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by Published on 2015-06-16 07:26 AM

Update (5:30 PM EDT): Watcher posted some more Dev Q&A

Mortal Shroud D1 Remake, Zero Empathy vs GR 74

Patch 9166 is Now Live - New Heroes Now Available, Tavern Brawl Starts Thursday

Heroes at E3, Rotation for June 16, 2015, Upcoming Shop Sales

Patch 6.2 - Garrison Campaign Rewards
Patch 6.2 expands upon the garrison campaign with a new quest line. Everyone with a Tier 3 garrison can and will want to complete (at least part) of this new line, as it unlocks and rewards several useful things. You will see Yrel, Gul'dan, Vol'jin, Varian and other notable characters. There is no need to complete any of the previous Garrison Campaign to do these quests.

Patch 6.2 - Tanaan Faction Hubs
The Alliance and Horde faction hubs in Patch 6.2 are where you will pick up the new Apexis daily quests, reputation daily quests, and find some of the new faction vendors.

Patch 6.2 - Gladiator Mounts
Patch 6.2 adds the Warlords Season 1 (Primal Gladiator's Felblood Gronnling), Season 2 (Wild Gladiator's Felblood Gronnling), and Season 3 (Warmongering Gladiator's Felblood Gronnling) Gladiator mounts.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character / Items
Why don’t the trait/ability retraining guides stack? they are devastating bag space right now.
If it doesn’t stack we usually don’t want you to be keeping it around for too long. Use it! (WarcraftDevs)

getting different answers from the two of you. Are duplicate Sargares, Archis, and KJs a possibility? If not, why?
Yeah, i was wrong, don't tweet late at night (Muffinus)

SWTOR - Knights of the Fallen Empire
BioWare announced the next SWTOR expansion at E3! It has a story where choices matter, starts at level 60, and more. The expansion releases October 27th.

Wildstar - On Sale in the Humble Bundle
Wildstar is going Free to Play this fall, but if you want to give it a try today, it is part of the E3 Humble Bundle now.

Dark Legacy Comics #493
DLC #493 has been released.

by Published on 2015-06-15 01:30 AM

Mortal Shroud D1 Remake, Zero Empathy vs GR 74

Ben Brode on Buffing Bad Cards, Popular Decks of the Week

Heroes of the Storm at Dreamhack, Heroes Academy Episode 5

Patch 6.2 - Naval Hats
Patch 6.2 adds some new naval themed hats as rewards from Naval Mission achievements! There are also some other versions of the hat that aren't in use yet.

Level Type Name Source Model Viewer
1Neck Captain's Hat Petty Officer
1Neck Captain's Hat Petty Officer
1Neck Fleet Commander's Hat Charting a Course
1Neck Fleet Commander's Hat Charting a Course

Patch 6.2 - Hellfire Assault Preview
Today we are taking a look at Hellfire Assault, the first Hellfire Citadel boss encounter.

Level Type Spec Name Model Viewer
675Neck Hand-Welded Gorget
690Finger Mar'tak's Rugged Seal
690NeckAll Strength Bolt-Latched Felsteel Gorget
675NeckAll Strength Fel Iron Roller Chain
690TrinketHealer Flickering Felspark
675TrinketHealer Pledge of Iron Loyalty
690NeckAll Agility Faulty Detonator Cord
690FingerAll Intellect Sootstained Felsworn Signet
690QuestAll Agility Forward Observer's Camouflage Cloak
690ClothAll Intellect Felgrease-Smudged Robes
675ClothAll Intellect Sooty Felcult Robes
690ClothAll Intellect Powder-Singed Bracers
675ClothAll Intellect Manacles of Enforced Labor
690QuestAll Intellect Sparkburnt Welder's Cloak
690Leather Rangefinder's Spaulders
675Leather Blackfuse Company Tool Belt
690Leather Gorebound Wristguards
675Leather Fel Mechanic's Sparkguard Bracers
675Mail Iron Dragoon's Coif
690Mail Iron Dragoon's Pantaloons
675Mail Siegesmith's Chain Leggings
690Mail Hand Loader Gauntlets
690Plate Blastproof Legguards
690Plate Shell-Resistant Stompers
675Plate Engine-Kicking Boots
690Plate Flamebelcher's Insulated Mitts
675Plate Ironspike Knuckled Gauntlets
690Shield Smoldercore Bulwark
690GunAll Agility Felfire Munitions Launcher
675GunAll Agility Snub-Nosed Iron Rifle
690DaggerAll Agility Blackfuse Company Utility Knife
675DaggerAll Agility Wicked Bonecarver's Knife

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
With the aid of the mercenary Blackfuse company, the Iron Horde constructed devastating siege machinery in the shadow of Hellfire Citadel, to be used in the eventual assault upon Azeroth's capitals. With the tanks now retrofitted to use fel energy, Siegemaster Mar'tak awaits Gul'dan's command to begin the assault.

