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by Published on 2015-11-13 11:25 AM

Update: Gnome Hunters!

Patch 2.4 Available on PTR, Patch 2.4 Preliminary Patch Notes, Set Dungeon Hints

League of Explorers: Temple of Orsis Boss Guides - Zinaar, Sun Raider Phaerix, Temple Escape

Weekly Rotation and Sales, Preseason Leaderboards October 2015, WTF Moments #23

Timothy Ford - Lead Programmer Interview by TGN Squadron

Patch 6.2.3 PTR - Build 20726
There was another PTR build tonight that was flagged as Release, no major changes from the previous one. We got the PvP Season ending warning a few weeks ago, so it should be going live soon!



Blizzcon - Legion Developer Interview
Final Boss had the opportunity to talk to Lead Game Designer Luis Barriga at Blizzcon.


  • The UI has been updated with new health bars. (Example from Vanion's stream)
  • All of the new things that made Warlords leveling great will be a part of Legion leveling in one form or another.
  • The team has spaced out the cinematics during leveling differently this time, rather than just doing one cinematic at the end of each zone.
  • Alliance get a Genn Greymane quest line and Horde get a Sylvanas quest line in Stormheim.
  • In Warlords, if you skipped the rares while leveling you would go back to find they were no longer a challenge and no longer had relevant rewards. In Legion they will scale with your level, so you can go back and kill them for a challenge and better reward.
  • The team hears the requests for Stormwind Park repairs, but no comments on it for now. "You never know, you ask for something long enough and you never know what will happen"
  • The main-hand and off-hands for the Artifact weapons will change their look together, you can't pick and choose each individually. There is only one icon for these items, you click it and both main-hand and off-hand are filled. The technology is there to be used elsewhere if needed after Artifacts.
  • The team touched up the melee animations for Legion, so some of the clipping issues may have been resolved. In some poses the largest models may still have clipping issues.
  • Rogues got new finisher animations, Warriors got a new Mortal Strike animation, swipes and effects also were updated.
  • The team is investigating showing weapons somehow for bear form Druids. They aren't sure if it can be done, but they will get customization to their bear form when they have the Artifact equipped.
  • Multistrike causing two melee ability animations to go off was slightly problematic, as it would be more noticeable if you very quickly did two Moral Strikes.
  • All classes have multiple legendary items, with some being specific to a class, spec, or role and some being more universal.
  • If any, very few of the legendary items are BoE, they should be BoP. The intention is to create really awesome reward moments, not something to buy.


Legion Class Preview Feedback
Now that the class blogs are done we can take a look at all of the feedback so far from the developers!

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Death Knight (Forums)
will Blood DKs get some on demand AoE for getting threat on more targets if DnD is on CD?
Blood still has access to Blood Boil for spreading diseases and generating threat. (WarcraftDevs)

Cons spammable to be always up, D&D for 10s every 30s? I feel like we need better cleave. Like a Heart Strike talent.
Crimson Scourge will help with your AOE capabilities. Plus, there is just such a talent. (WarcraftDevs)

Blood DK Bone Shield is a buff w/ charges that players need to watch. Removed from most specs due to UI, why is Blood exempt?
Bone Shield charges will also display on the Marrowrend icon. (WarcraftDevs)
do bone shield still have an internal cooldown for triggering charges?
Yes, still one second. (WarcraftDevs)

Why wouldn't DKs ignore the new Killing Machine? From the article, would be ignored by design; Obliterate randomly crits more.
It's still possible to overwrite (waste) Killing Machine procs if you don't use them before the next proc. (WarcraftDevs)

Any chance Killing Machine devaluing crit will be addressed?
Different stats having different values isn't bad, as long as they're not terrible. Either way, yes, several talents affect this. (WarcraftDevs)

As a noob DK, dw frost rotation has seemed unintuitive. If I should only use Oblit with KM, force it as unusable outside it?
Obliterate will be useful both with and without Killing Machine. You'll still want to minimize wasted KM procs, though. (WarcraftDevs)

Just for clarification KM only affects obliterate now and not frost strike? not a typo?
Correct, not a typo. However, it may be modified by talents. (WarcraftDevs)

clarification... Does legion outbreak apply diseases every 1 second for 6 seconds in an aoe?
Yes. The target pulses the disease application every second for 6 seconds. (WarcraftDevs)

Would 1 Scourge Strike pop all the Festering Wounds on your target? Like, is the plan FS, FS, FS, SS or is it FS, SS, SS, SS?
Scourge Strike triggers only one Festering Wound at a time. (WarcraftDevs)

Clarify Frost Fever? You have a chance to get a 30 sec buff? A chance to get RP on tick?
Each time Frost Fever deals damage, the Death Knight has a chance to gain Runic Power. (WarcraftDevs)

I like the DK preview but I am concerned about the Frost rotation. It is VERY simple. Is additional rotational depth coming?
Baseline classes in Legion lean a little simpler, so that we can add a wide array of complexity via talents. (WarcraftDevs)

Is it safe to assume that Death and decay and Defile are gone for frost dk's in place of remorseless winter for an AOE CD?
Yes, Frost DKs will have Remorseless Winter for AoE, along with a few potential talents. (WarcraftDevs)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Druid (Forums)
Do Druids lose access to forms not associated with their spec or affinity or does everyone keep cat, bear, etc?
You still keep access to the forms, but have very few (or no) abilities in the ones you don't have an Affinity for. (WarcraftDevs)

How will Druid affinities work with the Artifact weapons? Will there be some kind of automatic conversion to support it?
No, Artifacts remain spec-specific. You won't need to swap weapons to use your Affinity. (WarcraftDevs)

The way I am reading it, seems like the affinity passives maybe built into their base specs?
Correct. Every Druid spec has the benefit from it's associated Affinity built in. (WarcraftDevs)

