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by Published on 2015-02-14 01:37 AM

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Mythic Blackrock Foundry Progression
Midwinter downed The Iron Maidens today, pushing them to 8/10 bosses down. Paragon, Exorsus, and Method also managed to kill Maidens today. You can keep up with the latest progress on WoWProgress, our forum thread, and Manaflask.

Patch 6.1 PTR Patch Notes - February 13
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Garrisons, Followers, and Outposts
  • Follower Missions
    • Level 90-94 gold and Garrison Resource missions will now continue to appear even if there are no Followers that are level 90-94.
  • Garrison Buildings
    • Barn
      • Barn traps can now be placed on top of a trap that has already been sprung.
    • Mage Tower / Spirit Lodge
      • Characters visiting the Garrison are now able to use Mage Tower / Spirit Lodge portals.
    • Town Hall
      • The fireplace in Tier-2 and Tier-3 Alliance Garrison Town Halls can now be used as a cooking fire.

Cosmetic Transformations and Toy Effects
  • Improvements have been made to the way that cosmetic transformations are handled. Previously, using another transformation would overwrite or cancel an existing effect. Now, characters can retain multiple cosmetic transformations and the one with the highest priority will be visible. If a higher priority transformation is canceled or expires, the next highest priority transformation will then be visible.
  • Cosmetic transformation effects that don't have mount animations and previously prevented a character from mounting (or were canceled upon mounting) are no longer canceled or need to be canceled or prevent mounting. Instead, the transform is temporarily suppressed and the character will regain the transformation once they dismount.
  • Many Druid shapeshift forms now have attachment points on the head and back for cosmetic toy effects such as Blazing Wings or Pepe. Additional shapeshift forms may receive attachment points in the future.

  • Accounts with an inactive subscription are now able to log in with the same restrictions that Starter Edition accounts have with the additional perk of being able to join guilds that characters on the account already are a member of.
  • New Graphics Options
    • Particle Density in graphics settings now have 3 detail levels (down from 5). This may affect the number of particles generated by some particle systems.
    • Ambient Occlusion
      • Added new ambient occlusion method NVIDIA HBAO+, available on all DirectX 11 capable video cards.
    • Anti-Aliasing
      • MSAA is once again supported, with additional controls for fine-tuning under Advanced graphics options.
      • A new SSAA anti-aliasing option is now available for high-end video cards.
    • New Lighting
      • Per-pixel deferred point lights have been added to create more realistic lighting throughout Draenor.

  • All rings, neck, cloak, and trinket items that can be acquired in Nagrand (A level 98+ zone) or later should now be better suited for the character's loot specialization. This means tanks should no longer receive items with no bonus Armor and healers should no longer receive items with no Spirit from sources like item tokens, quests, or Personal loot mode in Dungeons and Raids for those item slots.

Class Changes
  • Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Breath of Sindragosa no longer has an initial Runic Power cost, but only applies the Mark of Sindragosa for Blood Death Knights.
      • Defile now only reduces damage taken for Blood Death Knights.
      • Necrotic Plague damage has been increased by 20% 37% and now only grants Runic Power to Blood Death Knights.
  • Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Comet Storm (Frost) damage has increased by 94% but deals 33.3% less damage in PvP combat.
  • Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Halo now displays an indicator on the ground to make it easier for the casting Priest see where the ability is most effective. Additionally, Halo visual effect has been synchronized so a character will receive the effect when the nova intersects with them.
      • Psychic Scream (Shadow) now has a 30-second cooldown (up from 45 seconds).
  • Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Demonbolt (Demonology) damage decreased by 25%.


  • Legacy
    • Cruisin' the Chasm: Resolved an issue where characters were not receiving completion credit after riding the Rental Chopper.
    • Ridin' the Rocketway: Resolved an issue where characters were not receiving completion credit after riding the Redhound Two-Seater prototype.

Dungeons and Raids
  • Raids
    • Blackrock Foundry
      • Dungeon Journal entries for Blackrock Foundry have been updated with fight mechanics that have changed from hotfixes.
      • Hans’gar & Franzok
        • Tanks are now able to use abilities and cooldowns while grabbed by Hans’gar or Franzok's Crippling Suplex.

  • Primal Gladiator's and Primal Combatant's Badges now have a 2-minute cooldown (up from 1 minute).
  • Mists of Pandaria era PvP Gloves no longer have an on-equip bonus.
  • Ashran
    • There's now a 10 minute delay between battles after Grand Marshal Tremblade or High Warlord Volrath has been defeated (down from 30 minutes).

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Eye of the Storm: Icon for the flag should no longer be incorrectly displaying in the center of the map even though it's been picked up by another player.