  • Overview - Players attempt to turn the massive Hellfire Cannons in the Citadel's courtyard against the mighty gate of the Citadel, while fending off Siegemaster Mar'tak and her militarized force. Throughout the encounter, waves of enemies rush at the players, periodically accompanied by huge siege weapons that seek to destroy the Cannons and the players defending them. Destroying these siege weapons allows players to salvage Felfire Munitions, which may be brought to the Hellfire Cannon, allowing it to continuously fire Hellfire Rounds at the Reinforced Hellfire Door. Once players successfully breach the Reinforced Hellfire Door, Siegemaster Mar'tak's forces retreat into the Citadel.
    • Damage Dealers -
      • Quickly defeat Gorebound Felcasters after they use Metamorphosis to become a Gorebound Terror.
      • Defeat Fel-Infused Siege Weapons to keep the Hellfire Cannons alive.
    • Healers -
    • Tanks -
      • Be ready to grab the attention of any Hellfire Reinforcements.
      • Slam stacks increase Physical damage taken, so be wary when tanking multiple enemies and a Hulking Berserker.
  • Hellfire Cannon - Upon starting the encounter, players commandeer both Hellfire Cannons. Siegemaster Mar'tak's forces continually pour forth from Hellfire Citadel to prevent players from capitalizing on posession of these cannons. Based on available Felfire Munition reserves, the Hellfire Cannon will continuously fire at the Reinforced Hellfire Door.
    • Felfire Munitions - Felfire-Imbued Siege Vehicles carry Felfire Munitions into battle. Upon death, the Felfire Munitions drop to the ground, allowing a player to pick it up. The Felfire Munitions despawn if not picked up within 1.5 min. Upon being picked up, a player gains Haste, increasing movement speed by 100% for 9 sec. While being carried, the Felfire Munitions inflicts 25,000 Fire damage every second.
  • Siegemaster Mar'tak -
    • Howling Axe - Hurls a notched axe at a target, which strikes all marked targets before returning to the caster. Upon impact with each target, inflicts 80,000 Nature damage to enemies within 8 yards.
    • Shockwave - Sends a shockwave in a targeted direction, inflicting 121,875 Nature damage and knocking back enemies within 4 yards of each impact.
    • Inspiring Presence - Inspires nearby units, increasing damage done by 10%. This value increases while the caster fights enemies.
  • Hellfire Reinforcements -
    • Iron Dragoon - This hardened melee enemy wields a sharpened polearm and is at the beck and call of Siegemaster Mar'tak.
    • Hulking Berserker -
      • Slam - Slams the target for 85,750 Physical damage and increases Physical damage taken by 10% for 12 sec. This effect stacks.
      • Cower! - Roars, causing nearby enemies to Cower for 9 sec., reducing their movement speed by 20% and inflicting 35,000 Physical damage, bypassing armor.
    • Gorebound Felcaster -
      • Incinerate - Hurls a gout of flame at a target, inflicting Fire damage.
      • Felfire Volley - Conjures a volley of flame, inflicting 20,000 Fire damage to enemies within 50 yards.
      • Metamorphosis - Transforms into a demonic entity, inflicting 25,000 Fire damage and knocking back enemies within 5 yards and buffs the caster, increasing damage by 50% and movement speed by 100%.
        Immune to crowd control effects.
        • Gorebound Terror -
          • Felfire Volley - Conjures a volley of flame, inflicting 20,000 Fire damage to enemies within 50 yards.
    • Contracted Engineer -
      • Repair - Repairs a targeted vehicle, healing it for 2% of total health every half-second.
      • Conducted Shock Pulse - Shocks a target with a conductive shock pulse, inflicting 42,850 Nature damage and stunning the target for 6 sec. This damaging effect may jump up to [ $185,806X2 - 1 ] additional targets.
      • Boom - Sets an explosive charge at a target's feet, inflicting 71,500 Fire damage to targets within 5 yards after a short duration.
    • Grand Corruptor U'rogg -
      • Corruption Nova - Spews a stream of vile corruption, inflicting 53,600 Shadow damage to enemies within 2 yards of each impact location.
      • Corruption Bolt - Hurls a ribbon of corruption at the target, inflicting 32,150 Shadow damage.
      • Corruption Siphon - Corrupts the soul of a target, draining all but a sliver of their health, healing the caster for 3 times the drained value, and absorbing healing equal to the drained health for 15 sec.
    • Grute -
      • Cannonball - Leaps at an enemy, inflicting 200,000 Physical damage to enemies within 9 yards of the targeted location.
      • Shockwave - Sends a shockwave in a targeted direction, inflicting 121,875 Nature damage and knocking back enemies within 4 yards of each impact.
      • Cower! - Roars, causing nearby enemies to Cower for 9 sec, reducing their movement speed by 30% and inflicting 65,000 Physical damage, bypassing armor.
      • Slam - Slams the target for 85,750 Physical damage and increases Physical damage taken by 10% for 12 sec. This effect stacks.
  • Felfire-Imbued Siege Vehicles -
    • Felfire Crusher -
      • Bore - The Felfire Felcrusher inflicts 107,000 Nature damage to frontal enemies every half-second.
      • Burn - The Felfire Felcrusher brings several additional units to battle who channel flame in a frontal cone, inflicting 16,100 Fire damage every half second for 4 sec.
    • Felfire Flamebelcher -
      • Belch Flame - Belches a volley of flame in the direction of the Hellfire Cannon, inflicting 205,000 Fire damage to enemies within 3 yards of each missiles' impact location.
    • Felfire Artillery -
      • Artillery Blast - Fires a superheated artillery shell at the Hellfire Cannons, inflicting 89,300 Fire damage to anything within 40 yards.
    • Felfire Demolisher -
      • Siege Nova - Fires a series of mortars in a targeted direction, each inflicting 53,600 Fire damage to enemies within 3 yards of each impact.

        Additionally, a final mortar blast strikes enemies within 100 yards for 150,000 Fire damage, partially decreasing in damage as distance increases.
    • Felfire Transporter -
      • Call to Arms! - The Felfire Transporter delivers a seemingly endless supply of units to the front lines.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Then how can Sargeras, as a (former) Titan, transcend all realities?
He doesn't. (Muffinus)

Do Titans also transcend all realities or are there multiple Titans?
They don't, there are multiple titans, they are searching the cosmos for additional Titans. (Muffinus)
but if titan went to twisting nether ? Is twisting nether have all realities inside?
The Twisting Nether is the line between the ebb of Light and the flow of Void. A place of chaos and fragments. (Muffinus)
it will be wierd if not because demon which die in twisting nether are dead.
Twisting Nether is the only place where demons can truly die, yes. The specifics are yet unknown. (Muffinus)

only the timelines that broxigar was there.
Brox did a good deed in preventing Sargeras from concentrating on the Well, but he is very dead, and Sarg healed. (Muffinus)

Quick question about a specific character. Was Illidan considered a demon in BC?
Depends on which side you're on #TeamIllidan #TeamMalfurion (Muffinus)
Good decoy answer. But you're safe Jeremy cos already teased us with Illidan in Nether.
Metzen is but a conduit through which we operate, like eldritch tentacles of corruption. (Muffinus)

I wasn't super fussed this expac because there's no ramifications. Nobody DID make it through.
AU Archimonde contains a lot of knowledge MU Archimonde didn't have, this is important. (Muffinus)
Pesky Gul'dan. Peskier Wrathio- nobody who said wrathion admiral taylor whaaaat shh.
I'm not actually sure what Wrathion's up to these days, would know better. Hot tubbing imo (Muffinus)

so all demons emrage there? From all realities? As i understand from what you wrote.
It's complex, but: AU is a different timeline, BUT can affect our timeline if it gets through. (Muffinus)
That concern is SO 6.0. Now we're all excited 'cos confirmed Archimonde IS MU.
MU? (Muffinus)
Main Universe. Because Demons exist outside of timelines. They just go back to the Nether.
Not really, AU Archimonde is dead until AU Sargeras revives him. Reviving takes a while. (Muffinus)
You need to see this:
I have! Demons work... oddly. (Muffinus)
as a semi-casual lore fan that played WC3/TFT cmpgns multiple times: all this timetravel MU/AU is beyond confusing. I have no clue
Focus on the awesome cinematics (Muffinus)
I just ordered some of the Warcraft novels too bc I want to understand
I re-read the LOTC and WoE series regularly! Great books for learning WC history/characters. (Muffinus)

AU Draenor: think about it like this - a wholly separate world, that can only affect our world if it gets through to IRL Azeroth. (Muffinus)
That's not the issue. The issue is the Legion, according to is the same one from IRL Azeroth.
Fras' is right in whatever he says Until he retcons it and makes space hyenas. (Muffinus)
OMG we now need space hyenas
The sarcastic cousin of space goats (Muffinus)

I get gameplay>story, I don't agree but I get it, but Wow has gotten to the point that I can't even understand what's going on
Gameplay First doesn't mean gameplay > story, not at all. I think the reason fighting Arthas was fun was b/c the story of WC3 (Muffinus)
It doesn't seem to show much of that sentiment now-a-days. Retconning Archimonde's death into a setback cheapens the impact.
I think that "the legion is endless" adds a real sort of time pressure to it, though, and that's fun storytelling. (Muffinus)

I'm kind of confused...when demons die do their souls go to the nether or the void (realm of the dead) and are warlocks merely
Void isn't realm of the dead, nether is where demons go. Void is NOTHING. No demons, nothing. (Muffinus)
Nothing but Voidwalkers =] <3 Just curious, are they undead?
Generally classified as Aberrations. (Muffinus)

Jeremy, i dont know if you were the dev who Made all the treasures but this is feedback.
I wasn't, but I generally agree with the idea "completed area, allow flying" (Muffinus)
thats very well but the treasures themselves are not very rewarding.
IMO of they were sellable for resources (garrison, oil, or BoA) that would make this a fun proposition. (Muffinus)
btw i loved the treasure hunt scenario on the thunder isle more, namely, due to how lucrative it was. Hint hint.
I liked it too, definitely something that I think should be re-investigated, super fun weekly event. (Muffinus)
wait, arent you guys doing some kind of weekly bonus event next patch?
Every weekend, a different gameplay objective is highlighted for extra rewards, like timewalking dungeons! (Muffinus)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
While the developers have been pretty quiet since @WarcraftDevs appeared, Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
All bugs should be fixed. Is that really even debated?
Actually, yes. I have worked at three AAA studios and all of them chose not to fix some bugs. (OccupyGStreet)

