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by Published on 2017-02-18 12:13 AM

XP Buff on the PTR, Windows XP and Vista Support Ending, Rakanishu Fan Art

Developer Insights: Live Stream Q&A – Year of the Mammoth – February 21st

World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2
IGN showed off a preview of the upcoming World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2 book.






Legendary Drop Rates
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The rate at which players acquire Legendary items is a subject that we’ve kept a very close eye on since the launch of Legion. We’ve generally tried to avoid getting into too much technical detail on the system behind your chance to get a Legendary, but we would like to say a bit more on what we’ve done behind-the-scenes up to this point.

As many players have figured out, changes were made to legendary drop rates with patch 7.1 and patch 7.1.5 – when those patches went live, your chance to receive a Legendary increased in pretty much all cases. What you might not have noticed is that we’ve been steadily increasing your chances since then. One of our long-term goals is to allow you to switch specific Legendary items in and out as the situation warrants, and regularly increasing drop chances is one way of ensuring that that happens.

We’ve also made adjustments that leveled off what used to be steady decrease to your chance to get subsequent Legendaries after your first. When Legion launched, every time you earned a Legendary, your starting chance to earn your next one would be lower (and thus, the average time it took you to loot it would be longer). At this stage, however, most players in the Broken Isles are no longer hunting for their first Legendary, and many already have their second. We didn’t want you to feel as though your good fortune in the past equates to harder times in the future, so we normalized drop chances for subsequent Legendaries after your second. Right now, in Patch 7.1.5, your first Legendary has the highest drop chance, the second still has a significant bonus, and then you’ll have the same chances to earn your third Legendary as you will your fourth, fifth, sixth, and so on.

We think it’s important to get this across clearly: it currently takes the same amount of luck/effort to get your third Legendary as it takes to get your eighth. We’ve seen a few players and tools attempting to use historical data to predict their drop chances, but because of how regularly we’ve been increasing Legendary drop rates, that data is extremely outdated – and their conclusions extremely inaccurate. In short, your chance of receiving that next Legendary is probably a lot better than you think.

Patch 7.2 - Unlocking the Obliterum Forge
Patch 7.2 unlocks the Obliterum Forge for everyone at no cost! There is a single intro quest that gives you one free Obliterum as well.



Live Developer Q&A – Submit Your Questions
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Join us live on Twitch.tv/Warcraft Thursday, February 23, at 11:00 a.m. PST (7:00 PM GMT), as we sit down with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas for our next live developer Q&A where he’ll be answering your World of Warcraft: Legion questions.

You can submit your questions here in this thread or on Twitter by using the hashtag #LegionQA.

As a reminder, please keep your questions short (40 words or less) so that we can get to as many questions as possible. We look forward to you joining us live on Thursday!

Ending Support for Windows XP and Vista
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Starting later this year, we will begin the process of ending support for Windows XP and Windows Vista in World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm. Microsoft ceased mainstream support for these versions of Windows in 2009 and 2012, respectively, but since a decent portion of our audience was still using them at the time, we continued supporting them. However, there have been three major Windows releases since Vista, and at this point, the vast majority of our audience has upgraded to one of the newer versions.

After these older operating systems are no longer supported, the games will not run on them, so we encourage any players who are still using one of the older OSes to upgrade to a newer version. We’ll be rolling out this change on a staggered schedule, and will post further notices as we get closer to making the change for each game.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Patch 7.2 - New Artifact Traits
The new traits that are replacing the 20-point trait on PTR (e.g. Instability of the Tirisgarde ) will affect all damage, including for specs that didn't get that benefit from the previous version. That still leaves the initial 5% 35-point trait that still exists, but that's no more than a 5% swing in the value of trinkets. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Arcane T20 set bonus
We're considering making the set bonus work with some spell other than Greater Invisibility, to avoid overloading a utility button with a rotational DPS benefit. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP
Battleground matchmaking has been region wide for awhile, not battlegroups. (holinka)
In each region, one faction does tend to have more people queuing than the other. (holinka)
e,g, NA tends to have more Horde, EU tends to have more Alliance. (holinka)
Alliance vs Horde in BGs super important. Striving to keep it and get better balance. (holinka)
how?
We now reward end of season titles (Gladiator, etc) to top % of each faction. (holinka)
Over time (many seasons) hope to see top players spread between both factions. (holinka)
Incentivize players on less represented faction to play more. https://t.co/K73XuI2Gv2 (holinka)
surely that just fills the ranks with more casual players?
Not necessarily. Works for Mercenaries too. (holinka)

Heroes of the Storm - Lucio's "We Move Together as One"
Blizzard shared a Nexus Remix of Lucio's "We Move Together as One" today.

by Published on 2017-02-16 11:42 PM

Some Classic Cards Moving to Wild, Three Expansions this Year, New Rogue Hero - Year of the Mammoth

Artifact Power and Patch 7.2

Patch 7.2 - Shaman Class Mount
Today we are taking a look at the Shaman class mount!