  • Fishing
    • Fish caught in Draenor can now be filleted without requiring a set stack number (20 for small, 10 for normal, 5 for enormous fish) while larger fish will still award more resources.


  • Loot eligibility lockouts for Draenor world bosses (Drov the Ruiner, Tarlna the Ageless, and Rukhmar) are now tracked in Raid Info under the Raid tab.

Bug Fixes
  • Garden Sickle now correctly sheathes on the hip.
  • Fixed an issue where Rogues would automatically fail the Gladiator's Sanctum coliseum scenario when they use the Death from Above talent.
  • Fixed an issue where characters that underwent a paid faction change may be unable to complete the achievement for Upgrading the Mill.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character / Items
Can you make the gear from Ethereal Soul-Trader available for transmog?
Appreciate the suggestion, we'll definitely give this some consideration. (WarcraftDevs)

Why does Ironspike Chew Toy have 80 less Int than Goren Soul Repository. Seems very unwarranted.
Trinkets are tuned around their item-level and proc effectiveness, and as a result will have some variance comparatively. (WarcraftDevs)

Any chance the Sha'tari defense transmog set will become "Cosmetic" class rather than "plate" class? Only gloves are atm
Being set as "Cosmetic" was a bug in 6.0, and they will be properly labeled Plate in the next patch. (WarcraftDevs)

9 Elemental Runes from Gruul Normal versus 27 from Gruul Heroic. Is BRF intended to be diff. than HM WRT drop #'s?
There’s always a chance to get extra Runes like how you might get Clusters in Highmaul; same chance all difficulties. (WarcraftDevs)

will the 125 stones for the ring quest drop in BRF if we are still on that quest but raiding BRF now?
Abrogator Stones only drop in Highmaul; the next step, Elemental Runes, drop in Blackrock Foundry. (WarcraftDevs)

Tier tokens don't have 100% drop rate per X raid members like in previous expansions or is this a bug?
Tokens on group loot work like other loot: smooth scaling with respect to raid size, no breakpoints. (WarcraftDevs)

Ko'ragh executes on his shield are super-buggy; Ferocious Bite isn't refreshing Rip at 25% shield health at all.
The mechanic only lets you use abilities that are normally only useable on low-health targets, not secondary effects. (WarcraftDevs)

For several specs, 6+ items on Ka'graz loot table. Chance to get set token on personal loot are more than extremely slim.
Tighter restrictions on spec availability for accessory slots coming in 6.1 should help with this. (WarcraftDevs)

Remove Glitter bomb? Its beginning to ruin Ashran and BG's. Every man and his dog putting Faerie Fire on me. No fun at all.
The item is receiving a cooldown in 6.1. (WarcraftDevs)

Any planned changes to the Sinister Spores item? Spammable 90% reduced healing across a World PVP raid is quite devastating...
This item is receiving a cooldown in 6.1. (WarcraftDevs)

Will Highmaul loot mission share a cooldown with BRF loot missions?
No. In 6.1, Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry Garrison missions will be on separate cooldowns and won't conflict with each other. (WarcraftDevs)

When my friends are visiting my citadel, they can see their own archeology items on the table instead mines. Is this a bug?
It's a bug, and we'll see what we can do to address it. (WarcraftDevs)

Warlords of Draenor - "Nothing to Do"
Bashiok highlighted a nice post by a player on the official forums today. Be sure to click the Show/Hide link on the right to show the post.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)


In all my time in WoW, I've never seen the forums as negative as they've been during WoD. While it's true that the forums always are a place for centralized criticism, and so always are more negative in general than what you hear in-game, the negativity has really swelled in this expansion.

I've been thinking about the issues with this expansion quite a bit, and particularly the comments from people saying they've unsubscribed. Sometimes they post a list of things that have them dissatisfied, sometimes they just make a small post with one reason. With the lists, while many issues might be subjects frequently complained about, there's usually one item in the list that seems to really be the trigger above everything else.

Based on what I've seen watching the forums and reading these posts, if I had to identify the main issues making people post threads about unsubscribing, it would be having "nothing to do," and the sense of being forced to spend all your time in garrisons doing garrison chores.

Now at this point, I've not said anything novel. A lot of the time, when someone does say something like this, it is met with a reply that tries to rebut the person quitting. The replies tend to point out that "there are tons of things to do, more than past expansions even" and "you are not forced to do anything, you can ignore garrison chores." The replies are not wrong at a literal level, and yet, there's no question that many players feel exactly like the people unsubscribing. Indeed, I'm not sure I like the upvoting and downvoting system for posts, but there's no denying that quitting posts stating those types of reasons for quitting tend to get a lot of upvotes.

