World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2016-12-11 07:45 AM

New PTR Patch Notes -

Weekend Wacky Wild Decks

All Artifact Weapon Traits Complete
Congratulations to Cerli (EU-The Maelstrom) for being the first to finish earning all of the Artifact Weapon traits! This was accomplished by chain running Mythic+ dungeons, allowing Cerli to farm up the 65,256,330 Artifact Power required.

Patch 7.1.5 - Hatching of the Hippogryphs
Hatching of the Hippogryphs is a micro-holiday that allows players to witness the hatching of hippogryphs in Feralas.

  • This event takes place in the Frayfeather Highlands in Feralas.
  • You can stand near an egg for a short while to keep it warm so that it hatches.
  • Once an egg hatches, you have a baby hippogryph on your shoulder for one day.
  • You can kill Lorthalium to obtain a Spectral Feather, which will keep your hippogryph around for five days.

Patch 7.1.5 - March of the Tadpoles
March of the Tadpoles is a micro-holiday that sends you to Borean Tundra to an area with baby murlocs.

Patch 7.1.5 - Love is in the Air Updates
Patch 7.1.5 brings updates to the Love is in the Air holiday!

Upcoming Raid Testing - December 13
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
On Tuesday, December 13, we will be conducting focused raid tests of Heroic Nighthold bosses.

Remember that Heroic difficulty scales for groups between 10 and 30 players, so feel free to assemble and bring a group of any size within that range.

Tuesday, December 13

Elisande – Heroic Nighthold
13:30 PST (16:30 EST, 22:30 CET)

Gul'dan – Heroic Nighthold
15:00 PST (18:00 EST, 24:00 CET)

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 bosses 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.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
We definitely understand that Marksmanship Hunters were used to a version of Vulnerable on live that was, for all practical purposes, full uptime (i.e. it could be up for every or virtually every Aimed Shot). Skilled players will still be able to have a great majority of their Aimed Shots affected by Vulnerable even in 7.1.5, albeit with a higher demand on focus management and good use of Windburst. That is intended, even if it involves losing a degree of comfort in essentially never being without a Vulnerable when you want it. The debuff is less diluted and has more significance when it requires that sort of attention, and it is not without payoff: the damage of an Aimed Shot with Vulnerable is significantly higher than in 7.1, and can be further increased with the new Patient Sniper. The ability to use Piercing Shot with Vulnerable (and potentially Patient Sniper) is an example of a new option allowing a very strong burst.

While the fundamental mechanic driving it is a proc, the proc rate is quite high, and our goal is to make sure it is the sort of randomness that provides variation to a rotation while allowing responsive gameplay and room for mastery. The ability to wait on a Hunter's Mark while pooling focus to get full value from the Vulnerable will be more important than before. Windburst, as well as the talent options Sidewinders and Sentinel, allow on-demand Vulnerables as a resource to deal with situations where you have focus but not a Mark (or simply to make sure you have one for a key burst moment without having to react to a proc). Finally, removing the Vulnerable requirement for Marked Shot to do strong damage removes a reliance on multiple rapid procs and/or Sidewinders in order to use consistent buffed Marked Shots.

As the PTR goes on, we welcome feedback on what problems turn up when you try to put this into practice, but I wanted to explain a bit more what our expectation was. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Cheat Death at 6 minutes is ridiculous... At the very least they need to make it reset on death, or no one is going to use it.
It does.

To say a bit more on the 7.1.5 changes to various “cheat death” effects, including Cheat Death, Cauterize, Purgatory, and Last Resort: firstly, the cooldown increase is not the only change—the cooldowns (specifically, the cooldown-enforcing debuffs) will now clear on death. So if you Cheat Death early in a dungeon, yes, you should avoid dying again for the next 6 minutes. However, in the event you do die (or the group wipes), you will return to combat with Cheat Death once again available.