Game Design
Greg, do you think that Wildstar is an example of why "Hardcore" doesn't work? Didn't have LFR raids, and still flopped.
My professional opinion is that success has less to do with features and more to do with where the players are. (OccupyGStreet)
I don't think players just automatically migrate to the best game with the most robust features. Switching is a pretty high cost. (OccupyGStreet)
My message to any dev out there on any game is not to compete with an established franchise on their turf. Build something else. (OccupyGStreet)
You don't build a better WoW than WoW. You make something different. (OccupyGStreet)

I don't think content being seen as it's released is a good thing. WoW devs need to make the game a lot more time consuming.
You don't think players risk seeing that as a grind for the purposes of keeping you playing? I heard that frequently. (OccupyGStreet)

I don't think that's the case. We've lost a lot in WoW and the developers keep telling us what's "fun"
"Fun" is hard. You'll get one player saying only raiding is fun and another saying raids aren't fun. They are both right. (OccupyGStreet)
I'm making my own game and I fully understand that. Telling the player something is "fun" (or not) is the wrong approach.
Yeah, I think the most you can do is say "we hope this will be fun" or "we think it will be." (OccupyGStreet)

when you worked on warcraft, you were a systems designer? Is a that a very specific kind a of game designer?
Yes. Systems is about how the different mechanics in a game work together. Economy, progression or combat are systems. (OccupyGStreet)
Other types of game design are narrative, level, UI, cinematics, content, etc. (OccupyGStreet)

Hearthstone Patch - Tavern Brawl and More
Hearthstone had a patch appear this week with a new game mode: Tavern Brawl. It also contained more of the hero skins, UI updates, new cards, new sounds, new music, and more!

by Published on 2015-06-13 08:32 PM

Soaring Skyterror Mount, Patch 6.2 - Vicious Mounts, Patch 6.2 PTR - Build 20141

Patch 6.2 Developer Q&A - Ion Hazzikostas
Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas answered questions about Patch 6.2.

  • Flight was delayed from Patch 6.2 until Patch 6.2.x mostly for development reasons.
  • There are some quests and bugs that need to be fixed for the best gameplay experience before you can fly.
  • The decision to allow flying was too close to Patch 6.2's release to get it done in time, so Patch 6.2 would have had to been delayed to make it happen.
  • The reputation grinds required for flying will take around three weeks if you are doing the daily quest every day.
  • The way flying is unlocked in Draenor is a blueprint for how flying will be unlocked in the future. You can experience the game from the ground, explore it thoroughly, and then you will be able to fly. The exact way it is unlocked will vary on the content, but it is an idea that can be applied in a lot of contexts.
  • Flying was a hard decision for the team. Players believe that they the team was lying and the plan was to never add flying back to the game, but the reality is that it is a large design team and it was a decision made by the team as a whole. People on the team were on both sides of the issue and with Patch 6.2 being on the PTR it was a time to make a decision. It wasn't fair to players to keep the decision unresolved for so long.
  • The majority of the team was on the side of never allow flying, which is what was said in the initial interview.
  • After the initial interview, the player and team feedback made them reconsider flying. Never is a powerful word, so once it was out there, players who were fine with being on the ground started to think about the flying mounts they would never get to use again. It felt like something very valuable was being taken away from players.
  • The team is happy with the compromise that they came up with and how it is has been received.
  • The delay on communication about flying after the decision in the initial interview was because the discussion was ongoing and a decision hadn't been reached. Even saying that they were still debating the issue could have gotten hopes up and then disappointed many players if they decided to not allow flying.

  • The Patch 6.0 reputations aren't defensible. They are complete mob grinds that were added late in the process. Originally there weren't going to be any reputations, because it didn't fit in the structure Draenor was designed around. They were mostly used as a bar to progress towards cosmetic rewards.
  • The Patch 6.2 reputations are better, there are weekly and daily quests you can do rather than endlessly killing mobs and killing rare mobs gives reputation.

  • The Apexis daily quests were a result of the classic overreaction to daily quests in Mists of Pandaria. In Warlords the team tried to go another direction and the idea behind the Apexis daily quests has promise, but the execution was flawed.
  • The Mists of Pandaria daily quests felt very structured and narrow, so the team went towards more flexibility and freedom in Warlords.
  • Instead of a quest telling you to destroy cannons like a Mists of Pandaria daily, you are sent to an area and can kill mobs, interact with objects, looting things to use elsewhere, killing rares, discovering secret phases with extra events. The idea was good, but by removing quests entirely story and context were removed, so there was no purpose behind the quests and it ended up feeling more grindy.
  • The rewards for Apexis Crystals were also bad. Most of the rewards weren't useful for players or cost far too much, so players didn't do them.
  • The Tanaan daily quests in 6.2 are better. They have more structure and better rewards for the Apexis Crystals.

Professions and Garrisons
  • The team wanted to be sure garrisons were adequately rewarding for players, as it was a core feature of the expansion. They wanted players to care about their garrison, upgrading it, building the buildings, getting resources and followers, and doing missions. Many systems that used to be part of the outdoor world were tied into the garrison this way. Professions and gathering are clear examples of this, as miners and herbalists could roam the world, gathering things to sell. Now everyone has ore and herbs in their garrison.
  • There was content in the world, but it was easier and more accessible to get the same things from your garrison.
  • Outdoor world content is the core of an MMO and tremendously important, so the lack of world content was a failing that really needs to be fixed.
  • Alts have become increasingly popular over the history of the game as leveling became faster and easier.
  • The team recognizes that many people play multiple characters. They prefer to see alts exist to serve themselves. You should have a healer alt because you want to heal, or another class PvP alt because you want to PvP as that class. The progression for each character should be on that character. Multiple alts shouldn't exist to serve your main character.
  • In Patch 6.2, the team is looking into having diminishing returns on an account wide level for missions that reward gold. It is a nerf, but alleviates some of of the pressure to have many alts. It is a problem when it scales linearly and having six characters gives you six times the amount of gold, making you feel like you have to log into them all every night.
  • Garrisons are the path of least resistance to many rewards, which is a problem. The team likes that the garrison is something for you to do when you can only log on for a short time. They don't want players to log on for hours and be unable to think of anything rewarding enough compared to spending a few minutes in your garrison taking care of things. Rewards are shifted back to the outdoor world in Patch 6.2.
  • Garrisons giving you loot from the next highest raid tier didn't work out well. When some guilds finished Normal and went to clear Heroic, they already had a good number of Heroic items and didn't need much loot.
  • Naval missions require less micromanagement. You have fewer followers, less frequent missions, and more meaningful rewards. Having to log in every 30-45 minutes to send followers out on a mission detracts from gameplay.
  • The current version of garrisons is tied to Draenor. You won't bring your buildings to Azeroth. The core gameplay of building a base, having followers, and other ideas would be nice to bring forward, but it won't take the same form as the garrison we have now.
  • The garrison and daily cooldowns constrained professions, moving away from feeling like a crafter and more like a collector of daily cooldown materials. Patch 6.2 gives you more significantly materials from your daily cooldown and sends you out into the world to find Felblight.

Guilds and Raiding
  • Guilds have disbanded in every raid tier. The glue that keeps guilds together is the officers and leader and as they move on in their lives guild break up.
  • Changing the raid sizes and structure worked well.
  • Raid participation is up in Normal and Heroic.
  • Mythic raiders have a better experience after the move to a fixed size thanks to tuning for only one size and new mechanics that are possible with a fixed size. It also settles the 10 vs 25 debate.
  • Mythic is something for people to aspire to. It allows the best players to prove who is the best.
  • Mythic only takes around 5 - 10% of the time spent on developing the raid. Most of the time is spent creating the art, gear, bosses, and doing tuning. Adding a few extra mechanics, testing, and tuning Mythic doesn't take very long.