So I think the most valuable thing to do is not to say, "are they right or wrong" but more, "why do they feel this way?"

What there is "to do" in WoW

"Nothing to do" is what I hear a lot. So, beyond the initial leveling up experience on your first main, let's look at what there is to do. I'm not posting this list as a rebuttal to "nothing to do," just as a jumping off point for looking at what people actually do vs. what they could do, and where the breakdown is between the two. So, roughly speaking, here is the list in my mind of "things I can do" in WoW. There is some overlap, but I feel like these listed activities carry enough distinction to be separate items on the list:

  • Leveling up alts (leveling is relatively fast in WoD)
  • Organized Raiding (Normal, Heroic, Mythic)
  • LFR raiding.
  • Battlegrounds (unrated)
  • Rated Battlegrounds
  • Arenas (2v2, 3v3, 5v5)
  • Ashran (Nemesis quests adding a big task here with Gladiator's Sanctum)
  • Highmaul Coliseum FFA deathmatch scenario (Gladiator's Sanctum requried)
  • Normal / Heroic Dungeons
  • Challenge Modes (Bronze, Silver, Gold)
  • Proving Grounds (Tank, Healer, DPS; Bronze, Silver, Gold, Endless)
  • Brawler's Guild
  • Reputation grinding for rewards
  • Apexis Daily
  • Fishing (hey, some people like it)
  • Archaeology
  • Pet Battles (Collecting)
  • PvP Pet Battles
  • Primary Professions (Barn makes a big difference here in adding work to do)
  • Garrison chores (picking up work orders, harvesting herbs / ore)
  • Follower Missions (potentially highly involved)
  • Leveling up Bodyguards (some neat rewards for this)
  • Collecting transmog gear (War Mill / Dwarven Bunker adding more here)
  • Collecting mounts (including rares in WoD, such as poundfist)
  • The Toy Collection (new for WoD)
  • Garrison Invasions

Finally, as an all-encompassing category, "Achievements." There are Achievements related to pretty much everything. In some areas, they actually add reasons to do things in different ways than you'd normally do them (many acheivements in the "Quest" category, for example). In some areas, they simply reward you for completing the associated grind (like a Reputation achievement). Some achievements reward you for doing things in a manner maximally calculated to harm your group's chances of success (i.e. nearly every PvP BG achievent). And of course, there are achievements connected to all of the Legacy content you can visit from past expansions of the game.

What people are actually doing in WoW

Of course there are people involved in all of those activities. But in terms of what I see on the forums, a lot of people are saying that their typical game session (aside from maybe "raid night") is comprised of this:

  • Log in
  • Garrison Chores
  • Follower Missions
  • Apexis Daily (Maybe)
  • Log out

So looking at the typical session, a lot of things that could be done aren't being done. Some might just attribute this to the time people have to play, but I don't think that's quite right. Many people with more time to play lose interest in doing anything more during the time that they do the few things in that list.

My opinion is this: For a lot of players, they preemptively feel like it's not worth doing something if they can't make a decent measure of progress on it in that session, and that they need a certain level of stamina to meet the necessary measure of progress.

Stamina Calculation

For instance, if I want to do Ashran to work on my Nemesis quests, I know the queue will probably be an hour or more. To make putting up with that queue worth it, I know my time in Ashran should be at LEAST an hour, and probably more. The moment I log in, I might feel like I have enough stamina to go through that if I queue up immediately. However, 20 minutes later, I might not feel like I have the stamina to start that process.

That's one example, but two other things play into the feeling of stamina. First, the less engaged you feel during your first block of time in a session, the larger the stamina cost will feel for everything you might do afterwards. If your first 20 minutes felt like a boring slog, it makes you feel less excited about spending another hour in the same game, even if the other things to do are really different. Second, the less structured an activity is, the more players will default to assigning it a larger "stamina cost."

Less Structure = Higher Assumed Stamina Cost

As an example of this, consider reputations. Getting to Exalted with Laughing Skull (Horde) or Sha'tari Defense (Alliance) revolves around killing mobs for reputation points. There are no daily quests or other sources of reputation. Theoretically, a person could just jump in and kill mobs for 15 minutes, make some progress, and walk away with a gain equivalent to what a daily quest could get them for reputations in Mists of Pandaria. And in terms of gameplay, they are probably doing exactly the same thing as a daily quest would usually ask of them (i.e. an NPC saying "go kill 20 mobs for me").