More broadly, we examined the value of these effects as a whole and concluded they are too easily available. When Cheat Death was first added as a deep Subtlety talent (before the change to modern talent rows), its power and cooldown reflected the significant investment into that tree. In the current game, not only is its opportunity cost much lower, but, taking a look at the gameplay of healing and survivability challenges, the power level of such a frequent extra life is very high. For example, Rebirth has a 10 minute cooldown, and is a distinctively powerful ability that significantly contributes to a class’s perceived power in dungeons. Reincarnation has a 30 minute cooldown, and is far from being meaningless or forgotten. If we were adding Cheat Death and its ilk today and evaluating its power, there would be little justification for a cooldown as short as 2 minutes. Preventing a death that might otherwise have scuttled the entire current attempt at a dungeon or raid boss has more value than that.

On Last Resort in particular, we are aware that Vengeance Demon Hunters felt somewhat reliant on this to avoid deaths to unexpected burst damage, and we will be monitoring whether they need other changes to compensate (for example, they have increased health on PTR, increased baseline damage reduction, and a stronger Metamorphosis effect). And on Purgatory, its cooldown was increased the least because it conditional, and it was also made more reliable: the effect will now always last for 3 seconds regardless of whether you momentarily go above 0 HP during that window. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
One problem that Destruction Warlock had was a number of talent rows with very obvious "single-target" vs. "AoE" talent picks. This has clear downsides--a requirement to swap talents often (and as a corollary, a feeling of being significantly crippled when not using the ideal talent loadout for a given situation). Clearly, it's a DPS loss single-target to say you can no longer have both Eradication and Reverse Entropy, and a DPS loss in some AoE situations to say you can no longer have both Cataclysm and Fire and Brimstone. But making that swap, and then making sure throughout PTR that Destruction DPS remains reasonably consistent with live, will leave the spec more well-rounded and not as pigeonholed by talent choices in a given situation. PTR already has buffs to Doomguard and Imp damage that help with numbers in all situations, as well as buffs to various talents to help futher improve flexibility. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Sword or Helmet Giveaway
Our friends over at Gamepedia are giving away a Sword or Helmet prop, along with a Elder Scroll! These props will be created by Volpin Props, a company that brings things like Doomhammer to life.

by Published on 2016-12-08 09:47 PM

New PTR Patch Notes -

New 'Loot Box' regulations in China

Call of the Scarab Micro-Holiday
The Call of the Scarab holiday event remembers the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj world event from Vanilla. This event is an Alliance vs Horde showdown, with the victorious faction flying their faction banner for the next year.

The Call of the Scarab quest will send you to Silithus so that you know where the vendor and world quests are. From there you can complete quests and defeat bosses to earn Commendations for your faction. Whichever faction has the most Commendations at the end of the event wins.

Cultist Camps

World Quests
There are several world quests associated with this event, all rewarding Commendations that contribute to your faction's total.

Material Turn-In Quests
These materials can be turned in to the NPCs near the banners to earn Commendations (Field Marshal Snowfall / Senior Sergeant Kai'jin).

Mini-Boss Quests
These quests are started by items dropped from the Wind Stone and Greater Wind Stone bosses at the Cultist Camps.

Level Type Name Cost
1Quest Twilight Cultist Ring of Lordship1000 x Abyssal Crest
1Quest Twilight Cultist Medallion of Station250 x Abyssal Crest

Kirin Tor Tavern Crawl Micro-Holiday
The Kirin Tor Tavern Crawl is a micro-holiday that sends players to different taverns around the world.

