World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2016-01-20 03:36 PM

Console Lag Issues, Fastest Level 1-70?

What's Senior Game Designer Ben Brode Playing?, Deck Shuffling, How Good is Curse of Rafaam?

Who's Next Teaser

Legion - Priest Tier 19
Keep in mind that some of these colors will be used for PvP gear and the others for raid gear.

Legion - Thistleleaf Adventurer Pet
Legion adds the Thistleleaf Adventurer pet, which can be looted from a Small Treasure Chest found inside a cave located in Lunarwing Shallows, in Val'sharah. He will mount up and follow you on an Enchanted Fey Dragon!

Pre-purchase Legion™ Now, Upgrade to the CE
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With the digital version of World of Warcraft: Legion currently available for pre-purchase, we know many of you are interested in getting your level-100 character boost now and early access to the new Demon Hunter before launch. We also know many of you are planning to get the Collector’s Edition of Legion once it’s in stores, but would still like to get in on the action with your boost sooner rather than later.

To help you do both, we’ve set up a process similar to the one for Warlords of Draenor to receive a replacement Legion game key once you upgrade to the Collector’s Edition. Just follow these steps:

1. Pre-purchase a digital version of Legion now and begin using the included character boost immediately.
2. Pick up your Collector’s Edition pre-order once Legion releases.
3. Enter your Collector’s Edition key on your Account Management page.
4. Contact Blizzard Customer Support for a replacement of your original Standard or Digital Deluxe Edition Key.
5. Give the shiny new digital key to a friend!

We’ll provide more information, including additional details on what’s inside the Collector’s Edition, in the near future.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Tank & Healer Ability Tuning
In regards to tank healing, I am very much a fan of "Many hits to be killed, many heals to be healed." This adds variety and allows the engaging task of healing prioritization (i.e. what makes healing fun).

Most of the posts on here have pretty much already spelled out the problem which is scaling. Once you start scaling these heals more than you scale the HP pools, you run into near instant top offs. Then this begins the slippery slope of competitive (raids) top offs, and the trivialization of mechanics. Then the mechanics become more bursty to make healing more engaging and the cycles repeat.

More attention needs to be paid to ensuring that the gear scaling doesn't lead to instant topping off, so that encounter design no longer needs to keep ratcheting damage to extremely bursty levels. Exponential gear curves work great for DPS, but terrible for healing and tanking. We are of a symbiotic relationship in this regard.

We generally agree with this thought process. The fact that tank healing gets spikier as ilvls rise is a huge problem that we're making some significant changes to help address. Most notably, Spirit's removal, and the changes to how secondary stats scale with ilvl will help. The % of a tank's healthbar that you can heal per second went up over the course of Warlords, by a massive amount (probably about 3x). We don't want it to not go up (it gives a good feeling of progression), but it should only go up a little (probably to 1.5x).

I echo the sentiments of other tanks in this thread regarding the removal of active mitigation abilities. Being responsible for accurately recognizing and appropriately responding to potential threats is fun, is engaging, and does not need to be changed. Requiring active responses to incoming damage increases the skill cap, and is one of the things that allows good tanks to outshine other more mediocre players.
We agree with your sentiments; perhaps my wording was not clear. We are not removing active mitigation abilities; we're making them more active. Apologies if my original post was unclear about that. Currently, you can maintain 70-100% uptime on most rotational active mitigation, making them rather passive-feeling. By making them 40-60% uptime, the choice of when to use them becomes more skillful.

On the topic of tank offense, we see lots of discussion about how tanks need to have ways to trade defense for offense, such as choosing to use resources on defensive abilities or offensive abilities, what choices they are for that, how effective they are, etc.

We actually completely disagree with that whole premise, because it leads to a lot of un-fun cascading effects. You may focus more on damage, and frustrate healers with needing more healing. You may focus on your assigned role of tanking, maximizing defense, while doing meager damage. While there are definitely upsides (it can certainly be fun trying to ride the line of not giving up too much defense, while maximizing offense), there is a better way.

Instead, we think that how skillfully you play your class should affect both your offense and defense. If you're trying hard to play your character well, you should be performing well at all of your jobs, and that includes both survival and damage dealing for tanks, not sacrificing one for the other. You shouldn't have to give up your mitigation in order to deal respectable damage. You shouldn't have to accept doing trivial damage if you want to really make sure you survive and minimize healer assistance. Both of those goals should be aligned, and you should be rewarded for playing well with great damage and survivability.