Timewalking and Dungeons
  • The Bonus Events aren't trying to force players to do all of the different content.
  • Having a Timewalking as an event makes it a more focused activity, allowing you to gear up alts or catch up.
  • If Timewalking dungeons gave better gear than the Draenor dungeons, there wouldn't be any reason to do them.
  • If Timewalking dungeons gave you the same or worse gear, no one would do them.
  • The limited availability makes it a bonus activity and gives players the best of both worlds.
  • The old dungeons are great to go back and visit, but they wouldn't hold up to repeated visits as well as the new content.
  • Warlords of Draenor dungeons were great, but they didn't have any rewards to keep bringing players back. This is something the team needs to solve better with future dungeon releases.
  • Mythic dungeons will give players better rewards and a reason to go back and do the dungeons.
  • Valor caused you to run the exact same dungeon for better rewards over the entire expansion. The dungeon also got easier as you geared up. It wasn't a great system.
  • In the future, the difficulty of the dungeon might scale so that they aren't super easy by the end of the expansion.
  • Timewalking wasn't added instead of new dungeons. It is a feature that the team has wanted to do for a long time and most of the work was fixing scaling and done by programmers.
  • Patch 6.2 didn't have art resources to make new dungeons in time, Hellfire Citadel was the priority.
  • You can chain run Timewalking dungeons to gear up alts. The gear is similar to Raid Finder gear, but you can chain run the dungeons, unlike Raid Finder. The quest for doing five also gives you an extra bonus roll for that week during the event.

  • Fight length is determined by the nature of the fight and mechanics. If the mechanics are the same over the entire fight, it shouldn't be longer than 5-6 minutes unless it is an endurance fight.
  • If there are multiple phases in a fight, it can go on a little longer.
  • End bosses with many phases and abilities should go on around 10 minutes or so.
  • The team is happy with fight lengths in Tier 17.
  • Brackenspore's endurance aspect was okay and didn't get boring.
  • Mythic Mar'gok was too long because of the extra phase. Fights that go over 15 minutes are too long, especially when you start the final phase 13 minutes into the fight.
  • The length of Maidens was about right, but the first half of the fight felt too slow. If you rushed and pushed them to 20% it wasn't a super long fight, but if you waited for a 3rd boat phase it felt longer.

Raid Itemization
  • The vast majority of players in the game aren't going to get 735 weapons, because they won't kill Mythic Archimonde.
  • With one flat item level for the entire zone and bosses that increase in difficulty as you get deeper into the zone, kills later in the zone become less and less rewarding.
  • A guild that finally kills Heroic Blast Furnace may DE almost everything from the boss, as they already have 685 gear in other slots.
  • Other guilds would go 6/7 Highmaul and then move to Heroic rather than killing the final boss, which doesn't feel great. Making items stronger as you get deeper into the zone helps to solve this problem.
  • Itemization would not be as interesting if every boss had complete coverage for every spec.
  • Most guilds that are going to kill Normal Archimonde will move on to Heroic and have access to the first few bosses that drop the same loot as normal Archimonde.
  • The Mythic player that doesn't have a best in slot Agility weapon on Archimonde will have a 730 during progression, while other players in the raid won't even have a 730.
  • The people "harmed" by this itemization are mostly the highest end Mythic raider with all of the content on farm. If you are just trying to rank higher, you are comparing to players of the same spec who have access to the same weapons.

  • There are some concerns with how Demonology plays right now. You need addons to play it well because of how complex it is. It also was the best all around spec, so warlocks that wanted to play other specs had to go Demonology. It is still viable in Patch 6.2, but won't be the best anymore. The best spec changes over time and it is Demonology's turn to be the worst warlock spec for now.
  • Demonology will be significantly overhauled in a future patch.
  • Ability pruning may not have gone far enough. Shamans may not need the Unleash spells. Some classes had abilities pruned that shouldn't have been and the class fantasy suffered.
  • Rotations aren't designed to be engaging when you are fighting a target dummy.
  • During a PvP or boss encounter you are getting out of fire, LoSing things, interrupting, worrying about adds, and other things while doing your rotation, so keeping your rotation from becoming very complex is necessary. There is a very high skill cap and there are very few players who are at the skill cap today.
  • Rotation changes in the future will improve the fantasy of playing your class. Visuals and animations are important. Rogues suffer from the lack of unique and distinct animations.
  • The game is less dominated by absorbs than it was in Mists of Pandaria. There is more healing where people are not just full or dead.
  • Disc priests and absorb-centric healing need to be scaled back in the future.
  • If you have almost any raid comp, you need a disc priest and some other healers.
  • Holy priests are in a great place in terms of versatility right now, but if you only have one Priest in your raid, they should be discipline.
  • Absorbs come at the expense of other heals, stopping bars from becoming empty, which makes the other healers that enjoy refilling bars sad.

Patch 6.1
  • Twitter integration wasn't a high priority feature and didn't take away from outdoor content. It was a feature that a few programmers worked on. It was only a convenience added for players that already use Twitter.
  • The S.E.L.F.I.E. camera was a side project for one designer and programmer who worked on it for a few weekends. There have been many features that started as side projects, such as hard to find Hunter pets, toys, or the Brawler's guild.
  • Patch 6.1 was extremely light on content and might have better been named Patch 6.0.5. It was a small set of updates, but using a major patch number may have been misleading. The team had just launched the expansion and was going on holiday vacations, but wanted to get some fixes and improvements in before the next major patch.

  • The team is proud of the leveling content in Draenor.
  • The Adventure Journal was added to give newer and returning players an idea of what content to do. The need for it was especially clear at the end of Mists of Pandaria, when you would hit 90 and see all of the daily quests, but nothing telling you that they were a waste of time and it was better to go and get epics from Timeless Isle.
  • The team doesn't want inconvenience to stop you from doing content, but they also have to be mindful of the downsides of making everything too convenient.
  • Portals in Cataclysm made the world feel smaller because of how quick travel to each zone was.
  • The Group Finder added in Warlords is an improvement over random matchmaking, adding some of the social aspect back while avoiding spending an hour looking for a group in town.
  • Artistic integrity is important to the team.
  • The only thing that differentiated skill or accomplishment in Mists of Pandaria was color. There was one set of armor for PvP and one for PvE and then color variation in each.
  • In Patch 6.2, there is one set of armor for average accomplishments and a modified version of that set for bigger accomplishments, then color variation in those sets. The same system was in place during Burning Crusade. There are still two sets of gear, just tiers of skill rather than PvE and PvP.
by Published on 2015-06-12 10:37 PM

Soaring Skyterror Mount
The Soaring Skyterror mount will be rewarded from the Draenor Pathfinder achievement.

Patch 6.2 - Vicious Mounts
The Vicious War Mechanostrider and Vicious War Kodo are the new mounts available for a Vicious Saddle in Patch 6.2.

Patch 6.2 PTR - Build 20141
Build 20141 will be deployed to the PTR realms soon.

Achievement Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Draenor Pathfinder (New) Complete the Draenor achievements listed below: Rewards: Soaring Skyterror (Draenor Flying in an upcoming patch). 25 points. Account Wide.
  • Expert Treasure Hunter Name Changed from Master Treasure Hunter to Expert Treasure Hunter. Discover 50 treasures of Draenor. 10 points. excluding Tanaan Jungle). 10 points.
  • Grand Treasure Hunter Discover 200 treasures of Draenor. 10 points. excluding Tanaan Jungle). 10 points.
  • Master Treasure Hunter (New) Discover 100 treasures of Draenor (excluding Tanaan Jungle). 10 points.
  • Treasure Hunter Discover 10 treasures of Draenor. 10 points. excluding Tanaan Jungle). 10 points.