Puns aside, is hurricane still in game and useful?
Hurricane is currently planned to be an AoE damage ability for Restoration only. (WarcraftDevs)

Does Starsurge give you one of each empowerment or just one empowerment that effects both spells?
One charge of each Empowerment. You'll want to use one Lunar Strike and one Solar Wrath to spend both of them. (WarcraftDevs)

I think you have a typo on star surge preview . As awesome as Astral damage sounds don't you mean arcane damage?
Nope. The combination of Nature and Arcane schools (formerly called Spellstorm) is now called Astral. (WarcraftDevs)

With starfall being targeted now, what is the range on the area we select?
We're still tuning it, but it's intended to be very large. Something like a 15 yard radius (over 3.5x the area of Blizzard). (WarcraftDevs)
There's also a pretty fun talent that makes it 30% larger still, and allows you to cast while moving while inside it. (WarcraftDevs)

Do Balance Druids still use mana? They don't have mana costs listed in their section of the overview.
Balance Druids have a secondary mana bar that they only use outside of form, similar to Feral. (WarcraftDevs)

If I'm playing Feral w/ guardian affinity, could I perform a 3rd tank role in encounters using a 3-tank strategy?
The intention is that any Druid with Guardian Affinity can tank something, as long as it's not overly hard-hitting. (WarcraftDevs)

Are ferals supposed to be swapping to Moonkin after they dump energy to cast while regening energy in Legion?
The version of Moonkin Form granted by Balance Affinity will have a cooldown to prevent using it rotationally. (WarcraftDevs)

What is the reasoning behind keeping feral automatic stealthed rake stun in PvP? It makes for uninteresting gameplay.
Incarnation no longer affects Rake in Legion. (WarcraftDevs)

Is there any further information to share on how Rage generation will work for Guardians? Only Mangle identified in the blog.
Auto-attacks are still the most significant source of Rage for Guardians. When we get to tuning, we'll see if more is needed. (WarcraftDevs)

Where iz Maul? How can bare Maul face if bare can no Maul?
Maul is only used to turn excess Rage into damage when not tanking, so it wasn't listed in the blog. It's still available. (WarcraftDevs)

For the record, Ironfur stacks. It doesn't mean the duration increases, it means that for each charge used consecutively it goes up by 100%
It *overlaps*, which is slightly different. You gain and lose each stack individually. It doesn't just grow indefinitely. (WarcraftDevs)

Will harmony count towards spells activating it (e.g. reju buffs itself, or is it just a buff towards different spells?
A HoT will count itself for purposes of Harmony. A lone Rejuvenation will get 1x benefit from mastery. (WarcraftDevs)

Resto Druid Harmony applies to all healing done by the druid, including Tranq? Rejuv have regular GCD?
All of these guesses are correct! (WarcraftDevs)

The return of Thorns was mentioned at Blizzcon, but I don't see it here?
Restoration has Thorns as a tool to increase damage while soloing. Not all abilities are covered in the blog. (WarcraftDevs)

re: new Druid Mastery "10% per HoT" is that unique HoTs like Regrowth+Rejuv or Germination style Rejuv x2? What is max %? 50?
It counts all active HoTs. Currently, there is no cap. (WarcraftDevs)

will the first Rejuv update its current HoT value each additional HoT that comes down, or will we have to recast once fully HoTed?
It updates dynamically for all HoTs. No snapshotting. (WarcraftDevs)

is Tranquility gone or a talent?
Neither. Tranquility is still present and generally similar to its current form. (WarcraftDevs)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Hunter (Forums)
#Hunters: it's that time again! What pet families would you like to see added in #Legion? (Muffinus)

are you able to say if MM hunters can still summon a pet at all in legion? I like being petless but pet tank is convenient
They currently have a "Dark Ranger" talent which has a chance to summon an undead minion. That minion can also tank. https://t.co/6eNFhbcFBx (WarcraftDevs)

Hey is there any way hunters can keep black arrow? Give it to marksman perhaps
Yes! The current plan is for Black Arrow and Lock and Load to become Marksmanship-specific talents. (WarcraftDevs)

is aimed shot still able to be cast on the move?
No, but that's partially offset by its faster cast time, less frequent use, and the return of Arcane Shot. (WarcraftDevs)

my only concern is how punishing survival might be when losing the mongoose bite buff
Mongoose stacks aren't something you maintain. Their stacking encourages you to pool them, then use as many as you can. (WarcraftDevs)

Still trying to figure out how they want Mongoose Bite to be used. How can you get 6 stacks in 3.5s with the GCD?
The duration is refreshed with each use. You'll want to alternate Mongoose Bite and other abilities, to proc more Mongoose charges (WarcraftDevs)

flanking strike is basically kill command? Love everything else, that caught me up a little
That tooltip was slightly outdated. Flanking Strike causes you and your pet to attack at the same time. (WarcraftDevs)

What % is Surv expected to be in melee? 80? 100? New melee class?
Survival is going to be a 100% legit melee spec. (Celestalon)

For BM, are you planning on keeping BW as is? And does the 15s off BW CD from DB reduce by a further 15s every time used?
Bestial Wrath is largely unchanged. Each time you use Dire Beast, the remaining cooldown on BW is reduced. (WarcraftDevs)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mage (Forums)
If mastery increases your maximum mana, but spells still use X% of your mana, mages aren't gaining anything, clarity please?
Spell costs are a % of BASE mana. The costs don't increase with Mastery. (WarcraftDevs)

Frost mage: Will we still have Icy Veins and will it give Haste ?
Yep, and yep. (WarcraftDevs)

Is Frostfire Bolt gone? Very valuable in PvP. Sad to see Icicles sticking around, really don't like it. Shatter mastery pls.
For those who dislike Icicles, we currently have a talent planned that will replace them with a new active ability. (WarcraftDevs)

