World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2016-01-07 11:58 AM

Update (2:40 PM EDT): Added bugfix patch notes.

Are You Ready for Patch 2.4?

Tavern Brawl: Battle of the Builds, Winterveil Concludes, The Angry Chicken #128 - Pick Your Deck

Heroes Rising Tournament, NA Competitive Scene Snapshot

Legion - Varian and Vol'jin
We found some interesting references to Varian and Vol'jin. Unfortunately there isn't much more than what is below yet. Keep in mind that this is just a reference in an alpha build of Legion, not something final or officially announced. Spoilers below!

Legion Pre-Launch Quests - Varian's Funeral Demon Attack
Legion - Durotar - Vol'jin's Funeral

Legion - Felsaber Mount
The Felsaber mount is given to Demon Hunters during their intro experience.

Patch 6.2.3 Hotfixes - January 6
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Legendary Ring Quest Line
  • Players who have acquired the most powerful rewards from Khadgar's Legendary questline by completing Draenor's Blessing (Horde) or Light Be With You(Alliance) may now purchase Crystallized Fel from Zooti Fizzlefury in Talador or Dawn-Seeker Krisek in Tanaan Jungle for 1250 Valor.

Creatures and NPCs
  • Fixed an issue that could cause characters to be unable to loot The Bonechewer Spear that appears after defeating Viperlash.
Spires of Arak
  • Fixed an issue that could cause characters to be unable to loot Varasha's Egg that appears after defeating Varasha.

  • Savage Snowball should no longer incorrectly cause other players to be flagged for PvP combat.

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Obvious MMO question,What are your views on RNG systems used as stat progression?Leveling up was progression before loot tabl
There can be an entitlement risk without RNG - it says if you invest enough time, you will be able to get the reward you want. (OccupyGStreet)

PTR Update
A small build went out to the PTR today, but it didn't make any significant changes, just client fixes.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
  • Fixed a client crash that could occur while logging back into a character that disconnected while in Random Draenor Dungeon.
  • Fixed a client crash that could occur while logging into a character that's tracking an achievement.
by Published on 2016-01-06 09:33 AM

John Yang Tweets, DH Season 5 In-Depth Summary

LOE Arena Card Distribution Changes, Deck Spotlight: Reno Control Warrior, iPad Crash Workaround

Arena Not Coming on Q1 2016 & Lunara Balance, MLG Bought by Activision-Blizzard, Sales

Happy Holidays from Overpwn

Legion - Artifact Weapon Previews
Today we have the Holy Paladin Artifacts The Silver Hand and Tome of the Silver Hand.

Ghostcrawler Tweets
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 we'll ever get to the point where MMO's could rely less on numbers for combat?
Sure. I don't know what MMOs will look like in the future. Destiny seems to have fewer numbers than WoW. (OccupyGStreet)

Although I'll never forgive you for Chakra. I do miss your thoughts/musings on WoW. The other devs have gone radio silent!
Lol I didn't invent Chakra. I just agreed Holy needed something besides generic healing spells. (OccupyGStreet)
I wish you had have told us earlier. and I now regret all the crabs we tortured and slew in retaliation for Chakra.
I've gone on record as saying I don't think "form swapping" works in any game. (OccupyGStreet)

Wrath of the Lich King Timewalking Event
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Through the end of the day on Monday, Timewalking is back. For these six days, take a trip to Northrend and experience these five Heroic dungeons:

  • Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom
  • Gundrak
  • Halls of Lightning
  • The Nexus
  • Utgarde Pinnacle

Don’t forget to pick up the event-only quest “A Frozen Path Through Time” before you queue up for Timewalking, as it rewards a valuable Seal of Inevitable Fate. Also worth noting are the additional rewards that were added in patch 6.2.2 for Timewalking events – be sure to check out the all details in the patch notes.

Which of the dungeons above are you looking forward to the most?