  • Arakkoa Outcasts Earn Exalted status with the Arakkoa Outcasts. 10 points. 5 points.
  • Mantle of the Talon King Complete the Terokk's Legacy storyline and earn Exalted status with the Arakkoa Outcasts. Title Reward: Talon King/Queen. Account Wide. 5 points. Account Wide.
  • Tanaan Diplomat (New) Earn Revered reputation with all three factions in Tanaan Jungle. 10 points.
  • Tanaan Diplomat (New) Earn Revered reputation with all three factions in Tanaan Jungle. 10 points.



Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Soaring Skyterror (New) Summons and dismisses a Soaring Skyterror. This mount changes depending on your Riding skill and location. Account wide. 1.5 sec cast.
  • Vicious War Mechanostrider Summons and dismisses a rideable Vicious War Mechanostrider. Account wide. 1.5 sec cast. 1.5 sec cast.

Paladin (Forums, Talent Calculator)
  • Holy Shock Deals [ 210% of Spell Power ] Holy damage to an enemy, or [ 140% of Spell Power ] healing to an ally, and grants 1 Holy Power. Holy Shock has double the normal critical strike chance. Paladin - Holy Spec. 11% 7.35% of Base Mana. 40 yd range. Instant. 6 sec cooldown.

Raid & Dungeon Abilities
  • Carrion Swarm A cresting wave of chaotic magic splashes over enemies in front of the caster, dealing 150,000 Shadow damage and reducing their healing done by 25% 50%. 60 yd range. Instant. 5 sec cooldown.
  • Death Brand Archimonde brands his target, summoning a Hellfire Deathcaller, inflicting 431,244 Shadow damage and an additional 75,467 90,560 Shadow every second until the Hellfire Deathcaller is killed. 100 yd range. 2.5 sec cast. 3 sec cooldown.
  • Devour Life Living Shadows devour life from their target, inflicting 225,000 270,000 Shadow damage and reducing their healing and absorption received by 20% 40% for 45 sec. This act destroys the Living Shadow. Melee range. Instant. 5 sec cooldown.
  • Doomfire Archimonde summons a Doomfire Spirit that persists until it is killed. While alive, the spirit will create a line of Doomfire that will pursue a player for 10 sec. before choosing a new target. Doomfire inflicts 15,000 18,000 Fire damage every second for 8 sec. to players that come into contact with it. This effect stacks. Instant.
  • Flames of Argus Felborne Overfiends unleash the Flames of Argus each time their health is reduced by 25%. This effect inflicts 45,000 120,000 Fire damage to all players. 2 sec cast.
  • Gift of the Man'ari Suffuses the target with fel energy, inflicting 80,000 64,000 Fire damage to the target and all players within 10 yards every 3 1.5 sec. for 2 min. Instant.
  • Nether Corruption The Twisting Nether corrupts all players, inflicting 9,000 10,800 Shadow damage every 5 sec., increasing damage taken from Nether Corruption by 8% for 60 sec. This effect stacks. Instant.
  • Nether Storm Storms form in the nether that inflict 50,000 100,000 Fire damage to all players within the targeted area every second. 500 yd range. Instant.
  • Overwhelming Power The power of Socrethar's soul cannot be fully bound within the construct, causing bolts of fel to temporarily burn players for 60,000 Fire damage every 1 sec for 3 6 sec. Limited to 1 target. Instant.
  • Shackled Torment Archimonde torments the souls of 3 random players inflicting 25,000 Shadow damage every second until they are more than 30 yards from their soul. This effect increases by 10% with every tick. When removed, Unleashed Torment inflicts 85,000 102,000 Shadow damage to all players. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Shadowfel Burst Name Changed from Shadow Burst to Shadowfel Burst. Archimonde knocks a player and their allies within 8 yards high into the air. All players knocked into the air explode for 544,500 Shadow 653,400 Shadowflame damage, split evenly among all players within 8 yards when they land. 100 yd range. Instant.
  • Unleashed Torment Shackled Souls explode inflicting 85,000 102,000 Shadow damage to all players when Shackled Torment is broken. Instant.

Strings Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_DISCLAIMER_APPEARANCE_CHANGE_CN - |HurlIndex:29|h|cff006995Frequently Asked Questions|r|h
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_DISCLAIMER_FACTION_CHANGE_CN - This process may take several minutes to complete. |HurlIndex:27|h|cff006995Frequently Asked Questions|r|h
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_DISCLAIMER_NAME_CHANGE_CN - |HurlIndex:30|h|cff006995Frequently Asked Questions|r|h
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_DISCLAIMER_RACE_CHANGE_CN - |HurlIndex:28|h|cff006995Frequently Asked Questions|r|h
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_VAS_NO_ELIGIBLE_CHARACTERS - You have no characters to apply this service to.
  • CHAR_LOGIN_LOCKED_BY_REVOKED_VAS_TRANSACTION - This character is locked out due to a billing issue.
  • GARRISON_SHIPYARD_MISSION_TOOLTIP_RETURN_TO_START - Return to your shipyard to start this mission

Garrison Building Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Large Plots
  • Dwarven Bunker / War Mill Level 3. 500 Gold Cost. 1200 Resource Cost. 21 Work Orders. This structure stores and maintains the garrison's armaments.. Grants 1 of your 3 seals of tempered inevitable fate (raid bonus loot roll) at no cost each week..

Garrison Mission Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • A Sunless Sea Level 100. Item Level 0. 2 Followers. Cost: 75 Resources. Duration: 8 hrs. In this poor weather, Hellscream has sent subs to harry our fleet. Act decisively so that they never again see the light of day.. Rewards: 2000 XP. 35x Primal Spirit 20x Sorcerous Water
  • Blood in the Water Level 100. Item Level 0. 2 Followers. Cost: 75 Resources. Duration: 8 hrs. Enemy destroyers are terrorizing the waters west of the Spires of Arak. Crushing them won't restore the lives that've been lost, but it'd be a good start.. Rewards: 2000 XP. 40x Primal Spirit 20x Sorcerous Fire
  • Dead Calm Level 100. Item Level 0. 2 Followers. Cost: 75 Resources. Duration: 8 hrs. With no wind and a ripped mainsail, an enemy carrier has slowed to a crawl, along with its escorts. Make sure their troops and cargo never make landfall.. Rewards: 2500 XP. 50x Primal Spirit 20x Sorcerous Earth
  • No Loss of Suction Level 100. Item Level 0. 2 Followers. Cost: 50 Resources. Duration: 4 hrs. While mutineers were seizing this destroyer, storms broke out, and a whirlpool ensnared the ship. That's bad luck. And thanks to us, it's about to get worse.. Rewards: 1000 XP. 25x Primal Spirit 20x Sorcerous Air
  • War Is Fel Level 100. Item Level 0. Rare. 2 Followers. Cost: 125 Resources. Duration: 2 days. Blackrock Foundry regularly ships newly forged cannons to Tanaan, where they bolster Hellfire Citadel's defenses. Every ship we sink saves thousands of lives.. Rewards: 6000 XP. 1x Iron Fleet Treasure Chest. 2,000 Gold
  • War Is Fel Level 100. Item Level 0. Rare. 2 Followers. Cost: 125 Resources. Duration: 2 days. Blackrock Foundry regularly ships newly forged cannons to Tanaan, where they bolster Hellfire Citadel's defenses. Every ship we sink saves thousands of lives.. Rewards: 6000 XP. 1x Iron Fleet Treasure Chest. 2,000 Gold