Shaman Class Mount Wind Shaman Class Mount Fire Shaman Class Mount Earth


Patch 7.1.5 Hotfixes - February 16
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes

Dungeons and Raids
  • The Nighthold
    • Grand Magistrix Elisande
      • Elisande’s health has been reduced by 10% on all difficulties.
      • Cascadent Star is now cast approximately 40% more often than before on all difficulties.
      • Cascadent Star’s damage has been increased by 20% on all difficulties.

Player versus Player

Professions
  • Alchemy
    • (Hotfix in testing) Crafting an additional Infernal Alchemist Stone at rank 3 will no longer consume double reagents.

Quests
  • Players who have begun the Nightborne Insurrection storyline without having previously completed "Building an Army" will now have the quest available to them from Thalyssra.
  • (Hotfix in testing) Players should no longer get into a bugged state if they logout or accept a queue during the final event of the Archaeology quest "Laying to Rest".

Patch 7.2 PTR Notes Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
The Broken Shore
Return to the front lines of the Burning Legion’s invasion in this new Scenario. Complete it to unlock a new questing hub with World Quests that make up a new Emissary and faction: Legionfall.

Join in a new region-wide, cross-faction effort to construct buildings to fight against the Legion’s stronghold.

New Dungeon: The Cathedral of Eternal Night
The upper chambers of the Tomb of Sargeras were once a place of worship to Elune. Since the Legion's invasion, fel minions have desecrated this holy place, twisting it into their own image. Now, this site will host a battle that could turn the tide of the invasion. While the Armies of Legionfall engage the fel army directly, a small group of heroes infiltrates the upper reaches of the cathedral in a desperate hope to return the Aegis of Aggramar to its resting place. Inside this new dungeon, you’ll face:

  • Agronox - This ancient served the night elves priestesses of the Temple of Elune, tending the beautiful Hanging Gardens. But after the malevolence of the Legion infected the Cathedral, the guardian absorbed fel energy through his roots. Now the twisted Agronox spreads corruption throughout the sanctuary he once protected, believing he has finally achieved his ideal state.
  • Thrashbite the Scornful - Smashspite's detestable brother, Thrashbite has been dispatched to wipe out the mortals entering the cathedral's grand library. The dimwitted mo'arg lacks any respect for knowledge or learning, feeling petty satisfaction as he crashes through ancient artifacts and tramples priceless tomes.
  • Domatrax - With the Aegis of Aggramar socketed back into its cradle, Domatrax leads an onslaught of demons to destroy the relic.
  • Mephistroth - With the forces of Azeroth pushing against his front line, Mephistroth has fallen back to the Cathedral of Eternal Night, where he will employ all his cunning to ensure the heroes fail in securing the Aegis of Agrammar.

Class Campaigns
Every class continues its campaign to unify in the war effort. Your Class Hall is the base from which you will embark on a new quest chain, find a new potential Follower, and discover new class-specific World Quests. All new epic class mounts are now available. Complete the new class mount quests to obtain yours.

PvP Brawls
A series of new twists on popular player-versus-player activities are on the way. Starting with “Southshore vs. Tarren Mill”, “Gravity Lapse”, and “Warsong Scramble”, PvP Brawls offer a variety of mode, rules, and scenic changes to the usual Battleground gameplay. Look for the Brawl option in the Group Finder (default hotkey: i) Player vs. Player tab, under the Casual selection.

Flying in the Broken Isles
Take your final steps to complete the Broken Isles Pathfinder, Part 2 achievement to unlock flying in the Broken Isles.

New World Quests
In addition to the new Legionfall and class-specific World Quests, a number of new and interesting World Quests are now offered by NPCs across the Broken Isles.

