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by Published on 2014-02-28 04:01 AM

Dev Watercooler: Pruning the Garden of War

Patch 2.0.1 Hotfixes - Updated 2/27, Chest Farming is Being Hotfixed, The Great Blue Clarifications Post, AH BoA Issue is Fixed

Thrall, the Shaman

Money Pig Alternative Mount Skins, Skin: Red Prince Arthas

Dev Watercooler: Pruning the Garden of War Twitter Q&A
Celestalon and Holinka answered some questions on Twitter that arose from the Watercooler posted earlier tonight.
Originally Posted by Blizzard
Future Blog Posts
You're better off making a blue post about racials/class abilities rather than tweets. Info overload! future watercooler?
Working on it, just wasn't ready in time, and didn't want to delay the blog post. (Source)

To those /sadpanding at the blog, you're not after the philosophy. You're after the patch notes which still aren't available yet. (Rygarius)

Alliance Racials
Humans lose the Mace/Sword racials. The Human Spirit becomes +X to two secondary stats of your choice. (Source)
Change to Human Spirit seems really cool. Can you talk about the interface for choosing which secondary stats it'll give you?
Still designing it. Probably a flyout button of some sort (like Rogue Poisons, Mage Portals, etc) (Source)
The idea is interesting, but are you worried it will be too strong since it's customizable? Or just needs proper tuning
The downside is that it's split between two. If haste is your best stat, 1% haste is better than 0.5%haste + 0.5% crit. (Source)

Weapon Specialization racials are removed because Hit/Exp are removed. (Source)

Draenei's Heroic Presence is now +X to your primary stat. Gift of the Naaru heals for the same amount but over 5sec. (Source)

Night Elves' Quickness also increases movement speed by 2% passively. They also got a new passive which is quite unique... (Remember, no more haste breakpoints!) Touch of Elune, a new passive which grants 1% Haste at night, 1% Crit during the day. (Source)
Might annoy some specs that benefit from one stat but not another (e.g. feral druids benefit from crit, but not haste)
We're making sure that everyone benefits from them. (Source)
Shadowmeld is unchanged. (Source)

Gnomes' Escape Artist dropped to a 1min CD (from 1.5min), and Shortblade Specialization became Nimble Fingers, 1% Haste. Also a tweak to Expansive Mind. Was +5% max Mana. Now +5% Max Mana, Energy, Rage, or Runic Power. (Source)

Darkflight is staying unchanged. (Source)

Dwarves lost Crack Shot and Mace Specialization. Gained Might of the Mountain, a passive which adds 2% Crit Damage and Healing. Also a change to Stoneform: Also removes Magic/Curse. HOWEVER, it still cannot be used while CC'd. (It is still NOT a CC-break) (Source)

Horde Racials
Undead are seeing relatively few changes. Tweaks to the scaling rate of Touch of the Grave, and WotF to 3min CD (up from 2). (Source)

Blood Elves gain Arcane Acuity, a 1% crit passive. Arcane Torrent now restores 20RunicPower, or 1HoPo, or 3% Mana. (Also, Rage and Chi) (Source)

Orcs were one of the outliers we brought down. Lost the Axe Specialization, and Hardiness is 10% Stun reduction (down from 15%). (Source)
Blood Fury is unchanged. Every Man For Himself, we're still evaluating. Itemization changes may mean no nerf needed. (Source)

Tauren's Endurance becomes +X Stamina. Brawn is a new passive which increases Crit Damage/Healing by 2%. (Source)

Can you tell us what exactly will be changing with the Troll racial Berserking?
Reduced to 15% Haste (down from 20%). (Source)

Will there be any changes to Worgen and Goblin racials?
Not much. They were about at baseline. Time is Money becomes real 1% Haste, not just attack speed / cast speed. Subtle diff. (Source)

Re the squish, simple yes/no question-- will noninstanced world bosses like Oondasta be soloable at level 100?
I'd be surprised if really skilled players didn't solo him at 100. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if a couple are close already. (Source)

Any idea what enchants & set bonuses that currently reduce disarm duration will turn into?
We'll change the set bonuses but the weapon chains won't be relevant anymore. (Source)

PvP trinkets now grant immunity to reapplication of an effect from the same spell= bad idea, everything else good.
You actually want to trinket a Solar Beam, and have it instantly reapply to you? (Source)

