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by Published on 2013-10-19 08:14 AM

RoS at BlizzCon 2013 on PC / PS4, BlizzCon 2013 Map and Schedule, Design a Legendary, Blizzard All-Stars Becomes Heroes of the Storm

Hearthstone Developer Cards, HS Hightlights - Gurubashi Berserker, NA & EU Beta Waves

Heroic Garrosh Hellscream 10 Video
Paragon has posted their video of the solo healed Heroic Garrosh 10 encounter. Unfortunately it is blocked in the US on Youtube.

Blizzard PvP Summit
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
It's probably worth clarifying why we're hosting a small, invitational PvP Summit at Blizzard HQ.

First and foremost, this isn't a class balance summit. We're not bringing in these guys to talk about specific tweaks to specific classes for the current season.

We're hosting the event to candidly discuss a broad number of subjects with respect to PvP, including reward structures, battleground design, arena design, general PvP content/gameplay, future plans, and yes, we'll spend some time on class design. These guys aren't class representatives. They're highly skilled and knowledgeable players, and we want to have an open, in-person dialog with them about the game. They've spent a lot of time scrutinizing World of Warcraft's PvP content over the years, so we want to get them all in a room for a day and have some focused discussions, debates, hug-it-out sessions, and so on.

Sam Kwok from Arena Junkies and Olivia Grace from WoW Insider will be reporting on some of the info that's discussed, though given that we'll spend a good deal of time on "big picture" ideas, a lot of the information will be confidential in the short term.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Loot RNG
We realize that sometimes RNG can be frustrating. I’m just not sure how beneficial it would be for the game and its longevity, if all of a sudden RNG started being “smart” and avoiding giving out items that are either useless or redundant to players.

“Smart loot” is great for quests and lower level content, but messing around with the randomness of loot attribution in high-end content is, in my opinion, something that would only be detrimental to the game.

LFR already gives out loot that is based on spec, that’s as far as we are willing to go with “smart” RNG in such environments, also, that only happens because of the nature of that specific loot system.
From a design standpoint, it’s perfectly ok for loot not always being desirable. Rarity is exciting. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Leveling and Dungeons Too Easy?
Try to remember that, compared to a brand new MMO player, those of you who've been gamers for a while and are familiar with games in this genre are bound to find levelling content fairly straight forward.

Many people pick up WoW as their first MMO, with zero knowledge about the different classes and races, let alone talent specs, skills and attributes. They may not know some of the things you don't even think about like, as a Mage, you should pick Intellect over Strength, Spirit over Agility. They won't pick a new class and spend an hour or two looking up rotations or recommended talents, which addons to get, how to enchant, glyph, gem or reforge to get the best from their toon.

The game has to be forgiving to people like that, while still engaging for those of us who've been playing for years, and sure, that must be tricky for the devs at times. But as someone who has always enjoyed levelling new characters, I truly feel the questing nowadays is much more enjoyable than before.

We understand that for certain individuals the game may at times come across as simplistic and easy compared to X years ago. Yet as Takralus pointed out earlier, it's important to us that the overall gaming experience is welcoming and fun for newcomers.

A number of changes were intentionally aimed at breaking down the vast amount of information within WoW, into manageable chunks.

That being said we're also keen on creating games with flexibility so they can be played the way players want to. Examples of these would be the flexible raid system or monster power in Diablo. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

PvP Feedback
In regards to those of you who are raising concerns over the current amount of crowd control that is around right now, we just want to make sure that you're aware that we will be working to reduce the amount and frequency of crowd control in the next expansion, while also making diminishing returns easier to comprehend.

One thing to note though is that while we're aware that it's not enjoyable to be unable to play your character at times, we also know that it's quite frustrating to be casting a spell and then suddenly see the word "Immune" come up. We'll try to provide more information on this particular topic when we're able.

At level 70, you get Stampeding Roar. It increases movement speed by 50% for 10 seconds for you and anyone in your party on a 1 minute cooldown. It replaces Dash.
We already actually do this to some degree, but we purposefully only take it so far. Looking specifically at the Dash/Stampeding Roar example, that will actually cause players to hesitate in using Stampeding Roar for their own benefit and instead will only use it when it'd be most efficient for the entire party. Making changes like this can easily start to cause things to get overly complicated. Plus, this doesn't entirely solve the issue of action bar bloat at max level.