But in practice, with no structure, most players just see a potentially very long grind, low gains, and feel like it's not even worth it if they're not doing it for an hour straight. Because the commitment at any point in time is more open-ended, it feels like it has to be a larger commitment. The most efficient way to farm is to join a group, and who wants to join a five-man group and go through the travel time just to stick around for 15 minutes? And if you're in a group, you know you'll feel some pressure to stick around to keep the pace up for rep farming. It's not a question of them being right or wrong, it's just that they default to assigning it a larger stamina cost and needing a larger block of time to make it "worth it," and then do not consider it worth their own time to engage in it. So only a sliver of players really engage with that content (fortunately, that sliver can find each other pretty easily with group finder to form groups).

Content outside stamina range = content that "does not exist" to the player

The stamina calculation goes on in players' minds constantly. And, if an activity is something they find themselves never doing, then they start to feel like that content is not content "meant for them." So that initial block of time they log on is very important, it sets the tone for what they feel like they can do. Optimally, people would vary up how they spend their initial time. Some days they would log in and immediately proceed to do heroics, or immediately proceed to Arenas, or Rated BG's or Ashran, or immediately proceed to challenge modes or pet battles or many other things. But in practice, the variety is not happening. In practice, they fall into a pattern of doing garrison chores, not feeling the energy or drive to do anything more, logging out, and feeling like there's no content for them.

Forced to do chores

As mentioned earlier, one of the immediate retorts to people saying they feel forced to do garrison chores is that they are not, in fact, forced to do garrison chores. While some people describe Garrisons as a prison, other people wave the complaint away by essentially saying, "if it's a prison, it's your self-made prison." It's silly to get bogged down in a fight over whether something is "forced" on a literal level, because of course it is not. But it's not silly to ask why something feels forced. So the big question is, what makes people feel "forced" to do something in WoW. In my opinion, two things can trigger the feeling of being forced.

1. The activity improves your gear to the extent that ignoring it means you will be routinely excluded from advancing in higher end content, and you cannot obtain the same upgrade through other reasonable methods.

2. The activity is time-based, and failing to take advantage of it when it is offered means losing out permanently on some advantage.

The first category is a criticism that Blizzard is keenly sensitive too, and I would say they made quite an effort to make sure that gear upgrades could be obtained from many varied sources. This doesn't mean that higher end content doesn't slowly narrow down to providing gear solely through high end activities (i.e. mythic upgrades require mythic raiding), but for someone who just hit level cap, they have a numerous methods to obtain gear upgrades.

The second category is the one I think tends to be more present and more damaging, but also tends to be overlooked. People hate the sense that a reward dangled right in front of them will be lost permanently if they fail to act. The Garrison chores are a perfect example of this. Anytime you fail to act, you give up a reward. The reward is sitting right in front of you, requiring you to do nothing more than interact with it to pick it up (minine nodes, herb garden, work orders). The more accessible a reward is to your initial log-in point, the more you will feel like the "right" way to play is to engage with it. Not doing the task to get the reward makes you feel like you're stupidly giving up a gain, and no one likes to feel as if they're playing the game "wrong." So you feel compelled mentally to engage that content.

And if you have alts... oh boy. People with alts might find themselves wrestling with whether it feels like the right thing to do is to get the "rewards" in the Garrison on each new character, despite the drain and lack of fun they feel. It's easy to say they shouldn't feel that way and they don't need those rewards on all their characters, but the question really is about what the game is making them feel like.

Tying the problems together

There is a lot to do in WoD. But post after post describes feeling forced to do chores and feeling like there's "nothing to do" in the game. My experience doesn't exactly match that. I myself feel pretty engaged in a variety of content, and I've gotten somewhat used to ignoring my garrison chores when I feel like doing something else. Yet I don't feel like those posts are stating things incorrectly. I think the experience they describe is what an uncomfortably large number of players are feeling.

Players are logging on, feel compelled to go through their Garrison chores, getting those rewards that are placed right in front of them... Even though that very content is not fun and drains their stamina for engaging in other content. It reduces their stamina for engaging in other activities that absolutely require large blocks of time to give a reasonable hope of success. And for activites that don't absolutely require large blocks of time, so many of those lack structure that the player defaults to assigning them large blocks of time for what it would require to be "worth it" (i.e. very few players want to make a trip for an unstructured rep grind just to grind for 15 minutes).

This all leads to the ultimate result of:
Log in
Do Garrison chores
Feel unenergized to do more
Log out
"I feel bored, forced to do garrison chores, and like there's nothing to do."

And the longer this goes on, the more the player feels the lack of energy BEFORE they do their chores, because their mind is already anticipating it. Whereas before they felt lack of energy to do things after the chores, soon they feel a lack of energy as they are logging in. They start to feel like they are forcing themselves to log in to do something they don't enjoy.