  • You can join the currently active tavern from a new NPC in Dalaran (Tipsi Wobblerune or Anebria Sunwine)
  • After some time the group moves along to the next Tavern. You can press the last call button or take the portal to move on.
  • If you get left behind on the tavern tour, you can catch up by speaking to the mage in the current tavern you are in.
  • Each location has drink and food that you can interact with. The food will grant a well fed buff.
  • There are also additional NPCs in each tavern enjoying the holiday.
  • You can click on the discarded packages to apply one of many unique hat models for four hours.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
[Feedback] Marksmanship in 7.1.5
This is further exacerbated in 7.1.5. Patient Sniper no longer provides an increased Focus pool, and Sidewinders generates only 35 Focus. With that in mind, and considering the passive Focus generation of 15 per GCD, Hunters are required to maintain 21.5% Haste in order to generate enough Focus to fire 3 Aimed Shots during Vulnerable. Firing a 3rd Aimed Shot during Vulnerable, especially with the new Patient Sniper design, is a huge DPS increase. 21.5% Haste will essentially be required for MM. This is a hard breakpoint, and should be eliminated before 7.1.5 goes live.

There's a lot to discuss here--some we agree with and some we don't--but I want to swing by at least on this specific observation. We agree we don't want a major breakpoint between 2 and 3 Aimed Shots after a Marked Shot (at least, not at a middling amount like 21% haste that will affect gear choice throughout the expansion). We're not decided on a fix yet; in particular, whether the standard amount should be two Aimed Shots after a Marked Shot, or three (if two, it would still be okay to have three during Bloodlust and similar situations). The ability would be tuned around whichever option. Two has some advantages like concentrating the Vulnerable burst more, requiring standing still for less time to fully utilize it, and potentially having enough leeway for an instant before one of the Aimed Shots. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Boulderfist Talent
Boulderfist is intended as a talent choice that creates some gaps in your rotation, by replacing your no-cooldown resource builder with something that’s overall stronger, but has charges. In 7.1, the recharge time isn’t long enough for those gaps to ever actually happen, especially with the most popular Enhancement talent build adding several more active abilities to your rotation. Its power level was also simply too high, and in this case, we’d rather let this talent have its intended effect on the pace of your rotation and buff the spec as a whole to compensate.

Our intent is that if you want to use an ability every GCD, you should choose one of the other options in that row. Boulderfist should result in an overall more methodical pace that is more about having a little time to plan upcoming abilities. When Boulderfist is the hands-down best option in that row, that doesn’t feel like much of a choice, and as we continue tuning for 7.1.5, we hope to address this by bringing it in line with the others.

While I can appreciate that there was an original design intent behind Boulderfist, the spec as it currently exists on Live is as enjoyable to play as it's ever been since I rolled my Shaman back in BC.

We've heard it reiterated over and over (and over) again by the developers that if something about a spec felt too mandatory, it would just get rolled into the spec. I play this spec as my main because it is fun; if I cared strictly about maximum overall damage output, I'd focus on my Rogue instead. Changing a mechanic like this runs counter to the design philosophy that's been so oft repeated.

Thanks for all the feedback; this has been a consistent theme throughout the thread and elsewhere. And we don't want to disrupt the familiar playstyle of 7.1 Enhancement, if in fact the specific pacing of Boulderfist's recharge time is a major part of what makes it work so well. We will still have to address the power level in some way without diluting the feel that's been discussed here. We are currently planning the following for PTR (uncertain on timing):

--Boulderfist recharge time back to 6 seconds
--Boulderfist no longer gives a bonus to critical strike
--Rockbiter generates 20 Maelstrom (from 15) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Patch 7.1.5 Warlock Changes
Thats all fine and dandy, now get to work fixing warlocks.
Incidentally--Imp/Succubus/Voidwalker/Felhunter/Felguard all deal 20% more damage. Most of that was datamined normally, but in particular, the increase to Felguard's attack power likely was not (simply because it's something that happens server-side).