Is Ice Nova for frost mages being removed with Legion?
We recognize the issues that the Nova talents have caused, especially in PvP. (WarcraftDevs)
We're planning to test out an alternate design where they don't replace Frost Nova, but only have 1 charge. (WarcraftDevs)

can you elaborate on Flamestrike vs Pyro last on Hot Streak proc. How does Flamestrike work in #Legion
Flamestrike remains similar, though it has a longer cast time and much more damage. Alternative AoE use for Hot Streaks. (WarcraftDevs)

Concerning the fire changes, what about spreading Living Bomb/Pyro DoT? I loved seeing groups of mobs explode =(
Hot Streaked Pyroblasts and Flamestrikes create a larger Ignite, instead of their own DoT. (WarcraftDevs)
Ignite spreads on its own, and Living Bomb is spreadable via Inferno Blast. (WarcraftDevs)
will it ignore CCed targets like Starfall?
The current plan is that Ignite will not automatically spread to crowd controlled targets. (WarcraftDevs)

When it says ignite "may" spread to nearby targets, what does that actually mean?
Every 2 sec., one of your Ignites (chosen at random) will spread to a random other target within 5yd that has a weaker/no ignite. (WarcraftDevs)
'One of your ignites' - are they not all rolled into one any more?
They are still rolled into one on each target. You may have Ignite on multiple targets, though. (WarcraftDevs)
will mastery % affect the chance that it will spread?
A random Ignite will spread every 2 seconds. No further chances. (WarcraftDevs)
Clarification on the mastery chance to spread ignite. I feel like we won't have any control over our dot spreading
Curious what control you're looking for? It just spreading quickly and constantly seems almost purely better, no? (Celestalon)
Update to this, based on feedback: every 2 sec, *each* of your Ignites will spread. (WarcraftDevs)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Monk (Forums)
Are monk still keeping their mobility?
Roll, Transcendence, and several talents will continue to provide Monks with great mobility. (WarcraftDevs)

Really wondering why Brewmaster's artifact doesn't come with a keg? Even if it wasn't an artifact persay. It looks really
It actually does! We're working to tie the Brewmaster staff (including the keg) into their combat animations. (WarcraftDevs)

With Guard gone, what will Brewmasters use to mitigate magic damage?
Stagger now works against magic damage (at 50% effectiveness). (WarcraftDevs)

Does Expel Harm still exists for Brewmasters? I kind of liked it.
The gameplay from Expel Harm was merged into a new, stronger version of Gift of the Ox. (WarcraftDevs)

Elusive Brew is also better as an active ability. That dodge mastery is very unappealing. Can't stagger improve with mastery?
It's important to note that the Elusive Brawler mastery effect can stack, making it extremely reliable. (WarcraftDevs)

what's the usefulness of energy for brews now? Cooldowns and huge energy costs on tiger palm and keg smash?
Tiger Palm is actually 25 Energy for Brewmasters, 50 for Windwalker. That's a mistake in the blog, and will be fixed shortly! (WarcraftDevs)

with these changes, I feel you're making us even slower than we already are. Please don't take our identity.
Could you clarify what you're talking about? What suggests to you that it's somehow slower? Would like to help clarify it. (Celestalon)
Tigers Palm costs more energy. What about doing it the other way around? Incorporate TP on jab, since Jab is more iconic
OK. The rotation is faster, not slower, but you got the impression that it was based on the TP cost. Good to know, thanks! (Celestalon)
But, regarding my second question, don't you think jab is more iconic? TP doesn't even have that much of visual effect...
Could you double-check that? I think you might be mixing them up. Jab has virtually no visual on live, TP has a strong iconic. (Celestalon)

Chi-Ji is my favorite Celestial; I hope there are plans to bring back a Crane theme for Monks in the future?
We love Chi-Ji too! Keep an eye out for a new talent: "Invoke Chi-Ji, the Red Crane." (WarcraftDevs)

P-please tell me you didn't just remove monk stuns from FoF, that would be soul crushing
We're planning to include a PvP talent that will return the stun to Fists of Fury. (WarcraftDevs)

Is Tigereye Brew … gone?
Tigereye Brew is a classic 1.5 minute DPS cooldown now. (WarcraftDevs)

I really like the Fighting Game approach with WW. Have they got any talents related to this? Maybe something like Gauge bars?
There's a talent that enhances WW Mastery by rewarding combo chains. We're hoping to see fighting game style UI addons for it (WarcraftDevs)

wait - is jab gone? Is tiger palm the new jab? Do I not have to keep up tiger palm? Who am I?
Jab and Tiger Palm were effectively merged. There is no more Tiger Power. (WarcraftDevs)

will WW end up sitting and waiting for CDs to avoid using the same ability twice?
Windwalker's GCDs are fairly filled; relatively little time waiting around. Mastery favors ordering your abilities well. (WarcraftDevs)

please consider bringing Spinning Fire Blossom back, and make surging mist proc just like every other hybrid (Retris, Ferals..
We look forward to your feedback on Spinning Fire Blossom (and other PvP talents) once Beta begins! (WarcraftDevs)

MW mastery seems like a cheap copy of Versatility and very boring. Seems very similar to all other healer masteries except disc.
It's actually fairly different from other healer masteries: it's a flat amount, not a percentage. (WarcraftDevs)

Does the new soothing mist have a cast bar? Can it be interrupted?
Soothing Mist has a channel bar, but no duration. We're considering multiple options for how interrupts affect it. (WarcraftDevs)
Currently, we're trying it beeing uninterruptible. We may also try having it interruptible, but on the Physical school. (WarcraftDevs)
Lastly, can I move while soothing mist is active?
There's a talent which will allow you to do just that! (WarcraftDevs)