We won't be removing absolutely all damage/survivability tradeoffs, but the few that remain will be significantly toned down. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New Logging Feature: COMBATANT_INFO
@Celestalon: Don't forget people can swap weapons in a fight for various reasons.. to use different enchants or to have specific speed for their opener.. I don't know if the combatant info section will only state the initial weapon used? Although will people even consider this with Artifact weapons now that I think about it...
Technically, It'll show equipped weapon in the list of equipped items. In the section of artifact traits, it'll show the traits of the current spec's artifact, wherever it is. However, as you realized, there would be no reason not to have your correct artifact equipped for 7.0 content. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Weakaura Scamming
Thank you for bringing this to our attention!

An update to WeakAuras was released during the night which should have resolved this issue. However, please always remaing vigilant when importing any AddOn settings or scripts from players you do not know.

We are also working on preventing this type of situation in the future by adding an extra step of security for all gold transfers. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

DLC #522 - Field of View
DLC #522 has been released.

by Published on 2016-01-19 03:43 PM

DH & Crusader Builds Highlight, Flash Fire T10 Wizard

Hearthstone Developers on the History of Discover, Become a Tavern Hero

Heroes Spring Global Championship 2016, Rotation for Jan. 19, Monday Melee Ep. 13

Legion - Death Knight Tier 19
Keep in mind that some of these colors will be used for PvP gear and the others for raid gear.

Legion - Ursoc Preview
Ursoc is one of the bosses in The Emerald Nightmare raid. Be sure to read the chat for some bear puns.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Overview - Rawr, imma bear.
  • Overwhelm - Ursoc overwhelms a player's defenses, inflicting 1,680,000 Physical damage. This reduces armor by 20% and increases damage taken by Rend Flesh by 100% for 12 sec. This effect stacks.
  • Rend Flesh - Ursoc viciously rends a player, inflicting 1,350,000 Physical damage and an additional 790,000 Physical damage every 2 sec for 12 sec.
  • Focused Gaze - Ursoc focuses his gaze upon a player, charging them after 6 sec and striking them with Crushing Impact. Upon reaching his destination, Ursoc strikes all players with Barreling Impact.
    • Barreling Momentum - Ursoc charges through any players to his target, inflicting 435,000 Physical damage to all targets in his path and knocking them back.
      • Unbalanced - Players in Ursoc's path struck by Barreling Momentum, suffer 500% increased damage from Barreling Momentum for 50 sec.
    • Barreling Impact - When Ursoc reaches his marked target, he inflicts 1,290,000 Physical damage to all players. This effect is reduced by each player Ursoc has charged through.
    • Crushing Impact - Ursoc inflicts 714,000 Physical damage to the target. This damage is reduced the further away the target is from Ursoc.
  • Roaring Cacophony - Releases a mighty roar, inflicting 3,670,000 Physical damage divided evenly among all players within 20 yds.
    • Nightmarish Cacophony - Whenever Ursoc roars, he leaves behind a Nightmare Image. On subsequent Ursoc roars, the Nightmare Image also releases a mighty roar, inflicting 500,000 Shadow damage divided evenly among all players within 20 yds. This effect causes players to run in fear for 6 sec.
    • Miasma - Nightmare Images project a zone of miasma 20 yds around themselves, inflicting 120,000 Shadow damage every 1 sec to players caught within.
    • Echoing Cacophony - Echoes increase the damage done by Roaring Cacophony by 10%. This effect stacks.
  • Blood Frenzy - Ursoc enters a mighty rage at 30% health remaining, increasing attack speed by 20% and damage done by 20%.

Blue Tweets
One of the tweets notes the change to remove Strength, Agility, and Int from the few Legion necks, rings, and cloaks that have been added so far.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
With all the mobility in Legion for other casses some additional gap closer for DKs would be great.
Not every class should be highly mobile. That being said, check out the "Death's Flight" talent for Unholy! (WarcraftDevs)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Can you clarify if Prot Paladins still hit 5 targets with Avenger's Shield in Legion?
Avenger's Shield will hit 3 targets baseline, but there may be ways to increase that number. (WarcraftDevs)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Its currently better to not cast lava burst at all on alpha, lightning bolt trumps it in every way.
This isn't something we are seeing, and it is certainly not intended. Can you share any details? (WarcraftDevs)

Character / Items
On the alpha, why do rings and necks not have int, strength, or agility on them?
We’re experimenting with different designs for how rings, necklaces, and cloaks are itemized. Hang tight for details! (WarcraftDevs)