I can think of one other thing worth calling attention to for feedback/testing that may have been missed: Mark of the Ancient Priestess and Mark of the Distant Army should do noticeably more healing/damage and be more worth using. Some of the stat-based neck enchants were also increased, but that will be clear in tooltips. Hidden Satyr scales correctly with gear now as well, and may be slightly weaker, but for the most part the other enchants were buffed to roughly its level. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Hunters: what pets do you feel like you HAVE to bring, in what situation? More specific info is best! (Muffinus)
Also hunters: some pet families are lacking abilities atm. What is your dream ability for that family? (Muffinus)

so with the 2k players getting a vendor for their gear appearances, what about the non 2k players? do we get a vendor also?
Yep! All players will be able to purchase the non-Elite Season 1 & 2 set with Marks of Honor once Season 2 concludes. (WarcraftDevs)

Ronda Rousey and Vin Diesel Are WoW Friends
Ronda Rousey and Vin Diesel both played WoW together!

by Published on 2016-12-07 05:54 PM

Legion Developer Q&A - Ion Hazzikostas
Ion Hazzikostas was back once again today to answer your questions! Keep in mind that the notes below are rough and you should watch the video for the full context.

Communication and Patch 7.1.5 Release
  • The team wants everyone to feel heard and will continue to working on improving communication.
  • The next Q&A will be shortly after the holidays, probably in the first few weeks of January, around the release of Patch 7.1.5.

Secondary Stats and Item Changes
  • The change to secondary stats should ultimately not hurt specs that heavily rely on Crit.
  • The first step of these changes was to reduce the amount of secondary stat percentage you get per rating. The second step was to increase the budget of items across the board by 5% or so.
  • If you have 47% Crit right now, you are probably only going to lose a few percent after this change. This will be offset by the extra primary stats you get. Your overall power shouldn't be meaningfully affected.
  • Overall this change was aimed at shifting the balance of how much of an item's power comes from a secondary stat to help make item level a more consistent guide for what you should equip.
  • For the most part a 15 item level upgrade should be something that you can blindly equip and trust that it is the right thing to do. Most 10 item level upgrades should also be the same way. Once you get below that it may come down to the stats or sockets.
  • There is a lot of numbers tuning that is yet to happen.
  • Overall your raid group should have the same or a slightly easier time after Patch 7.1.5 comes out compared to the week before the patch came out.
  • Overall the team is mostly happy with balance on live right now, in terms of the overall DPS picture. There are a couple of specific outliers, such as extreme Surrender to Madness cases.
  • None of the changes in Patch 7.1.5 had the goal of nerfing or buffing a spec or class, it was mostly about fixing talent weightings, secondary stat values, and making itemization more intuitive.
  • Legion flattened out the rate at which secondary stats scale over the max-level period of the expansion. The team wanted to start you out with higher levels of Crit and Haste and not let you get to such extreme levels at the end of the expansion. In the past specs would not play well at lower gear levels early in the expansion and then end up hitting soft caps near the end of the expansion.
  • On non-jewelry items, the higher item level that you get, the larger share of an item's budget comes from primary stats. On jewelry there were no primary stats for it to go into, so jewelry scaled worse than other items. If you got a helm that is 20 item levels higher than your previous helm, it might have 20% more stats. If you got jewelry that was 20 item levels higher, it might have only had 12% more stats. This made secondary stats matter much more important than item level for jewelry. This was fixed in Patch 7.1.5.
  • Primary stats give tanks avoidance, which isn't super valuable for tanks. In the longer run the team can make primary stats have more of a direct mitigation value for tanks. In the mean time, the change to items has reduced the amount of budget that goes into secondary stats. You will get more Stamina and Armor, which does have value to tanks.

Class Changes
  • The class changes coming in Patch 7.1.5 are a result of the large sweeping changes that came with Legion. Some classes were stripped down and rebuilt, which resulted in some things not being right. The team didn't want to leave things wrong until the next expansion, so they are making changes to improve them in Patch 7.1.5.
  • Legion dropped a boulder in the lake, making ripples (class changes). These ripples will get smaller as the expansion goes on.