Why cast Effuse? Cast a bigger heal (like Renewing) and just let the passives do the maintenance healing over time. Same HPM.
Effuse is a fast and cheap way to start Soothing on a target. It's the Monk's answer to spells like the Priest's "Heal." (WarcraftDevs)

Is the statue gone for mistweavers? and how will they be able to level as healers with fistweaving removed?
There is a talent that brings back the Statue for players who miss it. (WarcraftDevs)

2 Mistweaver questions: still melee? and is mana tea still around?
Mana Tea is no longer present in its current form, but there is a new variant of it in talents. (WarcraftDevs)

Does this mean Mistweavers will no longer be immune to ranged mechanics? No longer considered melee?
Correct. Mistweavers will now be treated like other ranged specs for the purpose of encounter ability targeting. (WarcraftDevs)

Mistweaver clarifications: Movement will interrupt soothing mists? When Renewing mist "travels" is it removed from 1st target?
When Renewing Mist overheals, it leaves the overhealed target, and moves to a new target. (WarcraftDevs)

love the new mistweavers kit. Any chance there's a talent to make essence font like rjw, cast other things while using it?
The channel on Essence Font is there to help balance its large amount of total healing. At 3 seconds, it's still quite flexible. (WarcraftDevs)

With FW gone for MW what damaging abilities do we have for "solo questing outdoors"? Not mad crane is rip,just wondering.
Mistweaver will still have melee abilities for dealing damage, they're just not dual-purposed into providing smart heals. (WarcraftDevs)
In a world where healers are to do more damage in the down time during bosses, how are we to do that at range?
During an encounter where you can't be in melee, Crackling Jade Lightning makes a good fallback. (WarcraftDevs)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Paladin (Forums)
does haste will continue to lower CDs and GCD?
Yes, Haste continues to lower GCDs and the CDs of rotational abilities, same as before. (WarcraftDevs)

if Holy paladins have only cast time heals, how are they supposed to move and cast to be near targets?
Check out Light of the Martyr. (Celestalon)

Is Mastery: Lightbringer Linear with distance or some other shape?
It's generally linear, but there is a minimum radius in which you will always receive 100% benefit. (WarcraftDevs)

Does Lightbringer heal the tank through the Beacon if you have Beacon of the Lightbringer?
Lightbringer affects your direct heal already, so it doesn't affect the Beacon transfer again. (WarcraftDevs)
So if I heal the tank who has Beacon he won't get any benefit from Lightbringer unless I'm stood next to the tank?
If you have Beacon of the Lightbringer and cast directly onto your Beacon, it will get 100% mastery benefit. (WarcraftDevs)

How will HPal mast affect Beacon? Will Beacon xfer 50% of total heal or will it be lowered by being further away
The Beacon will transfer 50% of the total heal, regardless of where the Beacon target is standing. (WarcraftDevs)

Hey any chance my holy pally can get some damage in, I always enjoyed hitting a crusader strike for an hp, or melee for mana
We don't want to force Holy Paladins into attacking as part of their rotation, but talents can add that gameplay by choice. (WarcraftDevs)

Will we see changes to holy pal. mobility to complement the requirement for proximity (& thus more movement)? Cant run & cast.
We added an extremely strong spell for Holy Paladin mobility. Check out Light of the Martyr. (WarcraftDevs)


the new ret paladin rotation seems to possibly have a lot of downtime. Will other spells and talents play a part as well?
Absolutely. The baseline rotation has a fair bit of room in it, because talents fill quite a few GCDs. (WarcraftDevs)

will Retribution still have Hammer of Wrath?
Hammer of Wrath has been removed in order to improve class/spec distinction. (1/3) (WarcraftDevs)
Warriors are intended to be the kings of the Execute mechanic, and others had crept too far into that territory. (WarcraftDevs)
However, for those who may miss throwing Hammers, there's a snazzy new visual on Judgment that may interest you! (3/3) (WarcraftDevs)

What's that Hand of Hindrance that being replaced by some talent?
A new snare ability for Retribution. Stay tuned for details. (WarcraftDevs)
well but that way we still have to stare at charges, now its just at the bottom half of the screen instead of the top, right ?
We feel that's a pretty important distinction. You're already watching your action bars for ability cooldowns/usability. (WarcraftDevs)

while i love the ability, Lothar was a warrior. maybe consider calling it Turalyon's might instead of Lothar?
Indeed, you are quite correct! We'll adjust the name. Thanks! (WarcraftDevs)

Does Light of the Protector have charges? Wording on Redoubt indicates yes, but if so how many?
That was a typo. We'll get it fixed. Earlier in development, Light of the Protector shared charges with Shield of the Righteous. (WarcraftDevs)

Chance of prot pally getting a baseline 1s GCD? No Holy Power makes Haste unattractive, and game play as a whole much slower.
Haste will reduce Shield of the Righteous recharge time and Light of the Protector cooldown, similar to other rotation abilities. (WarcraftDevs)

So... if mana doesn't matter for Protection paladins and they're losing holy power... what *is* the resource they're managing?
Charges of Shield of the Righteous fill the same role, with more flexibility. (WarcraftDevs)

was Guardian of Ancient Kings removed?
No, the blog just lists core combat abilities. Guardian may be tweaked slightly, but maintains the same purpose. (WarcraftDevs)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Priest (Forums)
No mention of Holy Nova. Is it gone?
The current plan is for Holy Nova to be Holy's method of dealing AoE damage. (WarcraftDevs)

Will Holy Priest have an AoE damage spell, since Mind Sear is now out? (Holy Nova seems like the obvious solution)
The current plan is to remove Weakened Soul. (WarcraftDevs)
Holy Nova is, in fact, the current plan! All healers will have some capacity to damage multiple targets. (WarcraftDevs)