Ship-Oil (Unused)
  • Oil Rig: Pickup Location Level 100. Item Level 0. 2 Followers. Cost: 100 5 Resources. Duration: 24 hrs. Pick up a shipment of oil from your off-shore oil rig.. Rewards: 0 XP. 200x Oil

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP gearing has had RNG since Lich King. Archvon, Baradin Hold, Sha of Hatred, Celestials. All PvE content that gave less PvP gear than 6.2. (holinka)
The big thing you are neglecting to realize is that we could actually buy those pieces from a vendor (Speaking for MoP)
I fully realize and understand that distinction. (holinka)

because previous tweets have stated that we're dealing with an alternate universe legion.
no tweet I am aware of implies that. Not saying you're wrong just saying I haven't seen it. (Abrosiabi)

is Hellfire Archimonde from the AU or MU?
that's not how demons work. (Abrosiabi)
could you explain how demons work then? There's been a lot of changes and revelations since TBC.
Its really not a Twitter convo. There's a lot going on that we as inhabitants of Azeroth don't understand about demons (Abrosiabi)
right but we're asking if Archimonde this patch is from the AU or the one we killed at Hyjal.
Archimonde is a demon whose demon soul is anchored to the Nether. The Nether transcends all realities. That is all. (Abrosiabi)
does this extend to Old Gods? As in there's only one Cthun, Yogg, N-Zoth, etc.
Old Gods don't work like that. Haha, sorry couldn't resist. But seriously, they're different. Done for today! (Abrosiabi)
Sorry to intrude, but if there are multiple universes, isn't it likely that an Archimonde was born in and corrupted in more than one of these universes? What happened with the "extra" demonic copies?
that's actually a very good question with a complicated answer. Archimonde the Avenger?? He exist? (Abrosiabi)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
While the developers have been pretty quiet since @WarcraftDevs appeared, Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Developer Communication
Pretty funny MMO-champion has your quotes all over the place and nothing from blizzard.
It makes me a little uncomfortable TBH. I look like a know-it-all asshat. We'll see if they run this tweet. (OccupyGStreet)
The communication you have shown with the playerbase should be the industry standard and not atypical.
Sounds good to me. How do we make that happen? (OccupyGStreet)

It seems to me that players often ask for things that the rest wouldn't have wanted. Or to put it another way; when listening to player feedback, how can a dev ever know how many people really feel that way?
It's an art. You have to evaluate the strength of their conviction and the soundness of their argument. (OccupyGStreet)
I always try to take the number of people who feel a certain way out of the equation since it's complicated to evaluate. (OccupyGStreet)

I just wanted to appreciate your stressful work. So many folks bashing you in WoW, and now they talk like it never happened.
I always felt like the hyperbolic critics were in the minority. Both WoW and LoL players make me feel really appreciated. (OccupyGStreet)

Overwatch - Pharah Gameplay
We got another look at Overwatch gameplay this week with the release of some Pharah footage.

Blizzcon 2015 World of Podcasts Party
World of Podcasts had a "little" party at Blizzcon 2014 and over 3,500 people showed up! This year they are doing it even bigger and better. You can meet podcasters and community members (such as the team from AskMrRobot), take pictures in the photo booth, play games, see and win fan art, listen to talks, and enjoy the bar! Entry is free and the team behind it is raising money to pay for the party on Kickstarter.

The fundraiser is over in less than 48 hours, so be sure to get in soon if you are interested!

by Published on 2015-06-12 10:04 AM

Maximum Materials Builds, Diablo's Death Fanart

Medivh - New Mage Hero, Alleria Windrunner - New Hunter Hero, Tavern Brawl

Blizzcon 2015 Talent Contest, Town Hall Heroes #67, Dreamhack Leipzig Poll

Patch 6.2 - Armor Sets Preview
Blizzard posted their official preview of the armor sets coming in Patch 6.2. You can see most of the sets in our preview in the first PTR build.

Patch 6.2 - Shipyard Preview
Blizzard posted an overview of the Shipyard. There have been a few changes since we last looked at them.

Patch 6.2 - Xhul'horac Preview
Today we are taking a look at Xhul'horac, another Hellfire Citadel boss.

Level Type Spec Name Model Viewer
700FingerAll Strength Loop of Beckoned Shadows
700TrinketHealer Unstable Felshadow Emulsion
700FingerAll Agility Portal Key Signet
700Leatherworking PatternAll Intellect Vial of Immiscible Liquid
700Quest Void Lord's Wizened Cloak
675QuestAll Strength Voidthread Spineguard
700ClothAll Intellect Countenance of the Revenant
695ClothAll Intellect Mantle of the Arcanic Conclave
695ClothAll Intellect Pious Mantle
695ClothAll Intellect Deathrattle Shoulderpads
675ClothAll Intellect Shadowfel Cord
685ClothAll Intellect Felfume Slippers
700Leather Hood of Unknowable Secrets
695Leather Oathclaw Mantle
695Leather Mantle of the Hurricane's Eye
675Leather Girdle of Volatile Duality
685Leather Ironpelt Boots
695LeatherAll Agility Felblade Spaulders
700Mail Sinister Felborne Helmet
695Mail Pauldrons of the Living Mountain
685Mail Rancorbite Sabatons
675Mail Bracers of Tainted Magic
695MailAll Agility Pauldrons of the Savage Hunt
695Plate Shoulderplates of the Ceaseless Vigil
675Plate Stoic Netherfel Legplates
685Plate Demonbreaker Crushers
700Plate Breach-Scarred Wristplates
695PlateAll Strength Demongaze Pauldrons
695PlateAll Strength Pauldrons of Iron Wrath
700BowAll Strength Fiendsbreath Warmace
700BowAll Agility Hammer of Wicked Infusion
700OtherAll Intellect Voidcore Greatstaff

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Summoned by Gul'dan from the depths of the Twisting Nether, Xhul'horac is one of most powerful of the Void Revenants - a race of parasitic void-beings that tear holes through the planes of reality, consuming and absorbing the energies and beings within. Gul'dan has twisted Xhul'horac, feeding him overwhelming Fel energy, and using his powers to tear open the portals through which he plans to rally the forces of the Burning Legion.