Classes

Dungeons
  • Mythic Keystone Dungeons
  • Added 60 seconds to the Black Rook Hold timer.
  • Killing Cove Seagulls should now add Enemy Forces credit.
  • New Affix: Bursting (level 4)
    • When slain, non-boss enemies explode, causing all players to suffer 10% of their maximum health in damage over 4 seconds. This effect stacks.
  • New Affix: Fel Explosives (level 7)
    • Creatures have a chance to summon an Explosive Orb at a nearby location that will explode, inflicting damage of 50% of the player’s maximum health.
  • New Affix: Quaking (level 7)
    • Periodically, players will Quake, inflicting damage of 20% of the player’s maximum health and interrupting spell casts of themselves and nearby allies.
  • New Affix: Grievous (level 7)
    • While below 90% health, players are afflicted with Grievous Wound.
  • The Overflowing affix has been removed.
  • The Bolstering affix range has been reduced to 30 yards (was 45 yards).
    • Developers’ notes: The intent of this change is to allow players more opportunities for crowd control.
  • Necrotic Rot will now expire after leaving combat. Duration reduced to 8 seconds (was 10 seconds).
    • Developers’ notes: This should eliminate the situation where players were waiting for Necrotic to fall off after killing enemies, and it should give tanks more opportunities for resets while in combat.
  • Skittish threat reduction has been lowered to 75% (was 80%).
  • Fortified damage bonus lowered to 30% (was 40%).
  • Tyrannical damage bonus lowered to 15% (was 20%).
  • Sanguine radius increased to 8 yards.
  • Mythic Keystones can now direct you to Lower Karazhan, Upper Karazhan, and the Cathedral of Eternal Night.
  • Artifact Power rewards for Mythic Keystone dungeons have been adjusted:
    • Longer dungeons, such as Halls of Valor, now award a proportionately higher amount of Artifact Power.
    • Shorter dungeons, such as Maw of Souls, now award a proportionately lower amount of Artifact Power.
    • Artifact Power bonuses have been added to your weekly chest rewards. These increase based on the highest level Mythic Keystone you completed.

Items

Player versus Player
  • Players now deal 40% less damage to other players.
  • Players now have 25% less Stamina in PvP instances.
  • Players now have 20% more Agility, Intellect, and Strength in PvP instances.
  • The honor requirements for leveling through the honor system have been reduced.
    • The amount of honor required to advance from 1 to 50 at Prestige 0 has been reduced by 50%.
  • In instanced PvP (arenas, battlegrounds, and Ashran), Artifacts now grant a minimum Stamina increase to all players. This minimum is equivalent to the purchase of 36 points, one of which is the trait which grants 10% Stamina.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
World Defense Channel
World Defense was disabled due to issues with the way chat channels functioned in conjunction with CRZ, phasing and sharding. Basically what happened is the chat channel would display an alert that say "Aszuna is under attack" but when ran there you might find it to be completely calm. This is because the alert triggered in Aszuna came from a separate phase or shard of that zone.

We're still forwarding on the feedback we're receiving about this matter. (Official Forums)

Raid Testing Schedule - February 17
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
On Friday, February 17, we will be conducting a raid test of two more Tomb of Sargeras Heroic bosses.

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

Friday, February 17

Demonic Inquisition - Heroic Tomb of Sargeras
13:00 PST (16:00 EST, 22:00 CET)

Mistress Sassz'ine - Heroic Tomb of Sargeras
14:00 PST (17:00 EST, 23:00 CET)

After testing concludes on Friday, we plan to open Normal Tomb of Sargeras over the weekend, with Goroth, Demonic Inquisition, Harjatan, and Mistress Sassz'ine available.

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a PTR environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the bosses being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.

Feedback - Cathedral of Eternal Night
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hi all,

7.2's new dungeon - the Cathedral of Eternal Night - is now available for testing on the PTR. In this thread, we'd like to gather as much of your feedback as possible regarding the new dungeon, once you've had a chance to run it.

Any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated, including topics like:

  • The overall flow of the dungeon
  • Visuals, including creatures and environment
  • Boss encounters and their mechanics
  • Overall difficulty
  • Any bugs or unexpected behavior you may have encountered
  • Any other general thoughts about the dungeon

Thanks!

FinalBossTV #128 - Protection Warriors
FinalBossTV covered Protection Warriors this week.

by Published on 2017-02-16 07:29 PM

Artifact Power and Patch 7.2
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Artifact Power has been a hot topic lately, both around the community and within the development team. With Patch 7.2 on the horizon, introducing both new artifact traits and additional Knowledge levels, we have been reflecting on the way the system has unfolded during the first months of Legion, and evaluating changes based on the lessons we have learned thus far.

First off, a look back at where we started.

From the outset, Artifact Power was intended to serve two intertwined purposes: First, it offered max-level progression that was not entirely item-driven, along with choices and elements of character customization as players traversed their trait trees; second, it was meant to serve as a universally desired, consistent reward from all types of content.

In crafting the systems that delivered Artifact Power, we weighed the merits of hard caps versus a smoother system of diminishing returns. We had extensive experience with hard caps, through multiple past iterations of currencies like Valor Points and Conquest Points, and wanted to avoid several of the downsides of that approach. For example, a cap inherently feels like more of an expected quota, where missing a week or falling short of the cap puts you clearly, and potentially permanently, behind the curve.