Love the Holy Priest redesign. Hope for fun smiting talents to go with it. Does Holy Word: Sanctify replace Circle of Healing?
We're currently considering talent options that bring back Circle of Healing, or something similar. (WarcraftDevs)

Just reading priest blog and unless im mistaken PoH group restriction appears gone. Is that so ( *crosses fingers* )
Indeed! We're trying a different targeting method for Prayer of Healing, which makes it more localized instead of group-based. (WarcraftDevs)

Any news on PoH being "closest 5 targets" like WG?, making efficient PoH groups isn't fun and should be fixed.
In #Legion, Prayer of Healing will choose allies within a radius instead of being group-based. (WarcraftDevs)

"for an absolutely massive amount". #winning
A crit Holy Word: Serenity is basically a full heal. We think that qualifies as "absolutely massive." (WarcraftDevs)

Will Holy Word: Serenity still apply a crit buff, as it does currently?
No. The spell is now entirely focused into being a very large instant heal. (WarcraftDevs)

there is no mention of Divine Aegis in the priest blog, is it going to be gone?
Yes. The number of absorbs (especially passive ones, such as Divine Aegis and Illuminated Healing) is being heavily reduced. (WarcraftDevs)

penance damage only?Remove pom cast, it is only used as purge protection atm
Talents will offer some potential alterations to Penance. (WarcraftDevs)

Bit of conflicting info. Darkmoon Faire Q&A made it sound like Disc. was losing PW:S, blog shows it as a spell. Is it staying?
Discipline still has Power Word: Shield, but it will have a 6-second cooldown, to reduce spamminess. (WarcraftDevs)

It just seems weird that DIsc, which was never really about DPS healing, has pivoted to it, while MW, which was, is cutting it
That's definitely fair. There are many reasons, but a big one is that Priests have another spec if you don't like DPS->Heal. (WarcraftDevs)
Chadd, how long is the atonement buff supposed to be?
Currently 15 seconds, with a talent available to extend that to 20 seconds. (WarcraftDevs)

How will Atonement work when enemies have damage taken up (or down) buffs?
Atonement healing should not be affected by those. (WarcraftDevs)

is atonement a buff that gets renewed or extended? for example, casting plea 2x in a row on same target = 15 sec or 30?
It gets renewed. We're considering having it behave similar to DoT effects, which have some leeway on when you refresh. (WarcraftDevs)

will solo healing 5-mans be inherently more difficult for discipline due to the changes in legion?
We'll be making sure that Discipline is still able to heal dungeons comfortably. (WarcraftDevs)

Disc's 70/30 - how will healing be competitive without damage being significant. Guaranteed Disc raid spot still exists?
Those were just off-the-cuff examples. Goal is that they provide respectable damage and healing, and we'll iterate as necessary. (WarcraftDevs)

So how viable will leveling as Discipline be in Legion? I love Disc and don't want to go away from it to even level.
The goal is for healing specs to be fully viable for solo questing outdoors. (WarcraftDevs)

In Legion, will Shadow Mend overhealing still trigger the DoT? Basically, is it possible for it to be a net loss?
Nope! Only the effective healing will turn into a DoT. (WarcraftDevs)

How does Void Form's Haste Buff work if i enter Void Form instantly via Oblivion? Reset, Stack further, new Stack?
When Voidform ends, you get a buff that provides the Haste from that Voidform for 20 sec. It stacks with the next Voidform. (WarcraftDevs)

unclear in the blog: is insanity capped at 100, is void form toggleable?
Yes, Insanity is capped at 100. Voidform is automatically activated, not toggled. (WarcraftDevs)

On the usefull(less)ness of the Mastery Insanity Generation Increase: https://t.co/pUITMTMPyB
Voidform doesn't stop your abilities from generating Insanity. Mastery will allow you to maintain Voidform longer/stronger. (WarcraftDevs)

I WILL HEAL YOU TO DEATH! GLORY TO CTHULU, FTHAGN RY'LEH!
Sounds like you may enjoy the fact that you're forced to speak Shath'yar - the language of the Old Gods - while in Voidform. (WarcraftDevs)

I hope that Shadow talents will contain several options to control Insanity (When you enter, leave early, stay in longer, etc.)
Anything can change, but we currently have 8 different talents that relate to Insanity. (WarcraftDevs)

Was just curious about how fast the drain is-it will always be greater, at least to some degree, than our ability to generate?
At first, the Voidform drain is slower than you can generate Insanity, but it ramps up over time, draining faster and faster. (WarcraftDevs)

Insanity shares some of the pre-WoD eclipse problem. Idea: Remove damage buff, make it about max. DoT extension/Haste Buff.
You'll be able to return to Voidform very quickly, thanks to the Haste from your previous Voidform persisting for 20 seconds. (WarcraftDevs)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Rogue (Forums)
If we do have to have positional requirements then the UI needs to communicate what "behind" is without trial and error.
There are changes incoming to the targeting selection circle that show the direction your target is facing. (WarcraftDevs)
That isn't really enough, I don't know about you guys but rapidly marking out 60 degree arcs in your head isn't easy.
Backstab will also count the sides. (WarcraftDevs)

Would it be possible to add the 5 combo point duration to DoT finishers on the blog?
Nightblade is up to 24 seconds. Envenom is up to 6 seconds. Rupture is 24 seconds. (WarcraftDevs)
What kind of debuff is nightblade? Magic? Physical?
Nightblade will be Shadow damage. Whether it's dispellable or not will depend on PvP balance, but we recognize its importance (WarcraftDevs)

Will Assassination and Subtlety AoE be made equivalently powerful with Outlaw/Blade Flurry?
Yes, we plan to make all Rogue specs competitive in AoE situations. (WarcraftDevs)