More structure is needed for other content. In another thread, a blue post recently talked about how dailies are not viewed as inherently good or evil, and also talked about how many players only have a little time to play and others have larger blocks of time, and they want to design for everyone. Now, that's a fine statement. But I'd add something more: Daily Quests should be viewed as potential structure. Indeed, all quests should be viewed as potential structure. One-time quests, weekly quests, and daily quests.

And I think when people look outside their Garrison, they see a lack of structure, and it makes everything seem more daunting, more of an open-ended commitment, and overall less attractive. Part of the missing structure is narrative. That is not to say that every zone is not full of story. There is story everywhere. But at level-cap, it feels haphazard and unorganized.

The Garrison Campaign gives you the quest chain in each assault area that kind of ties the story together. But the Campaign quest is automatically offered from week to week, there is no effort to "earn" the quest. On the other hand, the dailies for Apexis feel unrewarding, and do not feel like they play into a sense of building towards anything. Meanwhile, reputations for factions intimately involved in these areas are completely unrelated.

Shattrath is an example of this. Grinding exalted for Sha'tari Defense does not carry any story, or any requirement, other than killing a ton of mobs in an unstructured fashion. Doing the daily quest for Apexis crystals does not play any role in whether you get the Garrison Campaign quest that finally sends you to the city to deal with Socrethar, the big villain leading the Sargerei forces. This narrative arc could have been a very fun experience at level-cap, and instead it feels very underwhelming.

My advice on the structuring process would be this: First come up with a narrative for the story of an area, then structure that narrative to have players work towards the narrative's climax, then make use of blocks of time with frequent, natural stopping points. A very good example of this would be what was done in Patch 5.1 with Lion's Landing and Domination Point. You did dailies that awarded reputation, and hitting certain reputation numbers (not just "honored" or "revered", but actual a series of reputation points within those bars) opened up quests that moved a larger narrative forward, until you finally hit a narrative climax. I don't expect every narrative to be as good as that one was, nor do I ask that every structure be identical, but I do think that is probably the current gold standard when it comes to structuring "casual" world content, and content design should always try to match the sense of narrative build-up paired with frequent stopping points shown there.

Garrison Chores:
A solution here is difficult. But I think the "chore" aspect of Garrisons needs a serious appraisal, because it seems like a festering wound on the forums. They can't be eliminated entirely, and I don't think people necessarily would want it eliminated entirely. There is some aspect to the chores that can feel fun, and people don't like having a reward yanked away from them. So here would be my suggestions:

1. Change the mine and the garden.

Aside from the highly negative impact they had on miners and herbalists (which is only tangential to what I'm addressing), I think players view these chores with a growing annoyance while feeling like they "should" farm these. And I think it gets worse for people with alts.

The change I would enact would be to remove spawns for anyone who is not of the appropriate profession (miner / herbalist). I would also remove work orders from the mine and garden for people not of those professions, as the work orders feel incredibly redundant. This does not mean those buildings would lack purpose. I would change the benefit of those buildings to simply be that as you upgrade them, they slightly increase the rate at which the Garrison cache fills. This makes sense narratively too - the workers are creating resources for your Garrison out of the raw materials. If you assign a worker to the building, I would probably make it so you obtain one cart per day from them of ore from the mine and an herb of a particular variety from the garden (this way, for instance, engineers could still get ore for their gears from the mine, and tailors could still get their gorgrond flytrap needed for hexweave daily).

Additionally, I would make it so that workers assigned to a building do not have to come from your Active Follower list, they could come from your inactive ones. It makes more sense anyway that inactive followers are the ones sticking around in the Garrison not going on missions, so why shouldn't they work in a building?

2. Work Orders need reduced frequency.

I think the pick-up and put in of new orders is too frequent, and drives a sense from people that they should "check in" with their Garrison, further distracting from non-Garrison content. Changing the system now may not feel very viable, but if there's a way, I'd look into finding a method whereby players had longer periods between feeling the "need" to check in. I know I personally will sometimes go days without picking up my orders, then I receive a bunch from the next batch I pick up, and for me that's more fun than if I had been picking it up more frequently and putting in new orders (despite this meaning that I ultimately obtain a bit less over time).

I would look into finding a method to reward players for waiting longer between pickups. Perhaps it could be tied to whether you have a Follower assigned to the building (maybe he adds a passive bonus the longer he has to "polish" finished product or something). It seems counter-intuitive to reward people for being LESS diligent in checking work orders, but I think it's exactly what the system could use.

3. Follower Missions need longer options.

When I first heard of the follower system at Blizzcon, I remember talk of there being missions that might take "a week" while others would take a day and others mere hours. Currently, nothing takes longer than a day. I think it's time you look into creating Follower Missions oriented around being days long or even a week long. I think you should consider offering multiple of these missions at the same time AND consider requiring more than just 3 followers.