  • Overview - Two portals dominate Xhul'horac's room: one powered by void, and one by the Legion's fel magic. Xhul'horac activates the Fel portal first, granting him fel abilities and summoning first Imps and then Vanguard Akkelion. When Akkelion dies, Xhul'horac activates the void portal, granting him void abilities and summoning Unstable Voidfiends and then Omnus. Once Omnus is defeated, Xhul'horac gains the energy of both fel and void, rapidly switching between elements. Once he reaches 20% health, he completely absorbs the power of both portals and must be quickly defeated.
  • Unleashed Energies - Throughout the encounter, Xhul'horac focuses the wild energy of fel and void in his summoning chamber, letting them smolder out of control - and mixing them with deadly results.
    • Feltouched - Players who take Fire damage within Xhul'horac's chamber become Feltouched as latent fel energies course through them. If a player takes Shadow damage while Feltouched, they will cause a Shadowfel Annihilation, and lose Feltouched.
    • Voidtouched - Players who take Shadow damage within Xhul'horac's chamber become Voidtouched as the void takes root within them. If a player takes Fire damage while Voidtouched, they will cause a Shadowfel Annihilation and lose Voidtouched.
    • Chaotic Felblaze - Creates a patch of chaotic felfire, which will spread over time. Players who touch the felfire will be afflicted by Felsinged. If Chaotic Felblaze spreads into Creeping Void, a Shadowfel Annihilation will go off at the location where they touch.
      • Felsinged - Inflicts 3,570 Fire damage every 1 sec. for 8 sec. This effect stacks.
    • Creeping Void - Creates a patch of void which will spread over time. Players who touch the void will be afflicted by Wasting Void. If Creeping Void spreads into Chaotic Felblaze, a Shadowfel Annihilation will go off at the location where they touch.
      • Wasting Void - Inflicts 7,140 Shadow damage every 1 sec. for 8 sec. This effect stacks.
    • Shadowfel Annihilation - The energies of Shadow and Fel react, unleashing a massive explosiom. Within 20 yards, inflicts 125,000 Shadowflame damage and destroys any patches of Creeping Void or Chaotic Felblaze that it touches. Inflicts 25,000 Shadowflame damage to all other players. Targets within 5 yards take increased damage from further Shadowfel Annihilations by 50% for 2 min. Players who cause a Shadowfel Annihilation are stripped of Feltouched, Voidtouched, Blazing, Wasting Void and Felsinged.
  • Stage One: The Legion's Flame - Xhul'horac, tainted with Fel energy, summons forth servants of the Legion and attacks with Fel magic.
    • Fel Strike - Inflicts 250,000 Fire damage to Xhul'horac's current target.
    • Fel Surge - Fills several players with Fel energy, inflicting 50,000 Fire damage every 1 sec for 5 sec. After the effect expires, affected players will create a small patch of Chaotic Felblaze.
    • Vanguard Akkelion -
      • Felblaze Flurry - A rapid series of strikes that each inflict 107,000 Fire damage, and increase damage taken from Withering Gaze and Felblaze Flurry 20% for 7 sec. This effect stacks.
      • Chains of Fel - Tethers players together with fel chains, inflicting 17,850 Fire damage every second per stack. Players gain a stack for each player they are tethered to. Affected players can move away from each other to break the chains.
    • Wild Pyromaniac
      • Fel Orb - The caster conjures an orb of Fel fire. If the fire touches a player, they absorb it and are afflicted by Ablaze. If it travels too far without impacting a player, it will fall to the ground, creating a patch of Chaotic Felblaze.
        • Ablaze - Inflicts 14,445 Fire damage every 1 sec. for 15 sec. This effect stacks.
  • Stage Two: Grasp of the Void - Xhul'horac opens the Void portal, summoning forth fellow Void creatures and drawing strength from the power of the Void.
    • Void Strike - Inflicts 250,000 Shadow damage to Xhul'horac's current target.
    • Void Surge - Fills a player with void energy, inflicting 109,375 Shadow damage every 2.5 sec for 5 sec. When this effect expires, it will spread a large patch of Creeping Void.
    • Omnus -
      • Withering Gaze - Fixes his gaze on a player, inflicitng 179,000 Shadow damage every 4 sec, and increasing damage taken from Withering Gaze and Felblaze Flurry 20% for 4 sec. This effect stacks.
      • Black Hole - Tears a hole in the fabric of reality, inflicting 28,560 Physical damage to all players every 1 sec. and pulling them towards the Black Hole. If any player enters the Black Hole, they will unleash a Singularity.
        • Singularity - Inflcits 321,500 Shadow damage divided among all players within 11 yards, and destroys the Black Hole.
    • Unstable Voidfiend
      • Volatile Voidstep - Teleports to the nearest players location, inflicting 60,750 Shadow damage to any nearby players and spreading Creeping Void if the explosion contacts any players.
  • Stage Three: The Shadowfel Amalgamation - Overwhelmed by channeling a combination of Void and Fel energies, Xhul'horac's form begins rapidly shifting between one dominated by Fel and Void magic.
    • Shadowfel Phasing - Xhul'horac absorbs energy from the portals, rapidly shifting between Fel and Void powered abilities.
    • Empowered Chains of Fel - Once Akkelion is defeated, Xhul'horac absorbs his power, granting him Empowered Chains of Fel. Tethers players together with fel chains, inflicting 17,850 Fire damage every second per stack. Players gain a stack for each player they are tethered to. Affected players can move away from each other to break the chains. Breaking Empowered Chains of Fel causes a Fel Snapback.
      • Fel Snapback - Inflicts 275,000 Fire damage to all players within 5 yards.
    • Empowered Black Hole - Once Omnus is defeated, Xhul'horac absorbs his power, granting him Empowered Black Hole. Tears a hole in the fabric of reality, inflicting 33,333 Physical damage to all players every 1 sec. and pulling them towards the Black Hole. If any player enters the Black Hole, they will unleash a Singularity.
      • Empowered Singularity - Inflcits 900,000 Shadow damage divided among all players within 8 yards, destroys the Black Hole, and increases damage taken from further Empowered Singularities by 1,000%.
    • Fel Strike - Inflicts 250,000 Fire damage to Xhul'horac's current target.
    • Fel Surge - Fills several players with Fel energy, inflicting 50,000 Fire damage every 1 sec for 5 sec. After the effect expires, affected players will create a small patch of Chaotic Felblaze.
    • Void Strike - Inflicts 250,000 Shadow damage to Xhul'horac's current target.
    • Void Surge - Fills a player with void energy, inflicting 109,375 Shadow damage every 2.5 sec for 5 sec. When this effect expires, it will spread a large patch of Creeping Void.
  • Stage Four: Tearing Apart - Xhul'horac completely absorbs the energy of both the Void and Fel portals, preventing any new creatures from coming through them, and rapidly destabilizing.
    • Overwhelming Chaos - Overwhelmed by the combined energies of Fel and Shadow, Xhul'horac unleashes a burst of pure energy every 10 sec., increasing his damage dealt by 10% and inflicting 89,300 Chaos damage to all players. This effect stacks.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
We have to make a lot of decisions when it comes to building and maintaining such a massive world that's near and dear to so many people. We always try to do what's best for the game, all the while listening to how the community is responding along the way. In some situations our point of view shifts as we share in discourse with players. It's all case by case, and at no point is it implied that we're going to design by democracy rather than follow our own collaborative expertise and instincts. But, to put it in motivational poster terms...

"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."

So what you're saying is because pro-flight couldn't change their minds, you gave up on progressing the game for the better with your development mindset of experiencing the content from the ground floor? Pro-flight destroyed this game going forward. Got it. Thanks.
For years now I've found it to be a such a strange honor to be followed around the internet by expert interpreters, who take plain words in English and replace them with other, more loaded words in English.

Whenever I read a reply to me that starts with, "So what you're saying is..." -- and I've read so, so many -- my first thought is, "What I'm saying is what I'm saying, otherwise I would've said something else."

Forums ≠ Community. 7 Million people play this game. Not many people look at the US Forums/3rd party websites nor even know there is a flying argument going on. The people who don't look at the Forums/3rd party websites may have a entirely different view about flying, but simply don't respond.
You're absolutely right! The listening and discourse extends far beyond the forums, fansites, and social media.

I think they did it to feed the lions before the dev guy does the q&a on Saturday.
Not exactly. We wanted to lock in our decision before hosting the Q&A, because a lot of people were clearly tired of wishy-washy answers on the subject.

Who wouldn't be exactly? sounds like you guys were forced into making the blog when it should have just been a standard of business practice to clearly communicate solid answers
That's an awesome ideal to which we always aspire. But we're also not a hive mind over here. We grappled with the topic as well. And from the beginning we tried to make it clear to the community that we didn't have a final answer -- we were discussing it with the community, as well as internally. We wanted this to be known; but when a clear answer took us too long to supply many people spun it as us kicking the can down the road, or stringing players along.