What happenes with Vendetta ?
The blog focused on rotational abilities. Vendetta, Adrenaline Rush, and Shadow Blades are burst CDs for each spec, respectively (WarcraftDevs)

Loved the rogue preview but... Anticipation: baseline please?
Anticipation remains a talent. However, it has some serious competition on its talent row now. (WarcraftDevs)

Pretty disappointed Assa still isn't active poisoning. And no thrown poison vial? Outlaw losing PvP stun/silence from stealth?
Assassination does have an ability that throws a poisoned dagger, applying your poison at range. It's just not in the blog. (WarcraftDevs)

At the start of legion as assassination a rogue will have 18.3 energy/sec. For comparison in wrath AR only brought combat to ~22 energy/sec.
There's still a lot of tuning to be done. Venomous Wounds will be tuned so that pooling is still important. (WarcraftDevs)

Does Venomous Wounds still do damage on proc or just energy regen?
Just energy regen. (WarcraftDevs)

How will you make Pistol Shot's animation work seeing as it is an instant cast and the weapon has to be drawn quickly?
It's pretty quick. We're looking forward to feedback on new animations once Beta begins! (WarcraftDevs)

Please, tell me that Co-..Outlaw rogues instead of throw will have shoot (vial their pistol!) Please !!
Indeed. Pistol Shot provides a ranged snare and minor damage (which is heavily increased with the proc from Saber Slash). (WarcraftDevs)

.pistol shot'll let me damage & gain combo points from range. Awesome! Will there be a ranged finisher? https://t.co/ItGcPGx5ys
Yes! Instead of Kidney Shot, Outlaws have a pistol-based finisher which deals damage and stuns from range. (WarcraftDevs)

Why is it called Shadowstrike and not Ghostly Strike?
Because Ghostly Strike is a talent for Outlaws! (WarcraftDevs)

Is Hemorrhage still a thing for Sub Rogues?
We may keep it in some form, possibly as a talent. (WarcraftDevs)

. With substantial changes to the Sub Rogue’s Stealth uptime, should we expect to see Find Weakness in #Legion?
With the new Shadow Dance design, Find Weakness no longer makes sense, so it has been removed. (WarcraftDevs)

Does Shadowstrike have a cooldown?
Nope! (WarcraftDevs)

Shadowstepping on every Shadowstrike seems dangerous in PvE. Will there be a way to lessen our need to be in a backstab zone?
Shadowstrike will not teleport you if you are already in melee range. (WarcraftDevs)

You know... quickly teleport behind enemy, stab (in back), teleport back to original position.
When you use Backstab, it's likely just after you used Shadowstrike, which did just that. (Celestalon)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Shaman (Forums)
Any chance of Shamans being able to wield the Doomhammer two-handed? Even if just a cosmetic glyph for us old classic Shamans
Not likely, the model isn't really scaled to look good with 2-hand animations. It WOULD feel old-school though! (DaveKosak)

Having that badass lightning fist artifact for elem shamans is great; but will it stick around on the model during casts?
Yes, your fist weapon will remain unsheathed during casting. It's one of the major reasons we chose it for Elemental's artifact! (WarcraftDevs)

do Crits increase the amount of Maelstrom generated?
No, Maelstrom generation does not increase on critical strikes. (WarcraftDevs)

It seems implied from the blog, but is Fulmination is entirely gone as it stands?
Not as "Fulmination", but the mechanic still exists through building up high Maelstrom and spending it using Earth Shock. (WarcraftDevs)

Overload's 75% damage & Maelstrom generation means LB Overloads = 11.25 Maelstrom generated?
Correct. (WarcraftDevs)

No mention of Earthquake, is it gone?
Nope, it's still there, as an AoE-focused Maelstrom spender. The blogs are just only listing core combat abilities. (WarcraftDevs)

No shared shock CD is nice, but I don't think that will do enough to resolve the empty time while moving problems.
Note that Shocks have no cooldowns at all now - including Flame Shock. (WarcraftDevs)
ele is meant to spam flameshock while moving? If we use a maelstrom enhance flameshock then another one will it reduce the DOT
Recasting Flame Shock will never shorten the DoT. (WarcraftDevs)

Could we get an example of reliable Enhancement AOE in Legion? Would appreciated.
Enhancement has a new frontal-cone AoE spell called Crash Lightning, which also causes Stormstrike and Lava Lash to trigger AoEs. (WarcraftDevs)

Any details on the negative effects on Enhance shamans that hit Maelstrom cap?"They must be careful not to let it overflow"
That line is simply referring to the potential to accidentally waste it by overflowing. No other negative effects. (WarcraftDevs)

I don't see it mentioned, but is Searing Totem still a core part of Enhancement Shamans "maintenance" buffs or was it removed?
Searing Totem wasn't really providing compelling gameplay, so it's been removed in Legion. (WarcraftDevs)

Will Enhance have a way to pull targets at range? No 30 yard reach on lightning bolt now
Enhancement still has Lightning Bolt for exactly this purpose. It's just not part of your core rotation. (WarcraftDevs)

Do the Windfury attacks trigger Maelstrom Weapon?
Yes, Windfury attacks will trigger Maelstrom Weapon. (WarcraftDevs)

Rockbiter without a cooldown? Just curious.
Correct, there is no cooldown on Rockbiter. (WarcraftDevs)

Windfury seems to be losing it's significance. With no Maelstrom and minor damage, it feels just there for legacy.
Check out the other clarifications we've made; it does generate Maelstrom, and is not minor (total) damage. (Celestalon)

any info on healing as elemental or enhancement? will it cost maelstrom? or maybe build it?
Healing Surge will cost Maelstrom for both Elemental and Enhancement. (WarcraftDevs)
should do like Flame shock and make it a "0-20" type deal so we can cast lesser heals out of combat etc.
That's currently the plan, in fact! (WarcraftDevs)