In other words, Follower Missions could use missions where people have the option to treat followers as a WEEKLY activity rather than a DAILY or semi-hourly activity. It might not mean sending all your followers on weekly quests, but the more you send on long-term quests, the less followers you have to manage the other days of the week.

I know this post is probably too long. With a post this long, I realize I might not even get one reply because it simply turns people off from reading the whole thing. Still, sometimes I like to write to order my thoughts on a topic, which can make it feel easier to engage such topics in other posts with shorter comments.

I hope someone finds this post to have been worthwhile to read. Thanks if you did.

Thanks for putting that together Torvald. I think it's insightful, and presents some very cogent theories about what the deeper cause for people's feedback could be. I feel smarter for having read it, and so thank you.

Speed Dating with Gamers
Curse made a special Valentine's Day video for gamers.

by Published on 2015-02-13 04:42 AM

Patch 6.1 - Engineer’s Workshop: Anti-Aliasing & Lighting

Mythic Blackrock Foundry Progression
No significant changes from yesterday at the top, but there are now 9 guilds at 7/10 bosses down. You can keep up with the latest progress on WoWProgress, our forum thread, and Manaflask.

Patch 6.0.3 Hotfixes - February 12
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
  • Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Armor Sets
      • Tier-17 2-piece bonus for Unholy Death Knights in addition to its current effect also causes Dark Transformation to apply an additional 40% damage bonus to the ghoul, increasing total pet damage by roughly 20%.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Blackrock Foundry
    • The Blast Furnace
      • Reduced the health of Primal Elementalists on Mythic difficulty.
      • Primal Elementalists are now immune to knockback effects.
      • Fixed an issue in Phase 2 where Slag Pools may fail to heat up Heart of the Mountain.
      • Fixed an issue where if the encounter is reset at the beginning of Phase 2, then Phase 2 adds would incorrectly spawn in during Phase 1 on the next attempt.
    • Kromog
      • Kromog’s Stone Pillars now persist for 60 seconds or if they are hit by Rippling Smash, whichever comes first.
      • Kromog’s enrage timer is now at 9 minutes (up from 8 minutes) across all difficulties.
    • Beastlord Darmac
      • Dreadwing's Inferno Breath and Spirit of the Rylak's Superheated Shrapnel no longer deals damage to player pets or guardians.
      • Fixed an issue in Stage Two where Beastlord Darmac may sometimes be unaffected by Cruelfang's Savage Howl.
    • Operator Thogar
      • Train schedules after the 7.5 minute mark have been adjusted to be less difficult on Normal and Heroic difficulty.
      • [Requires a realm restart.] Fixed an issue that could cause reinforcements from trains to appear to be standing still while still moving around.
    • Iron Maidens
      • Fixed an issue that could cause Enforcer Sorka to become stuck in the railing after using her Blade Dash ability.
      • Fixed an issue that could cause the Iron Maidens encounter to reset prematurely.
      • Fixed an issue where Iron Maidens were incorrectly only dropping Normal difficulty quest items for Sigil of the Black Hand on all difficulties.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Arathi Basin: Completion criteria for the Resilient Victory achievement should now be tracking correctly and be obtainable.
  • Eye of the Storm (Rated): Fixed an issue where defending a capture point at Mage Tower and Blood Elf Tower displays the wrong tower in the chat window.

Patch 6.1 PTR - Build 19622
A small build was deployed to the PTR realms tonight, with no significant changes. It is marked as a Release build, which means Patch 6.1 is one step closer to going live.

Strings Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

Garrison Mission Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion


Patch 6.1 - Dungeon Quests
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
But now, since I've out geared them...why should I bother returning? All that hard work put into dungeons by Blizzard and I only have enough incentive to run them for 1-2 weeks before never returning to them for the rest of the expansion.
6.1 introduces new daily quests that set you on a number of different types of tasks. You're provided a random task type each day, and within that type a quest is chosen out of a bucket of possible quests. One of the task types is to complete a specific dungeon, and you'll receive a bag with gear up to (I believe) 655 ilvl. Say you get the dungeon daily, and so do I, we'll both have the same quest for that day to go (for example) go do Everbloom. Whereas our friends may get tasks of the other quest types (bounty kills, treasure hunts, raids, professions, etc). So you can visit each others Garrisons to pick up the quests you want to do that day. You can do all of them by coordinating who has what quest types available, or just do the one that's in your Garrison for that day.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Itemization and Stats
Their original reason for removing Reforging was the fact that everyone was using it solely to maintain Hit and Expertise cap. with those two stats gone, I legitimately see no reason why Reforging cannot be brought back and used in the way it was originally designed for.