"Long fears are now shorter in PvP due to the added benefit of a fear changing the players position." How short?
6sec instead of 8sec. (Source)

Is paralyze dispellable? Like cyclone is going to be.
It's a physical effect, like gouge, so it can't be dispelled.
Cyclone is not a physical effect?
No it's magic
Magic in WoD, you mean? It's always been Physical CC.
It's more of a "behind the curtain" thing here. It's actually magic, it just isn't dispellable. (Source)

Can we expect more relative damage in WoD with the reduced amount of cc?
We're reducing crit damage done to players by 25% (i.e. crits do 150% damage against players). Damage will be more consistent. (Source)

The blog doesn't mention abilities that break CC, which is significantly more powerful (Lichborne, Fear Ward, TT, BRage..)
In a world where we have too much CC and we're trying to tip the balance away, I can't see going after breaks as aggressively. (Source)
What about mechanics like subterfuge/dematerialize? Those are really bad mechanics..
Subterfuge no longer leaves the rogue in stealth but provides the rogue access to stealth abilities. (Source)
Will there be changes to all the root breaks that melee have now that they all share a DR and we have less instants?
Certainly concerned about all the root breaks. We haven't arrived at exactly what we want there yet.
What about interrupts? Skull bash/rebuke staying?
Interrupts are staying. We think their gameplay is more interesting than blanket silences. (Source)
If interrupts dont have globalCD & casters dont cast a lot,then I disagree.Its just random, no-skill
Our other changes will mean a lot more casting, fewer instants. (Source)
Will Interrupts remain off the GCD?
Yes, that's just a gameplay feel issue. (Source)

Confused about "Removed Silence effects from interrupts." No more 3s lockout on kick?
No more silence on counterspell, spear hand strike, silencing shot, etc. Things that added a silence to an interrupt. But a spell that is specifically a silence, like, well Silence, isn't going away. (Source)
So no more blanket silence as a CC unless Spriest?
There are others like Strangulate. (Source)
Short silence, or wait for a cast for a longer interrupt. how is that not a choice?
Disagree. It feels like people more often use it to silence and the lock out ends up as a bonus. (Source)
What about the "Spell locks"? Will Wind Shear still have a 2 sec lockout and will CS keep it's X secs?
Yeah, interrupts still lockout the interrupted spell school for X sec. (Source)

Are you going to do some kind of pass with the goal of equalizing CC is some way? IE: Each class has like 1-2 CC spells?
Some classes will have more control than others. (Source)

Are PvP set bonuses going to be reworked? I think it would be cool if they were really interesting like PvE bonuses.
Probably. Some classes rely on their set bonuses more than others. (Source)

With the stat squish, number retuning, and CC changes are you looking to make PVP fights overall longer or shorter?
We'd like to see people rotting and healers having to triage more. No one likes 100-0 gameplay.
So overall it would take longer to die/kill someone, but it is also much harder to heal someone back to full?
That would be the goal (Source)

Regarding removing CDs, which is likely gonna be cut for Ferals Berserk or Tiger Fury or both?
Both of those are staying. Tiger's Fury is on the border between feeling like a DPS cooldown and a rotational button. Keeping it because it has significant impact on your rotation; good gameplay. (Source)

So the 197 of CJL's damage (6 * (197 + 1[1.2] * Attack power * 0.386) is going away?
Correct, no more base damage on spells. (Source)

Does "One type of ability that we focused on removing is temporary power buffs (aka "cooldowns")" mean hero/lust/windfury/etc?
We're keeping Bloodlust/Heroism as the only raid-wide throughput cooldown. No more Stormlash/SkullBanner. Time Warp, Ancient Hysteria stay. We count those all as the same thing, just different sources of the same buff.(Source)
When are we getting those changed from Haste to Amp? Makes much better sense as raid cooldown
Based on our experiments with the SoO trinkets, we're holding off on doing Amp and Cleave as stats, at least for now. (Source)
Plans for a different new secondary to take its place then? DPS could use more options. (I know readiness+multistrike)
Crit/Haste/Mastery/Readiness/Multistrike. We think 5 is enough for now. Will make sure none are terrible. (Source)