Will there be any customization with stats in PvP left? (e.g. able to spend some of the template on a certain stat)
What type of customization did you do in the past that you liked? Picking a secondary stat to stack? (holinka)

Will the new Pvp system in legion be introduce to all levels in the pvp range (starting at level 10)
There will be a chance to win items at the completion of a battleground; similar to dungeons while leveling. (WarcraftDevs)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
how important would you say math is to game design? or is it all done by computers now?
Math is very important to systems design. Most designers I work with are reasonably skilled at math, and some are experts. (OccupyGStreet)
If you are building levels, narrative or maybe UI, math is less essential. Anything that involves combat is inherently numbers. (OccupyGStreet)
I'd add that you're gonna need good, solid, time-tested vector math if you want anything moving on screen.
It depends how your studio divides design work and engineering work. Math is part of almost all engineering. (OccupyGStreet)
If you're making UI and you want stuff moving around and feeling interactive, math looms ahead!
That may be. I designed a lot of UI for AoE and WoW and never used a calculator. I did for classes and items. (OccupyGStreet)

Songs of Azeroth - Act 4
AFK Players is back with a PvP themed song this time.

by Published on 2016-01-18 01:24 AM

Furious Charge Animation Cancel, Inspect on 2.4, Mercy Wings, Minor 2.4 Patch and Hotfixes, Starter Builds

Popular Constructed Decks of the Week, Deck Spotlight: Coin Malygos Rogue, Diablo 3 Season 5 Begins

Heroes Rising Winners, Statistics and Replay Pack

Legion - Druid Tier 19
The latest Legion build added Druid Tier 19 sets!

Elemental Shaman Artifact Intro
Elemental Shaman will finally run into Li Li and Chen again!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Somewhat concerned that you're hitting tank AM instead of healer passives like Beacon of Light.
Passive healing is a huge contributor to the problem as well, and we plan to shift their healing to be more direct. (WarcraftDevs)

Can you clarify "more survivability than a non-tank [...] don’t necessarily need to be [...] more sturdy."
Currently tanks are up to 50x as sturdy as a non-tank. We don't think there needs to be that stark of a difference. (WarcraftDevs)

Was really hoping we'd move more towards mop style tanking, i.e. good tanks are self sufficient with passive heals
That ends up taking gameplay away from healers. It’s possible to have good tanks be better, and for healers to <1/2> (WarcraftDevs)
still have tank-healing gameplay. <2/2> (WarcraftDevs)

the tank changes appear to make tanking more passive and more boring as a result. Disappointing
Passive is definitely not the goal. We think that going from 90% to 60% AM uptime increases skill/impact of choices. (WarcraftDevs)
How does increased, focused "tank healer" dependency possibly jive with the new Disc PR spec, most notably in a 5-man PUG?
Tried it? Have Shadow Mend and the new Mind Blast not handled tank healing well enough for you? (Celestalon)

RE: Tank change post, please make sure AM tweaks are accounted for in old fights with mechs that ref AM directly
We plan to! We welcome any bug reports and feedback on this. (WarcraftDevs)

it doesn't. it really really does not. it just makes clunky, slow combat. choice = having more abilities to choose from.
We are definitely open to feedback on this! Make sure to read this post for more details: (WarcraftDevs)

Hey boss the colors on these resemble mounts but I see no saddles. Are these tameable mechs by chance?
Yep! (Muffinus)

Character / Items
Does the Artifact Talent to increase PW:Radiance's healing also apply to shadow covenant? (since it replaces PW:R)
Yep! Talents that replace base spells receive the same bonuses from their respective Artifact Traits. (WarcraftDevs)

What's up with Magni?
He's been having a hard time of it recently, but he's stone-cold, that Magni. Still rockin' it. (craig_amai)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
What is the value in actively making something only 1% of your playerbase gets to enjoy? Also, more people own Thoridal and the Warglaives than Shadowmourne, Fangs, Valanyr or Dragonwrath. Can't just be age
From a player point of view, there can be a lot of prestige in having something that few players get. You certainly used to see this with the original WoW legendary weapons when players would hang out in IF/Org just so other players could come fawn over them. I did it with my tier 2 tank armor and Quel'Serrar.

To achieve that as a player, you have to a) be able to acquire something that b) other players can't easily (if ever) get. Having very low drop rates really hurts A because you can't just set your sights on a goal. The RNG will trump whatever commitment you throw at the game. It is however very good at B because it has the same effect on other players.