That was one part, but the bigger part was that it doesn't actually improve the game experience. There are still soft caps for some stats, but ultimately Reforging just didn't provide any engaging gameplay to get an item and then reforge it to whatever your best stat is based on a sim or recommendation from a website. That's not creating engaging gameplay. If the desire for Reforging is based on "I'd like to make my items better by picking the stats I want more." the simpler answer there, and the one that does create engaging gameplay and interaction with the game world and other players, is "Get better items."

my haste was still higher, and I was stuck with a crappy haste buff from food. I finally managed to fix that last week with a nice trinket drop that was loaded with mastery.

The moral of my story is two-fold: a) the food buff system needs to be revisited, so that people don't have to remove gear to get the buff they want (or not get it even if they do, as the case may be); and b) reforging needs to make its return, so that people don't get sad when they get new gear.

Why weren't you making/buying food with the specific buff you wanted? You don't have to eat feasts.

Anyway, there have been other sources of items than purely through drops, and other gearing sources are probably what you would have wanted to look at. But that all coalesces a bit back towards focused boss drops with the release of Foundry, which has larger drop tables and thus more items with a wider variety of stat focuses. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Premade Groups
That's not fair i figure cause i pay monthly like everyone else I should be entitled to get into open raids without being denied by some one who probably doesn't know the fights as well as I do anyhow.
Well, to flip it around: "It's not fair I'm forced to invite people to my group I don't want to."

Everyone pays the same and plays the same game, and everyone is capable of doing the same activities. I wouldn't put too much brain power into trying to figure out why other people are the way they are (unless you're getting paid for it. ;D). Instead I would make your options work for you, like finding a guild that's running Normal on a flexible schedule you can attend regularly, creating a group with friends and building a group that way, or just starting your own Normal group through the Premade Groups finder and inviting the people you want to invite.

That last one is kind of the kicker. If you were to run your own group, would you invite yourself? Why or why not? What could you do to make yourself more appealing as a player to yourself as a group leader? Maybe it's better gear, but maybe it's also including a note about your experience/skill. Or whispering the leader. Or maybe it's just finding a group that isn't full on DPS? And then, if you were to make your own group, if you were very open about inviting people regardless of class/spec/gear/skill/experience, and you repeatedly wiped on the run, how might that influence your future decisions? What if you only picked people with high ilvl and you succeeded, how might that impact your future decisions? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character / Items
Speaking of the coin, can we coin the mount from Rukhmar?
The mount from Rukhmar cannot be obtained through a bonus roll, only through a direct loot of the corpse. (WarcraftDevs)

For the New Garrison Visitors in 6.1, do they only spawn in Level 3 Town Halls? Currently it seems that way on PTR @WarcraftDevs
Correct, new visitors will only show up in Garrisons that have been upgraded to level 3. (WarcraftDevs)

.Any chance we will soon be able to use our cooking skill with the fires places in the Garrison Inns? Seems odd that we can't.
Yes, this is fixed In 6.1; you'll be able to use them for cooking in the T2 & T3 Horde/Alliance Inns, and Alliance Town Hall. (WarcraftDevs)
by Published on 2015-02-12 06:12 PM

Patch 6.1 - Engineer's Workshop: Anti-Aliasing & Lighting
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve been toiling away on a number of new graphical features that are coming with Patch 6.1, and we’re excited to provide a glimpse at how they’re shaping up. A quick reminder that the Engineer’s Workshop tends to be pretty tech savvy in the terms we’re using, but certainly these features will provide benefits to all players regardless of if they can tell their display port from a hole in the ground. Nyuk, nyuk, nerd jokes.

First up we’re going to be providing a new screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO) method from NVIDIA known as HBAO+, targeted at higher end video cards. It provides a high quality ambient occlusion solution that should be available to most users running recommended spec machines. Here we’re showing comparisons of using no SSAO, our current SSAO High setting, and the new NVIDIA HBAO+. The HBAO+ setting uses our geometry buffer to access the screen space normals of all objects being drawn. It more accurately darkens surfaces that are near the same depth but with opposing normals, and does so with fewer artifacts than the SSAO depth-only solution. HBAO+ will work on any DirectX 11-capable video card.