What of the Raid Wide CDs, other than Bloodlust, like devotion aura?
Defensive cooldowns stay. May tweak them of course, but as a concept they stay. Only offensive one will be Bloodlust (etc). (Source)
Wait, the ONLY offensive cooldown will be Hero/BL/etc? Every other one is gone?
No, only *raid-wide* offensive cooldown is Bloodlust. I'm referring to removing Stormlash and Skull Banner. (Source)

I'm worried that class flavour spells are going to vanish. Things that don't take up keybind space, like Enslave Demon/Undead.
We're less concerned about removing those (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Death Knights' runeforges. Anything new there, yet?
Couple tweaks, but nothing ready to announce yet. Not an overhaul. (Source)

DKs don't fit in a world with fewer CCs.They r essentially gonna become immune CC.(other than slow/root)
Then root them? (Source)

Druid (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Can you still NS healing abilities? or is NS just going completely?
You can NS all other spells. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
What about Silence/Counter Shot for Hunters. How will you go about changing these?
Counter Shot stays, Silencing Shot goes (Source)

NS Clone/PoM poly gone is a good change. Wyvern Sting gone as well I presume?
Wyvern is still available. Hunters have had other changes to their CC (Silencing Shot gone for example). (Source)

With all incap sharing DR will scatter and trap now DR w/ each other? How will hunters land traps?
Scatter Shot is gone. Traps arm and activate instantly. (Source)
"arms and active instantly"? Does that mean it can be fired at a person directly to be trapped? No luncher
No, it has to be placed and has a travel time. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
How will combustion work in relation to the new "dynamic" dots? Popping CDs just to have them be meaningless after
Combustion is based on the damage of the Ignite, so will not dynamically change. (Source)

Re pet-cast CC: Freeze going away? If so, room for a non-CC replacement?
Water Elemental Freeze is staying. However, there is a minor talent that teaches Squirt a new spell that shares a cooldown with it (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Divine favor is gone right?
Healadins had a whole bunch of cooldowns. Merged some of them together. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
For example, are Combat Rogues going to See AR and Shadow Blades combined?
Killing Spree and Adrenaline Rush for Combat, Vendetta for Assassination, Shadow Dance for Subtlety. Plus talents. (Source)

Shadow blades gone? I'd love that.
Yes, Shadow Blades lost the roll of which Rogue cooldown to cut. (Source)

Is preparation considered bloat? I think it's good having the choice, I hate abilities with 2 charges it promotes tunelling
We're exploring an idea where Preparation becomes a passive. Details still being worked out. (Source)

Removing tricks damage modifier as well, yes please?
Yes, Tricks of the Trade no longer increases damage. Yay! (Source)
Is it going to be free, then?
Oh, yes. Tricks is free. (Source)
Awesome, now it's pure utility! It's not as needed anymore with threat buffs it's still an old fav
Indeed. We expect it to be used for helping pick up new adds, that sort of thing. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Regarding pet-cast CC, will Seduction still be in the game as it currently exists?
A nerfed version. We don't like so much CC coming from the pets. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
The blog post implies that Charge is going to be changed to a root after all?
Yes Charge will become a root. Our stance was we liked that change, but 5.4.7 wasn't the right time to do it. (Source)
Will Warbringer still add a stun? That will be the only choice for PVP, jumping charges with Freedom/druid shifting/windwalk totem
Yes, Warbringer will be a short stun off DR. Players will be able to get the same behavior with a talent.
Warbringer stun off of DR seems counter to the idea that all stuns share a DR.
There are a number things with very short duration that do not share DR. (Source)
Clarify very short? Heard warbringer will be a 3 second stun. Also presume they DR with themselves? (warbringer rotations in RBGs)
Basically baseline charge, 1.5 seconds. (Source)
Charge should remain as is change the talents instead!
We like the added mobility that the talents give, but charge stun every 12 seconds is too much. (Source)
by Published on 2014-02-28 02:02 AM

Dev Watercooler: Pruning the Garden of War
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Development on World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor is progressing well, and we'll soon be ready to enter the first phases of public testing. To help prep you for battle, let’s break down some of the upcoming changes we’re making to stats, abilities, and crowd control for the expansion.

Stat Squish
Character progression is one of the hallmarks of any role-playing game, and naturally that means we're always adding more power for players to acquire. After multiple expansions and content updates, we've reached a point where the numbers for health, damage, and other stats are so big they’re no longer easy for players to grasp. What’s more, a lot of power granularity is tied up in tiers of older content, from Molten Core to Dragon Soul—and while it was once necessary for your character's power to spike up suddenly when you hit level 70, that’s not the case anymore.