Activision Blizzard Acquires the Business of Major League Gaming
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced the acquisition of the business of Major League Gaming (MLG). MLG is a leader in creating and streaming premium live gaming events, organizing professional competitions and running competitive gaming leagues. The acquisition expands Activision Blizzard's reach across the rapidly-growing esports ecosystem by adding proven live streaming capabilities and technologies to the Activision Blizzard Media Networks division, led by former ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein and MLG Co-founder Mike Sepso.

Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, said, "Our acquisition of Major League Gaming's business furthers our plans to create the ESPN of esports. MLG's ability to create premium content and its proven broadcast technology platform - including its live streaming capabilities - strengthens our strategic position in competitive gaming. MLG has an incredibly strong and seasoned team and a thriving community. Together, we will create new ways to celebrate players and their unique skills, dedication and commitment to gaming. We are excited to add Sundance and the entire MLG esports team to our competitive gaming initiatives."

Sundance DiGiovanni, Chief Executive Officer and MLG Co-founder, said, "Our mission for over 12 years has been to promote and expand the growth of competitive gaming worldwide, and today the industry is at a key inflection point as its popularity soars and rivals that of many traditional professional sports. This acquisition and Activision Blizzard's commitment to competitive gaming will expand the opportunities for gamers to be recognized and celebrated for their competitive excellence."

Mike Sepso, Senior Vice President of Activision Blizzard Media Networks and MLG Co-founder, said, "Sundance and I founded MLG to highlight the incredible talent of competitive gamers all over the world. Activision Blizzard's esports leadership, incredible intellectual property and long history in competitive gaming create a perfect home for MLG's capabilities. The acquisition of MLG's business is an important step towards Activision Blizzard Media Networks' broader mission to bring esports into the mainstream by creating and broadcasting premium esports content, organizing global league play and expanding distribution with key gaming partners."

MLG will continue to operate, MLG Pro Circuit and GameBattles platforms, and will continue to work with its partners and other publishers across the industry. is a premium online broadcast network for professional-level esports and the MLG Pro Circuit is the longest-running esports league in North America. GameBattles is the largest online gaming tournament system across consoles, PC and mobile platforms.

With over 100 million unique viewers, the esports audience is estimated to be bigger than audiences for many professional sports leagues. Creating premium content for these audiences will provide significant opportunities in ticket sales, advertising, sponsorships, licensing and merchandising. By 2017, esports is projected to have over 300 million viewers1. For the past 12 years, MLG has helped bring esports into the mainstream with broadcasts of professional gaming competitions that rival traditional sports fan engagement.

Fan Art
A nice piece of Garrosh fan art was posted on Reddit today.

by Published on 2016-01-05 01:29 AM

End of Era 4, Stash Organization and Muling

Most Popular Decks of the Week, Deck Spotlight: Spark's Anyfin Mrrgglrglr, Dr. Boom and the 7+ Mana Alternatives

Rotation for Jan. 5, 2016, Epic Plays of the Week - Best of 2015, Winter Veil Sale Reminder

Crystalized Fel Now Sold For Valor
Players who have acquired the legendary ring may now purchase Crystallized Fel from Zooti Fizzlefury in Talador or Dawn-Seeker Krisek in Tanaan Jungle for 1250 Valor.

Legion Alpha to Return With New Content
No ETA yet, but when Legion alpha returns it will be with some new content! Many of the developers returned to work today.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Loot Rules
I've commented on this before, but MS>OS is an extremely vague and fluid concept. For example someone who mains a Protection Warrior might join a raid as Arms because all the tank spots are full. While Protection is technically their MS, they are in the raid as Arms, which causes other players to believe that Arms is the MS of that Warrior. Is that Warrior, or the Master Looter, then in the wrong if they receive a tank trinket?

Likewise, what about players who change specs mid-raid (such as a DPS switching to Healer) to allow the raid to continue if the group can't backfill people who have left, where do these players fit in with regards to MS>OS?

Let's then say that the raid leader fails to update their LFG listing to reflect the change. The change doesn't get explained to the DPS who subsequently join, causing them to feel that something has been ninja'ed when the now-Healer is given a DPS item. Is anyone actually in the wrong here?