Can you go into depth about how you are shifting Resto to more targeted heals instead of Chain Heal spam?
Mostly by simply making the direct heals more competitive, but also by ensuring mana remains relevant throughout the expansion. (WarcraftDevs)

Will there be anything (like a talent) for the Resto Shamans that do enjoy the Chain Heal spam?
Yes, there are talent options that buff Chain Heal and let you focus on it more heavily. (WarcraftDevs)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Warlock (Forums)
how many soul shards do each of the Warlock specs have and are there ways to regen them out of combat? Also is life tap gone?
Maximum of 5 for all specs. 1 regens out of combat. There are other sources, including out of combat, in talents. (WarcraftDevs)

.I would really like some clarification of this phrase: "and causing some demons to be favored based on the Warlock’s spec."
When all pets' damage was equal, everyone used an Imp. In Legion, each spec will slightly favor one demon for raw DPS. (WarcraftDevs)
Affliction slightly favors Felhunters. Demonology favors Felguards, and Destruction favors Imps. Others offer strong utility. (WarcraftDevs)

Will we still keep our green fire?
Green Fire is staying. Don't worry. (WarcraftDevs)

How do Warlocks regen Mana in Legion? Life Tap? Stuff like the initial Affliction Artifact Talent? Both?
Yes, all Warlocks will use Life Tap in Legion. https://t.co/ZzLiqdvjKE (WarcraftDevs)

Warlocks look great. Concerns for spec loyalty being a goal tho. It will take some AOE talents for AFF to not get overshadowed
There's a particularly interesting talent that makes Seed of Corruption apply as an AoE, but cost a soul shard. Pop pop pop! (WarcraftDevs)

Is Affliction's Haunt ability gone? Also I'd like to hear more about Affli/Destro AoE.
Haunt is returning as a talent, with a slightly different design. Stay tuned for details. (WarcraftDevs)

stuns they already had... So how effective is Drain Life really going to be,too much of a PvP liability
We're very conscious of this concern. The good thing is that we can add customization and tuning via Legion PvP systems. (WarcraftDevs)

is there ANY justifiable reason to keep CB as shadow damage, not as chaos damage?
We'd actually be interested in hearing discussion on this, after clearing up a common misconception: (1/2) (WarcraftDevs)
Chaos damage does NOT inherently bypass shields/immunity. Interrupting it would lock ALL schools. Still want that? (2/2) (WarcraftDevs)

Single-Target Base SoulShard generation for Destro looks slow. 2 every 16 sec + low RNG on Immo. Talents for more?
Indeed, there are several talents that deal with Soul Shards. (WarcraftDevs)

“buffs up to three of your active pets” does that mean that Demo can have multiple different demon types up?
It can affect your primary demon pet, Infernal or Doomguard, Grimoire of Service pets, Dreadstalkers, and Wild Imps. (WarcraftDevs)

I'd prefer if all demons were buffed, so I don't have to track which are my most powerful 3 and when are they about to despawn.
Then you'll be quite interested in the Power Trip talent, which does exactly that! (WarcraftDevs)

... most of the temporary demons are also alive only for 12 sec. What if I have a strong demon that's going to despawn in 2 sec?
Managing when to cast Demonic Empowerment will be a key part of mastering Demonology gameplay. (WarcraftDevs)

Wheres FnB? I hope it's still here, because if not that new talent won't save the day for destruction.
Shadowburn is a talent, with improved usability. Fire and Brimstone is a talent that passively makes Incinerate AoE. (WarcraftDevs)

Can you clarify the "limit 1" on Havoc's description? Limit 1 what?
You may only place Havoc on one target at a time. That matters when it's improved via talents. (WarcraftDevs)

what does 'Your Destruction spells deal up to x% additional damage, randomly' mean? how does that work?
Mastery provides a damage bonus to those spells, but it's a random % increase, up to the (very high) Mastery % (1/2) (WarcraftDevs)
The frequency of your attacks will quickly smooth out the RNG element, but it's always possible you might prefer other stats. (WarcraftDevs)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Warrior (Forums)
On the warrior blog coming this week, will it be discussed why their artifacts were chosen to all be swords. No axes or hammers?
We went with swords for wider appeal, but there's a variant we haven't shown yet that you might like. (WarcraftDevs)

Serious missed opportunity not giving arms warriors the forged by cenarius for Broxigar. If there was ever an expac...
Yeah, thought about doing that one for a long while. In the end, a wooden nature themed axe didn't feel right, despite lore. (craig_amai)

really? this is what you bring to the table for warriors? you say they overpower their foes, yet take away overpower?
I think you may have read that backwards. Refer to the paragraphs about Warriors in general for some good news! (Celestalon)

The Arms Warrior talent "Titanic Might", the halving of effectiveness, does that work with the Mastery also?
Yes. Titanic Might effectively gives you a half-strength Colossus Smash with a 100% uptime. (WarcraftDevs)

Makes sense. It would be nice to have as a Rage generator. Auto-attacks alone won't cut it, I fear.
Charge, autoattacks, and talents will provide plenty of Rage for Arms Warriors. (WarcraftDevs)

Overpower and HS are talents, right? Are they spec specific? Do they work as they used to? Will either replace whirlwind? <3
Overpower and Heroic Strike are talents for Arms and Fury. They don't replace anything. Heroic Strike is baseline for Protection. (WarcraftDevs)

Did I read correctly that Fury *takes* 30% more dmg while Enraged?
Correct. Being Enraged reduces your defenses. However, that's offset by a much higher max health, and very high self-healing. (WarcraftDevs)
if you are one shotted it's useless more self healing
Does having 31% more max health not help with that? (Celestalon)
We'll tune this as needed to ensure that Fury Warriors are not a liability. 30% may not be the correct number. (WarcraftDevs)