  • Warlocks have a few issues that hinder each spec.
  • Affliction got some mechanical and numerical improvements in 7.1.5. Soul Effigy has been getting a lot of feedback. The idea behind that talent is allowing a DoT class to use the multi-dotting on single target fights. Patch 7.1.5 makes it so that you can only target your own Soul Effigy, making it a little easier to switch to. Other options in that row should be stronger so that they feel like alternatives if you don't like that gameplay.
  • For Demonology, Demonic Empowerment is a source of frustration, you spend a lot of time ramping up, you feel like you are juggling a lot of things. This and the Destruction Warlock problem are larger problems that can't be fixed with tweaking some numbers. The team needs to think about how the rotation flows, make changes, and continue to iterate.
  • Patches like 7.1.5 and 7.2.5 are targeted to come out around 10 weeks after the last major patch, containing whatever can be finished by that date. Whatever is not completed in time gets pushed to the next patch.
  • Shadow Priests and a few other classes got a lot of attention this time around. Warlock issues will get fixed during the expansion, but the team didn't feel like they could get the changes done in time for this patch.
  • Rather than having three different resource models for Warlocks, the team tried to consolidate them into one for Legion. Destruction lost something with being unable to generate partial Embers. In a later patch, the team wants to try to let Soul Shards behave like Embers did in the past, allowing you to generate partial Soul Shards.

Havoc Demon Hunter
  • The team has tweaked things like Fel Barrage to break some of the synergies that push players towards the Momentum build. It will remain a viable build.
  • The team is working on numbers tuning for Patch 7.1.5 so that you don't feel locked into Momentum if you don't like Momentum.

Talent Diversity
  • Simulations and top players in the world can execute high skill requirement rotations almost perfectly, but most players won't. Sometimes the "best" choice is only the best if it is executed perfectly.
  • Other options that can be executed more consistently may be a better choice for most players.
  • There is more talent diversity than you would think if you just look at various class guides.

Balance Druid
  • The nerf to The Emerald Dreamcatcher is an attempt to narrow the gap between the high end and low end of legendary items.
  • Your spec shouldn't only be viable with a certain legendary.
  • This can be fixed by nerfing the legendary some and buffing the spec some. This way the player with the legendary doesn't have a power change and everyone without the legendary becomes a little bit more powerful.
  • This change shouldn't be a nerf for anyone.
  • Tuning for Balance Druids isn't done yet.

Item Stats and Sets
  • The latest PTR build changed many of the Nighthold loot stats. This way the items cover some of the stats that you want.
  • With six items in the set, you will have more choices to pick the four for the set bonus.

Unholy Death Knights
  • The legendary bracers fall under the same category as the Balance Druid legendary change.
  • Festering Wounds is something that is on the team's radar. A lot of the feedback is tied to the Unholy Artifact active ability.
  • The reason for the variance in number of Festering Wounds is to create some variation in your rotation, adding some decision making.
  • One good community suggestion is capping the number of Wounds consumed at 4 and having 2 Ghouls summoned, making it never necessary to go to 8.

Outlaw Rogue
  • Roll the Bones will not have the RNG lowered. The ability is themed around rolling dice and is something signature to Outlaw.
  • The team will continue to improve Slice and Dice so that there is another viable option in that row if you don't enjoy the gameplay of Roll the Bones. Maybe adding more Haste or something to make it feel more powerful.

  • Greater Blessing of Might is a failed design. The thought was to capture some of the hybrid element of the class, but at the same time the team was nervous about balance.
  • If you are buffing someone significantly by being there, can you do the same amount of damage as a pure DPS class? If the answer is no, a lot of people might not want to sign up for that. If the answer is yes, you are just better than everyone.
  • The team tried to credit the contribution of the Paladin to the Paladin, which resulted in whoever got the blessing being unhappy. The Paladin isn't happy either, so no one is happy.
  • The team hasn't come up with a good solution for Patch 7.1.5, but they will continue to work on it and scrap it for a better design.