It has definitely been a learning experience for us. Proof of our infallibility remains elusive! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Flying and Patch 6.2.x
When is patch 6.2.x? No one knows.

We won't get flying after we've completed the requirements for it. We will get flying when they put in the patch if we've completed the requirements for it. Blizzard can still take their time about putting flying into current content, and they can still string people along for their subs until then.

The reality is that we don't think it's good for anyone for us to delay Patch 6.2 further to implement this. When it comes to building, testing, and deploying patches, such a change this late in the PTR cycle is far from trivial. More broadly, it's very much a fact that, in a world of production processes and development pipelines, results on a change in design decision like this can't be immediate.

Whether or not you believe this to be truthful is inconsequential. We've explained to the community our change in decision and how we'll go about implementing that change, purely to update everyone and inform you. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

So when exactly is blizzard going to go crawling to Ghostcrawler and beg him to work for them again?
I mean just look at the nosedive the game took after the great ones depature

I miss him as a colleague and friend. But he'd also be among the first to tell you that the design process for World of Warcraft is very much collaborative, and that he got most of the attention (good or bad) because of his public presence.

The WoW development team numbers in the hundreds, but only a very small handful are spokespeople plucked for interviews or other public-facing discussions.

People like to paint this picture of Ghostcrawler as once steering the great ship that is World of Warcraft, and Watcher taking the wheel in the wake of his departure. The perception just doesn't match the reality. Both of these gentlemen have spoken on behalf of many designers, but that doesn't mean it has been their individual visions being brought to fruition by the rest of the team.

So, you're a collective? Lead designer doesn't really do anything more than bring "order to chaos.". He doesn't actually guide th ship?
Well, no, it's not a development commune either. There are multiple positions with varying levels of responsibility, and developers, or teams of developers, reporting to other developers in a tiered structure.

And there are many lead designers (Greg was a lead designer; Ion is a lead designer). They lead teams like the UI team, software engineering team, class/systems design team, dungeon design team, quest design team, etc.

Using the art team as an example, you have artists and senior artists in each discipline. Then you have leads to whom the individuals on each art team report, such as the lead environment artist, lead character artist, lead dungeon artist, lead concept artist, lead animator, lead prop artist, lead level designer, etc. Overseeing all of these artists is the art director. (Side note: I shared brief, but delightful small talk with art director Chris Robinson in the elevator today. He's a good dude.)

The same is true for the development team as a whole, with Tom Chilton as the game director and J. Allen Brack as the production director.

In the most basic of terms -- not basic for your sake, but for my own -- the design teams work together to figure out what they want to do, and the production teams help ensure developers stay coordinated, as well as manage tasks by priority and enforce deadlines. And, during this part of the process, the community team acts in an advisory role to ensure that community feedback is taken into account along the way.

Some things that may seem very simple from an outsider perspective may entail much more complicated work. A designer wants to implement X. Does it need new tech from our software engineers? Does it need new UI elements? Does it need new artwork? Will X need new localization strings for each language version of the game? Is it going to interfere with, or break, something else in the game? If the answer's "yes" to any of those, do the appropriate designers have time to work on it now, or are they already tasked with higher-priority assignments? Producers help sort all of that out and, depending on the situation, assign a milestone accordingly (i.e. for 6.1, 6.2, 6.2.x, etc. development cycles).

At some point, after countless hours of work by hundreds of people, long days, much coffee, and many internal test builds of the game, we prepare to deploy a patch like 6.2. That's around the time that Ion Hazzikostas, Cory Stockton, Dave Kosak, and some of the other leads sit down with press and fansites to talk about 6.2. That's around the time that we publish numerous articles and statements about the new content or evolving design, or to go into further depth about the philosophies behind the new content or evolving design. That's around the time some people latch onto the names of those lead designers and either credit them, or fault them, for just about everything.

It's a big game and a complicated process. We don't get everything right, whether it be in design or communications. But, as someone who gets to see the inner workings everyday, I can tell you that it's a grand machine, finely oiled by the blood, sweat, and tears of all the people working here.

Unless I'm misreading it, Watcher has the same position the Ghostrcrawler did: Lead Designer. And there are many lead designers (Greg was a lead designer; Ion is a lead designer).
In many ways, yes. A while back Ion's title changed from lead encounter designer to lead game designer, because he does a lot more than just oversee what the encounter design team is creating. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Developer Communication and Twitter
Is 140 characters at a time the new attention span of the audience or the developers?
Your question only took 88 characters so you can judge for yourself.

They had attempted to communicate with Twitter because it was faster
Partially this...

I think 140 characters is a good way to force people to get to the point
Partially this except "encourage" is a better word.

Twitter is another avenue in which we can promote the game, provide updates, and respond to folks. Yes, the shorter format is often helpful, but it can also be ignored and thus we tend to get long rants broken up into several tweets. My team and I sift through them every day and communicate them to developers who provide us with insights and answers. Where appropriate, we respond and make sure to also post them here on the forums for those who would rather get information from our site than from Twitter. Win win! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Patch 6.2 Change to Shadowform Visual
As a priest player myself I like the option. I've always wanted to disable the effect as I don't like the way most mounts look with shadow form applied, and there's a Glyph to change the functionality to still apply it if I want.

I like having more options. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Just make sure, will proc rate reductions on things (such as using cloak at 100) be removed if you're scaled down?
Yes, the cloak proc rate would be based on your scaled-down level. (WarcraftDevs)

In Flamebender Kargaz fight, guardian spirit doesnt save a person with a molten torrent debuff. Is this intended?
Guardian Spirit’s damage prevention is capped at double the recipient’s maximum health. (WarcraftDevs)

Can I get 1 piece from Ashran quest and 1 piece from RBGs (2 total) in the same week?
Each activity rewards a piece of gear, so you can earn two. (WarcraftDevs)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
While the developers have been pretty quiet since @WarcraftDevs appeared, Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
I always felt like so much WoW flavor/fun was lost/removed in the name of balance, yet very little long-term gain.
It caused a lot of player pain though. Players complain to this day about being sat because they don't bring enough to groups. (OccupyGStreet)
I agree, but I guess my point is: do they complain less today than they did back then? If not, what was truly gained?
I think it's cynical to think that you can't truly address player concerns. Totally agree that the cost you mention is real. (OccupyGStreet)

wow question: Do you regret removing the warlock class quests for our summons? I really wanted to do them but started in cata
Class quests are cool. They were originally designed to be challenging. Are they worth it if they are easy? (OccupyGStreet)
I guess I am arguing that questing and leveling evolved over time and maybe class quests couldn't keep up. (OccupyGStreet)

do you think talent trees/tiers are a dated system that does more bad than good in mp games? (ie balance or false choice)
It is very hard to deliver on the promise of customization. Too easy to solve them. League masteries are a great example. (OccupyGStreet)
is that the sort of customization players these days want? Or does is line up more with transmogs/skins/aesthetics?
I think they do enjoy tweaking out characters for actual benefit. The internet is full of it. (OccupyGStreet)
In some ways, that's the problem. Players enjoy it so much that they dedicate a whole lot of resources to it, and solve it. (OccupyGStreet)

Mr. Street, wasnt the overwhelming success of LFR contradicting everything you thought about what gaming should be?
It is certainly *popular*. Is that the same as success? Might it have caused some big problems too? (OccupyGStreet)
I worked on it a lot so I only pointing fingers at myself. (OccupyGStreet)

Hearthstone Hero - Alleria
Alleria has returned! She hasn't returned to Warcraft, but she is making an appearance in Hearthstone as the next hero, voiced by Michelle Morrow.

Overwatch - Reinhardt Gameplay
We got another look at Overwatch gameplay this week with the release of some Reinhardt footage.

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