These are just some examples of the ambiguity MS>OS can fall into.

Generally, the Master Looter system is intended to be used in groups of people you trust. By joining a PuG raid with Master Looter set, you join knowing that the Master Looter has the power to assign the loot. If you don't seek precise clarification, in chat, on how the loot will be allocated, our Game Masters cannot then assist you on the basis of unspoken assumptions when so many grey areas are in play.

Ninja Looting (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Dark Legacy Comics #520
DLC #520 has been released.

by Published on 2016-01-03 09:40 PM

Which Class Will You Play on Season 5?, Quick Gem Leveling Tip

Most Popular Decks of the Week, Deck Spotlight: Spark's Anyfin Mrrgglrglr, Dr. Boom and the 7+ Mana Alternatives

Dustin Tweets are Back, Maldrame's Guide to Throwing

Legion - Artifact Weapon Previews
Today we have the Outlaw Rogue Artifacts Fate and Fortune.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
if we level in legion through BGs or skirms, will we work towards the honor to prestige early or does that start at 110?
Starts at 110 (holinka)

Hmm, people hated ridiculous RNG with regards to X. Maybe they'll like it if it's ridiculous RNG on Y instead!
RNG Realtalk: it's been a staple of RPGs for years, it exists and can even be exciting (see: Ashes of Al'ar), is it good? (Muffinus)
sure, but there's a diff between a rare drop of loot, and an item with a low-single-digits drop chance once per year.
Some players have tweeted that they like the rarity, appreciate the social value of showing off their rare loot. Valid? (Muffinus)
Not trying to sound like a jerk, just putting this towards you as a developer on twitter, and what you do! (Muffinus)
Is it the majority, or even a significant minority? I know I personally see more RNG hate than rarity love 1/2
Does it matter? When is the minority right? When is the majority? (Muffinus)
"Right" is subjective here. Very subjective. Majority tends to win in subjective matters, particularly in regards to product prefs
I think if the majority of players feel a negative feeling towards something, there is something wrong, even if it's not that. (Muffinus)
But that might be confirmation bias. Still, strikes me as something that might be a bit TOO rare. Ashes et al is 52/year.
I think there is an intrinsic "effort value" that goes into rewards that can be obtained multiple times. (Muffinus)
Once/year/character feels like luck, one/day/character feels like effort. The latter is more satisfying, even if you don't win? (Muffinus)
Rewards from effort/repetition are almost always more rewarding, long-term, then rewards from strike-of-lightning luck.
Yet we've had a resurgence in the requests for random Legendaries, recalling HOR, TF, glaives, etc. Different? Same? (Muffinus)
Or just nostalgia? (Muffinus)
Casinos don't have machines that only give one try per visit/day. No one plays them. People play repetitive luck games, rabidly.
(FWIW it will be moved to the Stolen Present next year, same with all of the new-per-year gifts) (Muffinus)
Casinos don't have machines that only give one try per visit/day. No one plays them. People play repetitive luck games, rabidly.
I don't know if you, ethically, want to model your system after casinos. Where's the line? (Muffinus)
Example, if bonus roll tokens were a 1% chance instead of the ~20% chance they are now, how many people do you think would bother?
Related: the droprates for Pandaren rares were 10-30%. Timeless Isle they were much less, but lasted for longer. Which was better (Muffinus)
And Huolon was the big one. Low droprate, but he could be farmed every ~45m. Not once per year.
I still can't believe people figured out that you could albatross troll and pull from atop the bridge, emergent gameplay++ (Muffinus)
Poor comparison, since timeless isle was a lot of "well, there's nothing else to do".
Prefer Tanaan? Cata endgame? WOTLK? (Muffinus)
So ya, Tanaan washed not because of design (which was REALLY good for dailies), but lack of long-term rewards.
Maybe day-to-day variance in the events in each area? Let predictability not just in which area, but what you do while there?
We had a lot of this in MOPs endgame, how did that feel? (Muffinus)
.I personally *much* preferred the MoP endgame, in 5.0-5.2, TI/apexis/tanaan, had no story, and are boring IMO :/
To me, Story is the main thing we need to learn from this. Please check out World Quests/reps in Legion (Muffinus)
World needs to feel "alive".
Yep (Muffinus)
.tanaan was just apexis dailies, nothing fun in regards to mechanics, again, IMO.
I agree with you both, btw Please check out the World Quests system in Legion (Muffinus)