Keep the feedback coming everyone, this thread is awesome! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

2013 Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest
Originally Posted by Blizzard
The Halloween season has finally arrived, and we’re ready to cut straight to the heart of the holiday. If you're dying to pick up a knife and hack, gash, slash, and jab at something, then you might be excited to hear that as of October 17, Blizzard's 2013 Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest has officially begun! Unleash your magical axes, psi blades, chitinous claws, and other creative cutlery to carve up Blizzard-themed jack-o’-lanterns of epic awesomeness. If you’re unclear as to what epic awesomeness looks like in the flesh, you can check out last year’s winners for some inspiration.

We’ll choose five of the grandest Cucurbita to earn one (1) Diablo III: Book of Tyrael. Don’t delay; start carving right away! The eleventh annual pumpkin carving contest ends on October 29, so be sure to check out the contest page for rules and eligibility and get straight to slicing.

The HearthPwn Arena Challenge - Beta Key Giveaway
Hearthpwn has more Hearthstone beta keys to give out, so be sure to enter before 4pm EDT on Saturday, October 19, 2013 to have a chance at winning one!

Blizzcon Store Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We've added some new items to the store (get a preview below) and restocked a few popular ones, including the Lil' Chen Pandaren Plush and the Lil' Murk-Eye Murloc Plush!

This year’s BlizzCon Store online sale has just begun! This sale is exclusive to BlizzCon attendees and Virtual Ticket buyers, and runs until the end of the show on November 9. The store is stocked with some epic never-before-seen loot, along with some of your favorite items from BlizzCons past. Supplies are limited, so if you’re not going to the show in person or haven’t yet purchased a Virtual Ticket, you might want to order now to get an early chance at some cool BlizzCon merchandise.

Unlike previous years, all orders will be shipped upon receipt—so the sooner you order, the faster you’ll get your BlizzCon swag. Keep in mind that orders are shipped from the United States, so international shipping rates may apply.

To access the sale, log in to the Blizzard Store using the® account associated with your BlizzCon ticket or Virtual Ticket (physical ticket buyers can view this info in their Order History).

Check out just a few of this year’s new items below:

Be sure to come back in the coming weeks, as well, as additional items and surprises will be revealed as the sale continues!

by Published on 2013-10-17 07:11 PM

Blizzard All-Stars Becomes Heroes of the Storm

BlizzCon 2013 Map and Schedule
The Blizzcon schedule and map have been released!

Blizzcon 2013 Schedule
Note: all times are converted to the timezone your computer is currently in.

by Published on 2013-10-17 10:01 AM

The Future of MF & GF in Paragon 2.0, Diablo 2 Battle Chest for $4.99, Patch 1.0.2 is Now Live on Xbox 360 As Well

New Connected Realms Coming
Realms are being connected faster now! Keep in mind that Bloodscalp, Maiev, and Boulderfist will make the first group of three realms.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As a part of our ongoing Connected Realms implementation, we will be connecting additional pairs of realms as listed below. We don’t have a specific date yet on when these connections will occur, but we’ll provide another update once we do. Please be aware that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.

Next Realm Connection Pairs:
  • Balnazzar and Warsong
  • Gurubashi and Aegwynn
  • Dalvengyr and Dark Iron
  • Garithos and Chromaggus
  • Onyxia and Burning Blade
  • Maiev and Bloodscalp

We're currently evaluating further realm connections and will provide updates as they're available.

For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

Maiev, and...Bloodscalp?
You MIGHT want to clarify that it is US Bloodscalp, and Not the EU one. Might confuse some people.

All of the connections announced on the North American forums are for North American realms.

Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: October 16
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
  • Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Class Armor
      • Resolved an issue that could cause the Tier-16 2-piece set bonus Frozen Thoughts to be consumed without effect.
  • Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Holy
      • Mastery: Echo of Light's healing has been increased by 4%.
  • Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Archimonde's Darkness' effect should now be correctly removed when the Warlock switches talents or glyphs.

  • Timeless Treasures: Weekly treasure chests on the Timeless Isle can now grant credit towards completing this quest.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Galakras
      • Reduced the health of ranking officials and foot soldiers in Phase 1 of the encounter on 10-player Normal difficulty.
    • Kor'kron Dark Shaman
      • Ashen Wall, Toxic Storm, Toxic Mist, Foul Stream, and Foul Geyser now deal less damage on Raid Finder difficulty.
    • Spoils of Pandaria
      • Reduced the health of most of the creatures during the Spoils of Pandaria encounter on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Having multiple players start the encounter should no longer incorrectly cause the timer to count down rapidly.
    • Thok the Bloodthirsty
      • Captive Cave Bats on Raid Finder difficulty will no longer incorrectly drop Normal difficulty loot.
    • Garrosh Hellscream
      • Garrosh Hellscream should now use his abilities more predictably when starting Stage Three: MY WORLD.
  • Mogu'shan Vaults
    • Resolved an issue that prevented players from completing the Straight Six achievement.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • [Requires a realm restart.] Silvershard Mines: The eastern mine cart now doesn't spawn in until shortly after the gates open.