Long time commitments delay acquisition, but they don't really keep the items rare. The Long Strange Trip Protodrake was "hard" to get in that you had to be very dedicated for a long period of time (and IIRC there was some luck thrown in there as well) but when they were first available, many players had them and more got them over time, and in fact, the existence of that mount pushed us to just make very fast mounts something everyone could acquire.

As more and more players were able to achieve things that used to be rare, say a legendary or High Warlord's PvP gear, the bragging rights diminished. I worked on WoW for 6 years and played it for maybe 8 and even I couldn't tell you who were the elite raiders or gladiators in Mists just by seeing their armor.

What I'm arguing is that maybe that's inevitable. Maybe the time of "Check out that tauren's armor!" passed. Maybe there isn't a way to keep rare things really rare in ways that don't feel shitty to players. However, *if* you decide as a developer that it's important to have rare rewards, I believe the only way to keep them rare is low drop rates. Making them require massive skill or time investment just aren't sufficient any longer.

Final Boss - Elemental Shaman
Final Boss took a look at Elemental Shaman this week.

by Published on 2016-01-16 06:09 AM

Furious Charge Animation Cancel, Inspect on 2.4, Mercy Wings, Minor 2.4 Patch and Hotfixes, Starter Builds

Hearthstone on ESPN Esports, HS Community Communications, CDC 3.02 - Kindred Keywords, Card Design Competition Winner

Dustin Tweet Round-Up, Hottest Plays of the Week #58

Legion - Shaman Tier 19 Armor Sets
The latest Legion build added most of the Shaman Tier 19 sets. There is a normal Fel color variant that is currently not included here.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Tank & Healer Ability Tuning
Are encounters going to be tuned to have longer time-to-kill for tanks as well?

I ask because in a world where tanks need to be actively healed, dying so quickly that they must be spammed all of the time (read: less than 3 or 4 seconds for 100-0) just leads to a WotLK situation where one person gets to spam the tank forever and everyone else ignores it and nothing is really any different.

Absolutely, yes. It's very important that this is the case.

I'd like to note that "use Active Mitigation to avoid X ability" isn't usually engaging gameplay. How about I use AM because it helps me survive a powerful attack, not because I get a debuff if I don't.
Binary AM checks like you mention will continue to be extremely rare. They're still an interesting mechanic to see everyone once in a while, but will not be common. Sorry if what I said gave the impression otherwise. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New Logging Feature: COMBATANT_INFO
Cool, yeah most bonus IDs should be relatively easy to determine from the item level. The only bonuses that would be tricky are things like stat variations on e.g. crafted or baleful items, and bonus minor stats on items. Using the stats you could determine that they have e.g. ~3 items with movement speed... but you wouldn't really know how much and on which items.

You shouldn't need any guessing. Random tertiaries and sockets are a great point about being missing; I'll follow up on that. You really should have everything you need to reconstruct their gear. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Classic Realms
Tom Chilton (Game Director for World of Warcraft) answered a question about classic servers during the BlizzCon 2015 World of Warcraft Q&A.

While we realise there is a desire for servers running previous versions of the game, we do not have any plans to setup classic servers. The old code is designed to run on the old hardware. The old code brings with it the old data, which includes the old bugs. The natural expectation from players would be that we would fix these bugs to ensure a smooth gameplay experience (along with the need for Customer Support and other dedicated support teams for such realms).

We feel it is not feasible to support multiple versions of World of Warcraft concurrently, and instead believe that our resources would be better placed continuing to build upon the current live game. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
the lovely folk at @BlizzardCS tell me that you are the ones to talk to for getting a tabard locker for my 50+ tabards?
Tabards are included in the #Legion Transmog improvements, so you have a lot of free closet space in your future! (WarcraftDevs)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
What's your opinion on limited-access forums readable to public? Example: Master+ and Devs only, readable by public.
It greatly helps to problem of player to dev ratio being so skewed. Just have to avoid whiff of elitism. (OccupyGStreet)

Legion - Kobolds
You will encounter the Kobolds again in Legion and learn a little bit about their history!
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Kobolds live here long time. Make home in nooks.
Catch rats. Sometimes eat them.
Dig for treasure. Trade with harpies.
They like shinies, we like wax. Fresh from ears is best.
One day drogbar come in. Say cave is theirs.
They smash and scare. We take candles and hide.
Drogbar big and stupid. They have cave, but no have candle.
Darkness finds them. Darkness follows them.
Darkness swallows them whole!
We come back. We have candles.
Cave ours again. Candles keep us safe.

Final Boss - Enhancement Shaman
Final Boss is back with an Enhancement Shaman spec preview!

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