Some interesting comments in your alts though - why can you do nothing with them but LFR? (Muffinus)
Well, if they are geared enough to do normal+, they don't need upgrade tokens. If they need tokens, can't get into normal.
If you could make one change to make normal PUGs a reality, what would you change? (Muffinus)
So getting runs on alts that are actually at appropriate itemlevel for the difficulty is frustrating, especially as DPS.
True, ilvl is a shortcut to dps, but isn't 100% accurate. If you could replace the ilvl system, what would you do? (Muffinus)
But how do you grade that? Lots of mechanics were some people standing in bad is good, or required, but many isn't
Standing in Fire has also gotten a lot more complex over time. Compare Patchwerk to Blackfuse. (Muffinus)
Mr. Feasel, with all due respect you surely see that Ilvl is the new GS?
Yep, and there needs to be ways to combat this. (Muffinus)
Covered that. But community wants their yard stick. Take away one, they'll make another. AotC already that way.
The design goal is thus: what is the most effective unit of measurement, if there is one? (Muffinus)
Loath to add more queues. I *LIKE* the new Group Finder tool. Still, begs the question with the community grades off meters.
Yeah the "I can't apply for a job because I haven't had a job because I can't apply for a job" problem is alive and well in MMOs (Muffinus)
*Maybe* have the system, when queued for raids, show tooltip info on your experience in that raid (account wide, all difficulties)
Maybe have a Normal queueing system that operates like HOTS, matching players of lower skill with higher to average into a win? (Muffinus)
But then those players are admonished by the better players for having low DPS, and quit (Muffinus)
Have quarter-baked idea where loot drop add per player being higher for lower-geared chars. Needs checks, but could work.
This was kind of the idea behind Flex, the difficulty didn't really increase, while the players did. (Muffinus)
(c) increase mechanics, with an ilvl-based break point where a raid could still over-gear a fight (c)
Increasing mechanics is scary. When you leave a mechanic out of LFR, a PUG dies to it in normal, and is kick (Muffinus)
I think for mythic you need to have one-shot and "single player can make a wipe" mechanics
Definitely do need them for Mythic. Norm/Hero, if you screw up, you might die. In Mythic, you wipe the raid.
On every fight? Or can some be "tank can relax" fights? Or healer, dps? (Muffinus)
Forgiveness fluctuates per role per fight, certainly. DPS low responsibility on Iskar. Tanks low on Council.
TBH, back in the day, I really appreciated the contrast (as a dps) of Patchwerk vs. Loatheb (1.0, fire mage) (Muffinus)
even if that person is normally very good, with 20 players, high % chance someone can have an off moment
Alex Afrasiabi introduced me to this concept of "skill entropy," smart dude (Muffinus)

Or did you mean an automated SimC-type thing in-game. Isn't that reinforcing DPS-output = worth?
Perhaps there's a way to gauge performance and apply a value that more accurately reflects it... (Muffinus)
Maybe there's even a way to incorporate a positive outlook into it? And/or a leadership quality? (Muffinus)
Sounds like a Karma system. Which *could* work, but requires player engagement, which typically requires rewards.
Has it worked for LoL? Good case study on cutting-edge social engineering. (Muffinus)

Poll - Endgame World Content
Feel free to tell us what you liked best (or least) specifically about the world content in the comments!