In order to bring things down to a more understandable level, we'll be reducing the scale of stats throughout the game and smoothing out those obsolete spikes, so that power scales linearly through questing content from levels 1 to 85. This applies to creatures, spells, abilities, consumables, gear . . . everything. And while that means your numbers for stats and damage are being reduced by a huge amount, the same goes for creatures' health and damage output. For example, a Fireball that previously hit a creature for 450,000 out of his 3,000,000 health (15% of its health) may now hit that same creature for 30,000 out of its 200,000 health (still 15% of its health).

It's important to understand that this isn’t a nerf—in effect, you’ll still be just as powerful, but the numbers that you see will be easier to comprehend. This also won’t reduce your ability to solo old content. In fact, to provide some additional peace of mind, we're implementing further scaling of your power against lower-level targets so that earlier content will be even more accessible than it is now.

We’re also removing all base damage on player spells and abilities and adjusting attack power or spell power scaling as needed, making it so that all specializations will scale at the same rate.

Racial Traits
We want races to have fun and interesting perks, but if some of those traits are too powerful, players may feel compelled to play a specific race even if it’s not really the one they want to play. For example, Trolls' Berserking ability was extremely powerful, and their Beast Slaying passive was either completely irrelevant or tremendously powerful, based on the situation, compared to other racial traits. On the other end of the spectrum, many races had few or no performance-affecting perks. On top of that, a number of racials that currently grant Hit or Expertise will soon need replacing, since those stats are being removed in Warlords of Draenor.

To keep racials more in line with one another, we’ve decided to bring down the couple high outliers, then establish a fair baseline and bring everyone else up to that. We’re accomplishing this by improving old passives, replacing obsolete ones, and adding a few new ones where necessary. Ultimately, our goal is to achieve much better parity among races.

Ability Pruning
Over the years, we've added significantly more new spells and abilities than we've removed, and the game’s complexity has steadily increased. We’re to the point now where players are starting to get overwhelmed, sometimes feeling like they need dozens of keybinds (in a few extreme cases, over a hundred). While the game is loaded with niche abilities that could theoretically be useful in some rare scenario, in reality, many of these are barely used at all—and in some cases, the game would simply be better off without them.

For Warlords of Draenor, we decided that we needed to pare down the number of abilities available to each class and spec in order to remove some of that unnecessary complexity. That means restricting some abilities to certain specs that really need them instead of being class-wide, and outright removing some other abilities. It also includes removing some Spellbook clutter, such as passives that we can merged with other passives or base abilities.

This doesn’t mean that we want to reduce the depth of gameplay or dumb things down. We still want players to face interesting decisions during combat, and we still want skill to matter . . . but we can achieve that without the needless complexity in the game now, and we can remove some of the game’s more convoluted mechanics while maintaining depth and skill variety.

One type of ability that we focused on removing is temporary power buffs (aka "cooldowns"). Removing these also helps achieve one of our other goals, which is to reduce the amount of cooldown stacking in the game. In cases where a class or spec has multiple cooldowns that typically end up getting used together (often in a single macro), we merged them, or removed some of them entirely.

The process of determining which spells and abilities to cut or change is a very complex one—we know that every ability feels vital to someone, and we don't take this process lightly. Even if we ended up cutting your favorite ability, we hope you’ll understand why we did so in the context of our larger goals for the expansion. Ultimately, the point of these changes is to increase players' ability to understand the game, not to reduce gameplay depth.

Crowd Control and Diminishing Returns
One other big takeaway from Mists of Pandaria is that there is currently simply too much crowd control (CC) in the game, especially when it comes to PvP. To address that, we knew that we needed an across-the-board disarmament.

Here's a summary of the player-cast CC changes:

  • Removed Silence effects from interrupts. Silence effects still exist, but are never attached to an interrupt.
  • Removed all Disarms.
  • Reduced the number of Diminishing Returns (DR) categories.
  • All Roots now share the same DR category.
    • Exception: Roots on Charge-type abilities have no DR category, but have a very short duration instead.
  • All Stuns now share the same DR category.
  • All Incapacitate (sometimes called "mesmerize") effects now share the same DR category and have been merged with the Horror DR category.
  • Removed the ability to make cast-time CC spells instant with a cooldown.
  • Removed many CC spells entirely, and increased the cooldowns and restrictions on others.
    • Pet-cast CC is more limited, and in many cases has been removed.
    • Cyclone can now be dispelled by immunities and Mass Dispel.
    • PvP trinkets now grant immunity to reapplication of an effect from the same spell cast when they break abilities with persistent effects, like Solar Beam.
    • Long fears are now shorter in PvP due to the added benefit of a fear changing the players position.

