players want to be armed with thr best knowledge to be the most effective. Being right is satisfying. I also get that those discussion help build community ties and give players a way to interact with the game when they can't actually play it. I also don't think there is a realistic way to chill it out. But if I could reverse time to a world where the information wasn't so readily available, I would. I'm not going to try to fight it though. It's here and will stay.

You've mentioned several times in the past that your job is to remove barriers, etc, for your teams. I always wondered what you mean by that. Can you provide some general examples?
These are not literal examples. Please don't read too much into them.

Example One: A team feels like they can't make progress on a design idea because they don't have the buy in of the creative team working on lore. I get buy in from the lore guys or more likely tell them we're going to go ahead with our design and they can give feedback when it's done before we ship.

Example Two: A team of designers feel blocked because they need a particle artists to add effects to a weapon or spell. I find them a resource they can borrow so that they can do the design they want instead of something designed around the absence of art resources.

Example Three: A team feels like they have to run every decision by the design lead on the project. I get buy in that we can try out one of the team members in a junior leadership role so that they can be the accountable party on their project and not the busier top-level lead.

Example Four: A team basically all agrees with the direction of a desgin but lacks the confidence to ship it. I talk through the design with them, get them to realize that they are in fact competent people who should trust their intuition and experirence.

I usually use removing barriers as a contrast to giving orders. I have found that little of leadership is actually about commanding people. Maybe it's different on an actual battlefield. IDK. For me I have found that teams usually want to do good work, but something is gumming up the pipes so to speak.

What's less likely to get a full sequel - League or WoW? Both seem like they'd benefit from a totally new game engine but can't just bin all their current playerbase.
You can update or overhaul a game engine without asking players to switch games. Traditonally, sequels were really important to the business model because boxes made all the revenue. Neither WoW nor LoL is that dependent on them. On the other hand, the risk of ending up with a much smaller population in 2.0, or even worse, having a divided population over two different but very similar products is high. I think it only makes sense if you want to change the gameplay so dramatically that you need the 2.0 to really sell that. There are also advantages from a PR perspective - sequels get more mainstream coverage than updates.

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