Heroes of the Storm - Beyond the Worlds
Another episode of Beyond the Worlds has been released!

by Published on 2016-01-01 04:53 PM

Season 4 Goals, Gearing Up in Season 5

Hearthstone 2015 Year in Review - Expansions, Nerfs, & Popular Decks

Epic Plays of the Week #59

Warcraft Movie in China
According to Legendary, the Warcraft movie mall tour is the biggest free movie-themed exhibition ever mounted in China. Visitors get the chance to take a look at some of the character statues and more than 150 props, weapons and costumes from the movie.

This Month in WoW - January 2016
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Happy new year! January rings in with a bang with fireworks over the cities of Azeroth, and ends with the deep of winter. Bundle up and warm yourself by the fire of activities ahead.

In-Game Events

Feast of Winter Veil [Ends January 2]
For the first couple of days of January, you still have an opportunity to enjoy the Feast of Winter Veil. While enjoying a freshly nutmegged cup of nog, and crunching on a crumbly cookie or two, be sure to visit Greatfather Winter in Ironforge if you’re Alliance, or Great-father Winter in Orgrimmar if you’re Horde. While there, you’ll find a few treats, and surely a few tasks to take on as well.

Winter Veil is the only time of the year you can acquire these pets: Clockwork Rocket Bot, Winter Reindeer, Tiny Snowman, Winter's Little Helpers, Lump of Coal.

Crafters of all stripes, rejoice! You can enhance your knowledge with these seasonal recipes: Elixir of Frost PowerEdge of WinterHot Apple CiderGingerbread CookieEgg Nog,Winter's MightSnowmaster 9000Gloves of the GreatfatherWinter BootsGreen Winter ClothesRed Winter Clothes, Green Holiday Shirt. 

Darkmoon Faire Returns [January 3-10]
The wondrous and mystical Darkmoon Faire returns to Azeroth on January 3, and if you haven’t completed all of Silas Darkmoon’s new Darkmoon Races, now’s the time! Test your speed and agility on a variety of racing mounts as you dodge electrifying obstacles and zip all over Darkmoon Island for rewards and achievements. You may also want to take a few moments to be a kid again by going for a ride on the new Darkmoon Seesaw.

The faire continues to be one of the best ways to acquire heirloom gear, and don’t forget all of the toys, mounts, and pets that can only be gotten here. Get in that cannon!

Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza [Every Sunday at 2:00 p.m. realm time]
There can be only three winners each Sunday on each realm, but there are rewards for everyone who participates! There’s also a chance to catch rare fish during the event which Fishbot 5000 in Booty Bay will take in exchange for even more unique loot.

Prove that you’re one of the best anglers in Azeroth for your chance at a Dread Pirate Ring, Hook of the Master Angler, Boots of the Bay, Arcanite Fishing Pole, or High Test Eternium Fishing Line. Other players are also competing for these prizes, so time is definitely not on your side!

Bonus Events
  • December 30 – January 4: Pet Battle Bonus Event
  • January 6 – 11: Northrend Timewalking
  • January 13 – 18: Apexis Crystals Bonus Event
  • January 20 – 25: Arena Skirmishes
  • January 27 – February 1: Cataclysm Timewalking

Happy New Year!
What was your World of Warcraft resolution? If you missed the poll, feel free to answer in the comments below.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Why is so much utility being pruned from classes anyways? I get ability bloat.. but Utility is not bloat.
Check out the class blogs. It's unlikely that whatever you're referring to is related to 'bloat' or 'pruning'. (Celestalon)
It's more likely that it's related to delivering a strong class fantasy, distinct from the others'. (Celestalon)
Sometimes, we've spread something around to so many classes, it no longer feels special. Trying to solve that. (Celestalon)

Activision Blizzard Acquires MLG Assets
While nothing has been officially announced yet, eSportsObserver is reporting that Activision Blizzard has acquired substantially all of Major League Gaming's assets for $46 million. MLG will be renamed to MLG Legacy Holdings, Inc.

You may remember that earlier this year, Activision Blizzard announced the new eSports Division, headed up by Mike Sepso, a co-founder and president of MLG.

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