Additionally, we've significantly reduced the number of throughput-increasing cooldowns and procs in order to further reduce burst damage.

Whether your favorite class is losing an ability or taking a hit to its CC potential, we hope this discussion helped you better understand why we’re making these changes. It’s important to remember that other classes will be getting some of their CC removed too. We think this entire package will make exploring Azeroth and PvPing a more enjoyable experience for everyone, and we’re looking forward to having you try them out when we open up the expansion for testing.

In the next Dev Watercooler, we'll explore the changes coming to health and healing in Warlords of Draenor.
by Published on 2014-02-27 09:38 AM

Update (7:15 PM EST): Bashiok shared some more about the post:
Originally Posted by Bashiok (Blue Tracker)
The goal with the blog going up today is largely to paint a broad picture of some interconnected systems changes. From the recent press tour there's been a lot of confusion and misconceptions because individual changes are being seen without a larger context of the expansion as a whole. We're just looking to provide a little more of that context. If you've been following interviews and information very closely this will likely be interesting, but probably not revelatory.

And because you want to release all this info before beta hits, and not have it leak out in crazy ways during a beta release... right?... Give people time to digest and look at the changes before it explodes. So beta Soon-er(tm)?
Mmmm, no, we have very in-depth patch notes ready to be posted the second the first public phase of beta begins. We're not there yet though, of course.
Update (1:15 PM EST): Rygarius shared a time (6 PM PST)
Update (8 AM EST): Celestalon shared more about this blog post. (System changes, widespread class changes, and CC changes, but not many specific class changes)

Legendaries Found Now Will (After All) Unlock Their Transmog Visuals, Malthael's In-Game Model; TL;DR: Patch 2.0.1 Notes

Coming Soon: New Hearthstone Card Backs

Confirmed: Hero Rotation is Weekly + Week 3 Rotation, Skin Preview: Shan'do Illidan

Warlords of Draenor - Upcoming Blog Posts
It looks like we will be seeing the first of the promised Warlords of Draenor updates either today or tomorrow! The second blog post will be about healing.

Warlords of Draenor Developer Tweets
While preparing those blog posts, the developers have been teasing with small bits of information over the past few days.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Interesting. But if they're tied to certain specs, why make them talents at all? Why not keep it streamlined?
Because spec-specific talents are still talents. You still choose them over other choices. The choice may just be different.
(We already do this all the time in MoP, we just don't name them differently currently) (Source)

Druid (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
How many do druids have, just thought of that.
I think 30? The count hasn't changed since BlizzCon, I believe. (But several talents have) (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
There are 29 Mage talents
29 implies at least one of the tiers has an irregular amount of options. Looking forward to the update!
Four of the talent slots have a different talent for each spec. 17 shared + 4 spec-specific * 3 specs = 29
Mage talents have received significant revision. Currently: 12 brand new, 3 existing/old spells now talents, 4 w/ major changes. (Source)

Please tell me combustion was removed. I beg you. I have _HATED_ it ever since it was reworked before Cata.
Combustion has not been removed. It's pretty core to Fire Mage gameplay. (Source)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Keep that thesaurus handy when naming new Monk abilities. If I see the word "chi" in another spell, I'll know you ignored it!
I can tell you that there is one less 'Chi' named spell in the talent tree now, than there was at BlizzCon. *sly grin* (Source)

Are monks losing Healing Sphere in wod?
The spell to manually summon them, yes. Other spec abilities still summon them. Yes, changes will be made to account for this. (Source)
We're removing it because of the bad gameplay it provided, despite its power. Healing Sphere was spam clicking on an intended target's feet, trying to account for their movement and latency, tight hit area. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
There are a total of 25 unique Paladin talents, currently. May change, still pre-alpha, etc. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
wtb venom zest tooltip
Increases your maximum energy by 15. Increases your energy regeneration rate by 5% for every enemy you have poisoned, up to 3. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
What about a couple of the Shaman abilities being removed in the ~20% ability pruning?
Feral Spirits no longer have the Spirit Bite ability. (Source)