Instead, as everyone knows, we settled on an open-ended system of diminishing returns. Without any hard caps on how quickly players could earn AP, it was essential to have some sort of limiting mechanism on the gap in power between players of different playstyles, and different levels of time investment. We accepted the admittedly complex design of Artifact Knowledge because it solved this problem, effectively reining in the size of this power gap. Players trying to progress past the expected artifact level for their Knowledge would run into those rapidly diminishing returns, while those who played less than that would have Knowledge as an accelerator to help them catch up to the cutting edge. When Emerald Nightmare was new content, while the average raider was at 20 or 21 points, the most dedicated might have been at 24 or 25 – a relatively modest gap.

Now, where things went wrong…

We feel that we made two major missteps with the Artifact Power system that increasingly manifested themselves as we got deeper into Patch 7.1 and 7.1.5. And both of them served to undermine that core goal of ensuring that the gap between players with different levels of time invested into the system could not grow too large.

First, the cost of ranks in the 20-point final trait remained relatively flat, as opposed to the rapid exponential scaling up to that point. This meant that someone who spent twice as much time gathering AP as I did would have roughly twice as many ranks as me. Instead of the 24 vs. 21 gaps we saw in Nightmare, a number of hardcore raiders entered Nighthold with 54 points, while others were just beginning that final progression and found themselves with nearly 10% less health and damage, equivalent to being almost a full tier of gear behind. Players who switched specs or characters along the way found themselves in a similar position. The power gap was larger than ever before, which created a sense of obligation and a number of negative social pressures that the system had previously tried to minimize. In short: We’re not at all happy with how this worked out.

A common suggestion is to simply reduce the amount of Artifact Power required to fully unlock the artifact in 7.2. This would not solve the underlying problem, but would rather reduce its duration while heightening its intensity, as competitive players sprinted to finish their Artifacts in order to be “ready.” But then we would inevitably tune around that completed power level, and other players would simply be playing catch-up the entire time. And in the long run, Artifact Power would not be serving its intended purpose of ongoing parallel progression. A capped-artifact player who goes a week without getting any item upgrades ends the week literally no stronger than before. Part of the value of the artifact, both for personal progression and guild progression, lies in ensuring that everyone is at least a bit stronger next week than they are right now, and a bit closer to overcoming whatever obstacle stands in their path. Our goal is for Artifact Power to always be of some interest as a reward, whether from a World Quest, or as a consolation prize when failing a bonus roll.

Instead, we are focusing on fixing the mistake of flat cost scaling at the end of the progression, and instead keeping the increases exponential throughout, while also strengthening Artifact Knowledge as a core pacing and catch-up mechanism. These changes should be visible in an upcoming PTR build.

This is done with the primary goal of reducing the power gap based on time investment, while preserving Artifact Power as an endgame reward that everyone values. If the leaders in Artifact Power were only a few points ahead of a more typical player, rather than crossing the finish line when most were just leaving the starting blocks, players with less time to commit would not be as disadvantaged in competitive activities. If a Warlock were choosing between having 48 points in a single spec or 44 points in all three specs if they’d split their efforts evenly, the barrier to playing multiple specs would be significantly reduced. We are still tuning the curve for 7.2 trait costs, but we’re currently targeting scaling such that someone who earns twice as much AP as me will have an artifact that’s only ~1.5% stronger; someone who earns four times as much AP as me should only be 3% stronger. On the whole, this should be a massive reduction in the power gaps we see in the live game today.

The second problem with our initial implementation was that repeatable sources of Artifact Power (Mythic Keystone dungeons in particular) dominated time-limited sources such as Emissary caches and raid bosses. The fact that a large portion of the community evaluates their Artifact Power needs using “Maw runs” as the unit of measurement is ample evidence of this failure. We very recently deployed a hotfix to increase AP earned from Nighthold in order to make raiding, with a weekly-lockout, better compare in efficiency to repeated Mythic Keystone runs. And in 7.2, we’re more thoroughly addressing this issue by adding a significant amount of AP to the weekly Mythic Keystone cache, while somewhat reducing (and normalizing based on instance length) the AP awarded by repeated runs. These changes are being made to narrow the gap in AP earning, and thus power, based on time investment.

All of the above changes are aimed at allowing players the freedom and flexibility to decide how they want to spend their time, and which goals they wish to pursue, while limiting the difference in power between players who arrive at different answers to those questions.
by Published on 2017-02-15 09:48 PM

Patch 7.2 PTR - Build 23578

Mythic Gul'dan Kill Video
Limit finally got the 5th (US 1st) Mythic Gul'dan kill, so Exorsus released their Mythic Gul'dan kill video today.



Tier 20 Set Bonuses
The latest PTR build added Tier 20 set bonuses. Keep in mind that these haven't been tuned, some are missing, and some have already been changed.



Mage Class Mount Quest and Preview


The class mount quest lines were added in the latest build, allowing players to earn their class mounts. You can see all of the class mount models here.




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