We know many of you have been looking forward to the return of MSAA, and we’ve also heard your requests for support of SSAA. We’re pleased to say that both of these options will be available for DirectX 11 users in Patch 6.1. They can be accessed from the anti-aliasing settings in the graphics option screen, and are intended for users with high performance video cards. For people running near the recommended spec, Intel’s CMAA is still the preferable option, and will help you balance graphic fidelity with performance. Below are some comparisons between CMAA, MSAA 8x, and SSAA 2x + CMAA. With Patch 6.1 we’ll be providing the widest variety of anti-aliasing options we’ve ever had available, ranging from performance-optimal to performance-crushing.

Also in Patch 6.1 we’re implementing a lighting makeover with the introduction of per-pixel deferred point lights. This allows for accurate point lights that can affect all of the objects in the game world. This creates realistic lighting from sources like camp fires and torches, and illuminates the world in a more realistic way than ever before. The number of point lights supported varies by hardware, with high end video cards allowing for the best quality lighting. Below are several examples of a scene lit in the current game (6.0.3), and what you can expect that same scene to look like in Patch 6.1.

All of this technology is available to check out on the 6.1 PTR right now, so go try them out and see how these options work on your rig, and let us know your results.
by Published on 2015-02-12 09:00 AM

Tavern Talk 2 - Seasons

Deck Spotlight: Shockadin Returns, ROOT Gaming Showmatches Day 1, Card Design Voting

Hero Rotation Update, Jaina Spotlight & Guide, Dingit TV Heroes Qualifiers Schedule

Mythic Blackrock Foundry Progression
Four guilds are already at 7/10 bosses down, with just a little over a day of progress. You can find lots of discussion in our Raids and Dungeons forum progression thread.

Argi Raises More Than $1.9 Million
It looks like Argi didn't sell quite as well as the Cinder Kitten ($2.3 million) or Alterac Brew Pup ($2 million).

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of World of Warcraft players around the world who purchased the Argi pet, we’ve raised a total of more than 1.9 million USD to support the ongoing Ebola relief efforts in Africa by the Red Cross. In December, we announced that for every Argi purchased by December 31, 2014, 100% of the adoption fee would be going to assist in aiding in the fight against this deadly disease -- and the community embraced this cute little intergalactic nibbler, helping out a great cause in the process. Thanks again to everyone who helped make a difference.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Tab Targeting Issues
I want to tab to the nearest enemy and instead it picks a target off in the middle of nowhere
Hrm. That sounds like a bug to me. We can take a look. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Raid Loot Itemization
Itemization isn't necessarily a science of providing the absolute optimal stats at all times for your character, but usually as an art of creating a progression path throughout the game. In any case though once you've bested Highmaul you'll want to move on to Foundry, and to your point, progress by equipping new items and becoming more powerful. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Solo Boss Testing
So if you are not familiar with X-Men, the danger room is a room where they simulate fights. Wouldn't it be cool if we could test our specs/talents on individual bosses without having to get an entire group and, instead, have something like the proving grounds but we could select which boss we wanted to fight. I think that would be nice.
That's kiiiiind of what Brawler's Guild is though, right? Not that you get to select the boss, but seems like it offers that same gameplay. Or do you mean actual raid bosses? Hrm, being able to practice against real raid bosses might pose some issues, specifically for world first kill races, but ... y'know also that seems like it'd kind of cheapen the bosses a bit to me. Might be a lot of work just to be able to sim a fight when it'd probably be a better experience to just be improving and progressing in the raid itself. I don't know, interesting idea to chew on at least. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character / Items
will there be another change wave to BRF trinkets like there was for any 6.0 trinket or are they final?
No changes are currently planned but we will be watching out for any that may need adjustments. (WarcraftDevs)

Will Stage 3 crafted items retain their color shift if an iLvl 680 upgrade token is used?
There are currently no plans to visually change items that go from stage 3 to stage 4. (WarcraftDevs)

What are the requirments to get into mythic BRF will the raid need to have killed heroic blackhand ? Thanks
No boss kill requirements necessary. Mythic will be locked for the first week, then open to anyone after; same as Highmaul. (WarcraftDevs)

Just did an AB, 5 healers horde vs 0 alliance. Thought this was supposed to be impossible within the WoD system.
seeing uptick in reports on this. Should be rare. Will investigate. (holinka)

Holy Prism often breaks my Polymorph in arena, since it bounces to nearby enemies. Is this intended or a design flaw?
Intended. It's designed to do damage to other enemies in the immediate area. (WarcraftDevs)

Are the BRF garrison missions going to be available on Tue/Wed this week? Or only when 6.1 goes live?
Blackrock Foundry missions will become available after Patch 6.1 goes live. (WarcraftDevs)

does deactivating a follower strip the gear?
As others have said, follower upgrades will remain after being deactivated/activated. (WarcraftDevs)
We should also mention you can upgrade followers who are currently deactivated. =) (WarcraftDevs)

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