Anything change about Rainstorm since the Blizzcon iteration? That one in particular seemed dull for the dps inclined among us.
Condensation Totem remains. Storm Armor replaced with Shocking Lava, which increases Shock damage after Lava Burst/Lash, stacking. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
So are you saying that talents with spec-specific abilities will have those spec-specifics given unique names?
Yes. If I'm Affliction, I see Soulburn: Haunt in the left talent slot. If I'm Demo, I see Demonbolt. If Destro, Charred Remains. (Source)

What kind of interaction is there between Grimoire of Sup/Service/Sac Tier and Demonic Servitude?
Supremacy/Service fully support Demonic Servitude. Sacrificing your Doomguard/Infernal is probably a mistake.
Demonic Servitude makes your Summon Doomguard spell summon a permanent pet, instead of a temporary one.
The discussion is if we still have them as CDs if we don't pick servitude. I'd rather see them gone.
Yes, you still have them as cooldowns if you don't pick Demonic Servitude.
Demonic Servitude is intentionally simple, mostly passive, gameplay-wise. (Source)

Patch 5.4.7 Hotfixes - February 26
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
  • Death Knight (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Resolved an issue where overlapping Anti-Magic Zones were causing the effect to expire more quickly than intended.
  • Hunter (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
    • Hunter Pets
      • Resolved an issue where Hunter pets were able to incorrectly retain the Lightning Charge debuff from Servants of Siamat from the Lost City of the Tol'vir.
  • Mage (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
    • Frost
      • Resolved an issue where Icicles stored by Frost Mage's Mastery: Icicles was dealing more damage than intended when used against party or raid members that are under a Mind Control or Charm effect from NPCs in PvE.
  • Priest (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Levitate can no longer be cast on players that are under the effects of a Nitro Boost.
      • Prayer of Mending's healing should now be reduced correctly when cast on a target with the Mortal Wounds effect.
    • Holy
      • Lightwell should no longer incorrectly consume an extra charge while healing players other than the casting Priest.
  • Shaman (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Resolved an issue where the duplicated healing done by the Restoration version of Ascendance was incorrectly factoring in Battle Fatigue and healing reduction effects on allied targets a second time.
  • Warlock (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Resolved an issue where players that are under a stealth effect can use up a Blood Horror charge without triggering the Horror effect.

Pet Battle
  • Resolved an issue that was causing Battle Pet abilities with a high miss chance to hit more often than intended.

Patch 5.4.7 MMR Bug
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
There was indeed a bug with MMR calculations when Patch 5.4.7 was first released to North American servers. We were able to isolate the bug and apply a hotfix for it before the patch was released in other regions, but unfortunately are still a small number of players on the North American ladder who were able to gain some unfairly high ratings before the hotfix could be applied to NA servers.

Fortunately, we've since been able to correct the issue, and affected players should start to see their ratings fall in line with where they should be as they continue playing matches. Furthermore, should a player choose to sit on an unfairly high rating in the hopes of earning end-of-season rewards they would not have otherwise qualified for, we’ll be able to adjust those ratings individually. Otherwise, it’s completely safe to continue playing as normal without fear of any upcoming actions negatively affecting your rating.

We don't think this situation calls for a rating wipe. We were able to fix the bug quickly enough that only a very small number of players were affected, and those that were will see their ratings stabilize before long. Those that choose to sit on their ratings, we'll be able to correct manually, so there's no risk of long-term damage to the ladder.

I totally understand why it's frustrating in the short term if you're one of the few players who were affected, and we apologize for that. We just don't think it's fair to the vast majority of unaffected players to do a wipe, when there's nothing wrong with their ratings at all.

Free Character Migrations Available (EU)
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
If you're on one of the source realms listed below, you can move your characters to one of the designated destination realms and avoid the queues—for free!

By initiating one of these transfers, you will be moving your character to a new realm and home. This is a one-time, one-way move. If you wish to move your character elsewhere, you will need to use the paid transfer service.