  • Cooking
    • Noodle cart chefs will now receive a well-fed buff while serving other players bowls of noodle soup.


Flex Mechanics Scaling
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Thanks for some excellent feedback so far. Boss mechanics inevitably involve some breakpoints (alas, there's no way for Malkorok to create precisely 3.7 Implosions), and they do need to scale in some form, or abilities only targeting maybe 2 players out of a 25-player Flex raid would make some of those mechanics feel completely trivial and detract from the intended experience and tuning. In general, we try to err on the side of rounding down, and making sure that the ratios are never worse for any group size than they would be for a normal 10- or 25-player raid. Norushen orbs are a great example of a place where that logic doesn't quite work, though, since you actually want more orbs, and not fewer. That's something we can adjust.

Personally we have found 11 to be just about the hardest number. The difference in scaling between 10 to 11 is about 11mill HP. Now for a boss like the Iron Juggernaut, that’s fine. You pew pew the boss the whole fight. 11 mill over 5-6 mins is do-able. But, for a fight like Galakras where the boss is a burn at the end. That 11 mill is pretty tuff to make. Especially being flex so the extra members are not exceptional.

TL;DR the boss HP Scaling is a bit over tuned for 1-2 extra players. (on some fights)

A bit of clarification here: Boss health and damage scaling are both completely linear and proportional to group size, but scale up more slowly than raid size does. So, all else being equal, if you add players who are roughly on par with the average gear/skill of your current group, you'll have a slightly easier time as a result.

Thok, for example, has 355 million health with a 10-player Flexible raid. If you add an 11th player, his health will go up to 390 million. I.e., you've increased your raid's damage output by somewhere between 14 and 20% depending on how many healers you were running, but the boss's health only went up by 10%. Adding that 11th player will also make Thok melee for about 3% more damage, which will barely be noticeable.

Wait, what? He has like 440 million on 10 normal.
Whoops, sorry about that. I was looking at the LFR numbers. He has 355 million with 10-player Flex, and 390 million with 11 players. Same general point holds, but I goofed on the exact values.

33% Off Winged Guardian Mount—This Week Only
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
For a limited time, the Winged Guardian mount can be claimed and added to your personal collection for 33% off the normal price. You’ll be the talk of Azeroth as you soar through the clouds with this fiery golden-maned lion—but don’t delay . . . this sale ends October 22, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

Get yours now! (US / EU)

Blizzard Art Update
Blizzard has added more pieces to the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Art gallery.

by Published on 2013-10-16 04:41 AM

Difficulty Discussion, Transmogrification and Legendaries (Part 2), RoS Skill Limit Will Remain at 6, Tyrael Fan Art

Hearthstone Beta Patch 3937

Siege of Orgrimmar Raid Schedule
Don't forget that Siege of Orgrimmar Flex Wing 4 opens this week! The final Raid Finder wing will open next week.

With Garrosh being available on Flex, you can start trying for the Heirloom weapons. Remember that the first one in each difficulty will be for your current loot spec, but after that they will be random.

Level Type Spec Slot Name Modelviewer
561One-handed AxePhysical DPSOne Hand Hellscream's Cleaver
548One-handed AxePhysical DPSOne Hand Hellscream's Cleaver
574One-handed AxePhysical DPSOne Hand Hellscream's Cleaver
574Two-handed AxeMeleeTwo Hand Hellscream's Decapitator
548Two-handed AxeMeleeTwo Hand Hellscream's Decapitator
561Two-handed AxeMeleeTwo Hand Hellscream's Decapitator
548BowPhysical DPSRanged Hellscream's Warbow
561BowPhysical DPSRanged Hellscream's Warbow
574BowPhysical DPSRanged Hellscream's Warbow
548One-handed MaceSpell SpiritOne Hand Hellscream's Warmace
561One-handed MaceSpell SpiritOne Hand Hellscream's Warmace
574One-handed MaceSpell SpiritOne Hand Hellscream's Warmace
574PolearmPhysical DPSTwo Hand Hellscream's Pig Sticker
561PolearmPhysical DPSTwo Hand Hellscream's Pig Sticker
548PolearmPhysical DPSTwo Hand Hellscream's Pig Sticker
561One-handed SwordMeleeOne Hand Hellscream's Doomblade
548One-handed SwordMeleeOne Hand Hellscream's Doomblade
574One-handed SwordMeleeOne Hand Hellscream's Doomblade
574StaffSpell DPSTwo Hand Hellscream's War Staff
548StaffSpell DPSTwo Hand Hellscream's War Staff
561StaffSpell DPSTwo Hand Hellscream's War Staff
548DaggerPhysical DPSOne Hand Hellscream's Razor
561DaggerPhysical DPSOne Hand Hellscream's Razor
574DaggerPhysical DPSOne Hand Hellscream's Razor