Surrender to Madness
  • Reduced Insanity drain in the first 18 seconds isn't helping lower skill Surrender players.
  • Surrender is really iconic, flavorful, and one of the cooler talents in the game.
  • There probably won't be a point where Surrender is not the best option for a single target short Patchwerk style fight. On a ten minute fight that will be a different story.
  • The goal is robust alternatives to Surrender to Madness, but they aren't quite there yet.
  • There should be talents that are better in a longer fight. In an average length fight it should come down to your desired playstyle.

  • Storm, Earth, and Fire has a number of mechanical issues. The team is working on getting them fixed for Patch 7.1.5, but if it isn't done it time it will be tuned around the bugs so that it isn't a DPS loss until it can be fixed.

Rune of Power
  • Some of the problem with this is tuning. Rune of Power is meant to be a situational talent, for fights where you won't be moving too much.
  • With the current tuning it feels necessary in every fight, making it feel bad when you have to move.
  • The underlying design might be better with a different cooldown and duration.
  • In the short term the team will look at tuning of the other talents.

Holy Paladin Healing
  • It isn't likely that more HoT and AoE healing is coming for Holy Paladins.
  • Strong single target healing is one of the hallmarks of the Holy Paladin and the team doesn't want to dilute that.
  • Healer balance and diversity is pretty good right now.
  • Even in dungeons the single target healing gets the job done adequately.

Marksmanship Hunter
  • The team is mostly happy with Marksman Hunters now.
  • Aimed Shot is meant to be a tradeoff. BM hunters are more mobile, but Marks has advantages that offset the lower mobility.
  • There is some tuning to be done to make the other specs feel more viable in other situations.

Artifact Power and Knowledge
  • The current plan is to create a system that won't reward you for holding on to your Artifact Power until Patch 7.2.
  • In Patch 7.2 your 20 point final trait may be converted into the new trait.
  • There will never be a reason to sit on Artifact Power.
  • Patch 7.1.5 makes catching up on alts much faster. If you are AK20, you can buy AK15 for your alt.
  • Alts shouldn't have to do everything a main character did to earn something, but there still should be a reasonable amount of gameplay.

Alt Gameplay
  • The team could make reputation sources at max level account bound so that you could send them to alts when they are no longer needed.
  • Unlocking World Quests and Suramar dungeons is account wide, other things like tradeskills don't make sense to unlock account-wide.
  • There are lots of players that want to make an alt to progress on another character when there are no short term progressions they can make on their main.

Long Loading Screens
  • The team is actively working on a fix, but it is proving challenging. If it affected all players it would be easier to track down, but it isn't an issue for everyone.
  • There have been attempts to fix it so far, but it hasn't been fixed for everyone.

Legendary Items
  • It is okay for legendary items to not be the best for every situation.
  • If you have a legendary that improves your AoE, it probably isn't the best on a single target fight.
  • As players get more legendary items, you might change out what legendary you have equipped based on the situation.
  • It may have been a mistake to make legendary items that always increase throughput. Items like Sephuz would have been very exciting in the past, but it is no longer exciting because of the alternatives you have, such as the Fire Mage bracers.
  • If you were choosing between Sephuz, Prydaz, and some of the situational legendary items it would be a more even choice, but the legendary items that provide more throughput make this
  • Players feel bad when they get Sephuz instead of a universally useful legendary.
  • The team will continue to tune legendary items so you don't feel that you aren't viable without one, such as the legendary braces for Unholy.
  • Quality of Life improvements come from legendary items, just like they have from set bonuses and other items in the past. Most set bonuses are things players would like to have baked into their class, this is how the game has worked.
  • Maybe in a future iteration these effects will be baked into the class.
  • Legendary effects are intended to be exciting and valuable.
  • Over time the team will continue to increase the drop rate of legendary items. Someone who starts the game later this year will be more likely to get their legendary item than someone did back during Legion launch week.

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