  • Draenor -> Kilrogg / Stormrage
  • Silvermoon -> Kilrogg / Stormrage
  • Kazzak -> Auchindoun
  • Outland -> Auchindoun
  • Ragnaros -> Auchindoun
  • Stormscale -> Auchindoun
  • Sylvanas -> Auchindoun
  • Twisting Nether -> Auchindoun

Please be aware that, due to the unpredictable nature of free transfers, we may close down any Free Character Migrations at any time and without warning if the target realm becomes full. If you plan to move with friends or your guild, we suggest that you coordinate the effort to reduce the chance of any stragglers being left behind.

Early closures aside, this set of Free Character Migrations will end on Tuesday, March 5.

Begin a Free Character Migration now! We recommend reviewing the FAQ, as it details what is or isn't allowed for transferred characters.

New Hearthstone Card Backs
It looks like Hearthstone will be getting new card backs for players that hit legendary, play ranked matches, take part in promotions, and other things. You can find more details on Hearthpwn!

Shan'do Illidan Skin
Regular Illidan, Fel Illidan, and now Shan'do Illidan skins have turned up for Heroes of the Storm. You can never have too many Illidans!

by Published on 2014-02-26 09:09 AM

Diablo III - Patch 2.0.1 Notes

Hearthside Chat - Art with Ben Thompson

Planned Alpha Wipe with Reward for Testing Real Money Purchase, Datamined Facts Behind the Heroes Free to Play Model

Warlords of Draenor Developer Interviews
There were a few developer interviews at the recent press events, so today we are taking a look at interviews with Ion Hazzikostas from Eurogamer and Brian Holinka from PlayersCut.

  • The Level 90 boost is being sold to allow players that would have purchased multiple copies of WoW to get more Level 90 characters to do so in a more reasonable way.
  • The price point was decided upon to avoid devaluing the accomplishment of leveling a character to 90.
  • If Blizzard's goal was to sell as many boosts as possible, they would have set the price lower.
  • The price point wasn't selected to maximize profit, just to represent the amount of time that it takes to level to 90.

  • The team has already started planning for the next two expansions.
  • Removing arena teams was an important part of increasing participation in arenas.
  • There is a lot of Garrison content that comes from having followers.
  • Patch 6.0 isn't the end of new content for Garrisons, as more content can be added as the expansion progresses.
  • The devs know that some kind of Garrison PvP sounds really cool, but there aren't any solid plans yet.
  • Ashran has a lot of players taking part in the battle, but they are spread out so that performance doesn't suffer. Ashran has a fortress for each faction, as well as capture points spread around the outside of the zone that are beneficial to hold. There will likely be a larger central battle with other battles going on around the outer part of the zone.
  • There aren't any plans for mobile content for WoW right now.
  • The technology for character model animation was finally at a point where models could updated for this expansion. Character models had also started to look outdated compared to some of the newer art assets in the game. The Pandaren were the test for new character models, and using lessons learned from them the team can update all of the other races.
  • There are so many older armor models that it isn't possible to go back and update them all. The team can use them as inspiration for new armor sets though.

PvP Season 15 Begins
Season 15 gear uses the same models as Season 14, but with different colors available to each faction.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With weapons at the ready and armor secured, it’s time to kick off PvP Season 15! The playing field is even once more, and this is your chance to prove that true grit and steely determination are what it takes to become a champion. So grab your most trusted companions and teach your enemies the true definition of fear!

Before you set foot in an Arena or on a Battleground, keep in mind we’ve made a few changes this season:

  • Conquest gear is now Item Level 550
  • The Dampening debuff will be applied in 2v2 matches 5 minutes after the start of an Arena match, and games will reach a draw at 20 minutes. Dampening decreases the effectiveness of healing spells by 1% every 10 seconds.
  • Base Resilience is now 77% (up from 72%).
  • Battle Fatigue is now 65% (up from 55%).

Good luck, champions—may the most bloodthirsty warriors win!

Season 14 Titles
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
These titles and achievements were indeed given out erroneously, and we're in the process of applying some fixes that will remove them from characters below level 90.