A New Age Has Begun—World of Warcraft Now Includes Cataclysm
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Deathwing has been unleashed! Beginning today, October 15, players are able to get the original World of Warcraft, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Cataclysm for only $19.99 as part of the newly upgraded World of Warcraft package (formerly known as the Battle Chest). In addition, all World of Warcraft subscribers now automatically have access to all of the content and features of these expansions at no additional cost.

With these changes, we’re making it easier than ever for new players to begin their epic adventures in Azeroth and join in on the fun.

The new retail edition of World of Warcraft will start hitting store shelves soon, but you can purchase the digital version now.

Upcoming "The Crowd Chose You" Change and Stealth
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Quick update: several of you have expressed a concern about stealth teams staying hidden until late in the game, when Dampening starts to stack. This would require them to grab Shadow Sight orbs as much as possible, which would be tricky but is actually possible (particularly with mechanics like Vanish).

We're not totally sure it would be a problem, as it would require quite a bit of skill and more than a little luck to pull off, but we do see the concern and want to avoid promoting that sort of behavior. So, when the Dampening change goes in, we'll also be changing the Shadow Sight debuff to prevent the player who picks up the orb from using stealth mechanics while it's active. That will also include abilities like Vanish or Shadowmeld.

Mechanic Scaling in Flex Raids
Does your Flex group try to keep a certain size to avoid some mechanics? Let us know your group's magic number in the comments!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Some people have worked out that there are specific break points for specific mechanics of some bosses that change the makeup of the fight. It isn't consistent though from boss to boss, and so no there's no magic number.

Ultimately if you're trying to min/max Flex by not inviting more people that want to go and who would help build a successful team, you're overthinking it.

So if you're trying to maximize your game time by minimizing your time spent in a flex raid that's overthinking it? How do you feel about the rest of theorycrafting?
Some people are going to try to min/max everything because they find efficiency fun. But the intent of Flex is to offer a low stress option for guilds and friends to progress through content without rigid requirements to show up/sit out to maintain a number of participants. Similarly we like that people can PUG it and find some success in a managed group setting. Feel free to ignore the intent of the feature, but my response is still going to be that limiting yourself to some specific number of people is not required to have a successful run, and can be detrimental to the types of people and raid groups that the feature is directly intended for.

If a raid leader is attempting to build a rigid group to attempt Flex and is telling members of his own 25 Normal team to sit out because some lower number is optimal, that person is overthinking it. If someone is building a Flex PUG and is turning down skilled and geared players because of an optimal number he read somewhere, he's overthinking it. It's Flex, let's not pretend you're world first raiding here.

Right now there are some assumptions being made about mechanical breakpoints in Flex, but there are also some valid concerns. The orbs on Norushen for example may need tweaking.

What would be super helpful is if people have examples of breakpoints they think limit them to having a certain number of people, and what those are. It's in everyone's best interests to be able to invite whoever they want, and not feel like they're limited to some number because of mechanic scaling.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Flex Raiding
Greg, any thoughts on making Flex loot tradeable in guild groups? Got a few items I wish had gone elsewhere. Thanks!
that is an utterly fascinating technical problem
We have a long-term solution we like. Just need to see if we can get it built. (Source)

What is the reason that Flex raids have their own ilvl and difficulty? It increases ilvl bloat and feels unfair.
Unfair to whom? LFR players? It is much harder than LFR (minus the social issues). (Source)

now apparently it's more popular than normal what happened?
My hunch is it roped in a lot of groups that were doing LFR but not enjoying it, or maybe folks that had given up raiding. (Source)

What's the min ilvl and max for Flex ? Because I always see people asking for 525+ ilvl.
There is no min or max level, but in my experience, true pugs are ridiculously wary of failure. (Source)

Overall, how happy are you guys with Challenge Modes? Anything you'd have done differently, or maybe add more 5mans?
Very happy overall. One change we would make is that you don't get the best rewards unless you beat all of them. (Source)
That decision made sense since the armor is kind of goofy to wear piecemeal, but the feeling still persists. (Source)
We also understand that it doesn't scratch the challenging heroic itch for all players because of the speed emphasis. (Source)

Dark Legacy Comics #411
DLC #411 has been releaed!

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