One additional clarification, since we've seen this question come up elsewhere: These titles went out completely separately from the ladder, and thus did not affect the number of titles given to max-level players in any way. No one is missing titles due to this error.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
I'd like to point out Life Tap, which changes to a passive and maintains its bar position for destruction. I like that.
Seems like there has been much confusion about this tweet. It refers to how 3 active talents share 1 button without macros. (Celestalon)
What if it's a tier where one of the talents is passive? It will be an empty slot then?
Then we likely would not make the other two share a button like that. (Celestalon)
Couldn't talents be adjusted so that they can be made into one skill slot. Tiger's Lust is the only ability 1/2
No, we don't want to constrict our design space to 'only new buttons' or 'no new buttons' for a row. Mixtures are great sometimes (Celestalon)
So stuff like the warrior tier with Bladestorm etc
Yes; we could make Shockwave, Dragon Roar, and Bladestorm all share a button, so you don't have to swap after retalenting. (Celestalon)
Would it be Macro-able? Like "/cast Tier3Talent" or something?
Something like that. Mages already can do /cast Mage Bomb. (Celestalon)

Cool or Uncool: Instead of separate spells, procs like Pyro/MC change upgrade Fireball/Shadowbolt. #ButtonBloatProbz
We think we could do a lot more spell replacement. (holinka)

Personally, maintaining %dmg buffs is not interesting gameplay. There's a reason ISF got cut from Destro.
It depends on *how* you maintain it. If it just happens, it's just rampup. If your rotation molds around it, it can be cool/fun. (Celestalon)
could we rebalance lavalash to not require flame imbue? it doesnt feel like weapon imbues are optional at all
Weapon imbues are not intended to be optional. (Celestalon)
Not saying imbues should necces be passive, but if they are active they need to provide meaningful gameplay.
When you get to the point of complaining about the maintenance upkeep of a 1hr buff, that persists through death... (Celestalon)

What are your thoughts on passive immunities like dematerialize & subterfuge, Holinka? Are they staying for WoD?
Not committed to either staying. (holinka)

Will the new char. models change Tauren male dual weilding's graphic to stop the left hand weapon from slanting to the left?
Yes; the latest in-progress version has the weapon turned around completely and clipping into your crotch. (I'd hope so.) (Dave_Maldo)

Character / Items
Why is there a need for catch up loot? Why are we encouraged to skip old tiers of content in every expac?
Many reasons. A big one is so that the playerbase is centralized; easier for guild recruiting, playing with friends, etc. (Celestalon)

Warlords of Draenor Stats
passive != fun! is math not fun? is altering your fantasy incarnation via the universal language useful?
We're not making stats more/less passive. Math is fun. I don't understand what your issue is. I suspect a misunderstanding. (Celestalon)
excuse my bad jokes. just that balancing stats, building different gear sets for different situations, etc, was a lot of fun. ->
And still will be. We're not getting rid of that, at all. (Celestalon)

Obv, I'm talking about Active Mitigation scaling. If Multistrike provides only dps/threat, it will be a garbage stat for tanks.
All secondary stats will be of defensive value for tanks. Some may be passive mitigation, some may be active mitigation. (Celestalon)

Can you please clarify the requirements for Hero of the Horde/Alliance?
let's say there's 1000 ppl above 1000, then top 5 get hero. If #5 doesn't have 50 games, then #6 gets hero. (holinka)

Have you guys considered random starting locations and horde v horde, af v af in random bgs? (maybe not all)
many players find the faction swap in RBGs quite jarring. Not something we want to expand on. (holinka)

I dont think you ever commented on what you think the prob is in AV/IOC. Thoughts?
IoC I blame mostly on a bug in 5.3 where Alliance could leave gates early and win most games. (holinka)
This damaged the hivemind view of Horde win chance in the bg and so sophisticated horde avoid it. (holinka)
AV has map problems, but Horde also avoid it, making the situation even worse. (holinka)
Some might think map design is only problem but even on mirrored maps, one faction fares better. (holinka)
Much obliged; very relieved to hear the AV map is suspect. I've said this for awhile. Thanks!
Woah, easy there. I said it has problems, but I'm not sure they are HUGE problems. (holinka)
Not to be rude but if you know AV has problems, why has nothing been done in 8+ years?
AV has gone through a lot of change in 8 years (holinka)

Final win to loss ratio 4 ally in ioc: 100 wins, 2 losses. How do devs look at those stats and call them fair-balanced?
We've been pretty clear on saying there's a problem but it's more complicated to fix than some players think. (holinka)

Heroes of the Storm - Illidan
Illidan is just one of the WoW characters that appear in Heroes of the Storm! (He also comes with a normal skin that we looked at recently)

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