I'm not seeing myself camping defensive stance just so I can survive when others are fine.
We will not expect Fury Warriors to swap to Defensive Stance whenever they expect to take damage. (WarcraftDevs)

Is Rampage (Fury Warr) a channeled ability? Imo channeled abilities are boring.
Rampage is not channeled. You maintain full control during its animation, apart from being on GCD, like any other attack. (WarcraftDevs)
So we'll be able to move? What about use other abilities during that 2 sec?
You can move and use off-GCD abilities, while you are on GCD. (Celestalon)

Why doesn't Rampage just trigger Enrage? Take some emphasis off randomness of BT crit, which is a major concern. @Celestalon
Rampage always deals damage as though you're Enraged. You don't have to wait until Enrage to use it. (WarcraftDevs)

By the artifact for Fury warriors it's not certain that they wield 2H weapons (At least for me) could we have more information
Fury's artifact is indeed a pair of 2-handed weapons. They looked a little small in the preview; we'll be scaling them up a bit. (WarcraftDevs)

What gives fury warriors "much higher max health"?
A passive +25% bonus to max health, and Titan's Grip (which roughly amounts to another 6%, typically). (WarcraftDevs)
wait so you are adding 25% more health? on top of TG?
Yes. (Celestalon)
Warrior preview. Prot. Move heroic strike off gcd again and add small cooldown instead. Useless burner and choice otherwise
Heroic Strike is still off of GCD. That hasn't changed. (WarcraftDevs)

will ignore pain count as active mitigation? Currently for some reason shield barrier doesnt.
Yes, Ignore Pain is considered Active Mitigation. (WarcraftDevs)

Plz clarify ignore pain "next massive damage". Buff consumed on next inc damage ? "Random aoe" can waste it ?
Ignore Pain ignores 90% of the next X damage you take, from any sources. It lasts until you take a total of X damage. (WarcraftDevs)
what is the variable "x" in this situation?
It's 25% of your maximum health. So if you have 400k health, X = 100k. (WarcraftDevs)
Example: Boss deals 50k, 25k, 50k. You take 5k (X=50k left), 2.5k (X=25k left), 27.5k (affected first 25k, then fell off). (WarcraftDevs)
So warriors are going to have incredibly smooth damage intake. Feeling underwhelmed by protadin announcement.
I'm trying to help clarify things as much as possible... Could you help me understand what led you to that conclusion? (Celestalon)
Ignore Pain kicks in only on heavy damage attacks and reduces them significantly, effectively mitigating the largest damage (1/2
Ah, this is more fallout from the confusing wording of Ignore Pain then. No, that's not what it does. See blog and clarifications. (Celestalon)
What I'm lacking understanding on is, if you take a 1mil hit and you have 400k hp, is 90% of 100k reduced or 90% of 1mil
90% of 100k. It will absorb 90% of the next 100k that you take. A 1mil hit will do 910k. (Celestalon)

Tell my why I shouldn't stand in fire when I am not tanking as prot? It reminds me of vengeance, take damage to do more damage
Your DPS gain would be trivial, and your healers could do significantly more DPS in the time they spend healing you instead. (WarcraftDevs)

Will shield slam and revenge be prot warrior's only way to generate rage, because the values seem kinda of low.
Check out the Gameplay section of the blog. (Celestalon)

Fistweaving and Gladiator Stance
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Fistweaving (and Gladiator Stance) will not be joining us in Legion.

We love the fantasy that each of those “subspecs” promise, but leaving them as subspecs has proven to be problematic, making us unable to properly deliver on their fantasy. Trying to support two different playstyles within one spec restricts how much we can focus and bring out the strengths of either of them. We still love both of their concepts, however, and will look for opportunities to bring them back in the future.

Fistweaving in particular ended up being used mostly as a mana management tool to support Serpent Stance, instead of a damage/heal hybrid, which didn’t support its fantasy well. While we recognize that the initial goal for Mistweaver Monk -- combining a ranged healer with a melee healing style -- attracted some people to the class, quite a few things have changed since then. Most importantly, there’s been a huge shift away from smart heals in Warlords, which is continuing in Legion.

Mistweaver gameplay for most players was centered around their ranged healing spells, and our focus for the spec in 7.0 consists of reinforcing their unique array of healing tools and adding talents and artifact powers that support this style.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Soon. (Muffinus)

Classes
I like the general feel of the rotations, but what about the CCs? Are they being baked into Talents? PVP Prestige?
The blogs are only covering core combat abilities. There will still be baseline CC, and potentially more via talents and PvP. (WarcraftDevs)

Hey guys, have you considered making mana scale again like it used to? And not a base amount that never changes?
We want to make sure that mana remains a meaningful constraint throughout the expansion. Gear is not likely to scale mana pools. (WarcraftDevs)

For alts, will there be a way to just take all passive talents?
Nearly every talent row will have a passive option. (WarcraftDevs)

With classes being reworked, will we have more abilities on our bars, less, or around the same amount?
For many specs, the answer will be "either less or more, depending on which talents you pick." (WarcraftDevs)

I'm curious why some times class consistency is good (soul shards) and other times its not (holy power)
Great question! It's important that the resource itself has strong fantasy, and that it also brings strong gameplay. (WarcraftDevs)

Roughly how many talent rows will we have access to in Legion, if I may ask?
7 rows, plus PvP talents. Also, the game has far more total talents due to having many more spec-specific options! https://t.co/N2k1N3qYRi (WarcraftDevs)

Character / Items
How are we already back at items with +1k points of a stat? That stat squish didn't seem to last a single expansion.
We would've been well into 5 digits by now otherwise. It was a temporary realignment, not a permanent end to scaling. (WatcherDev)

Super excited to see how Artifacts are coming along. Cannot wait to spew feedback during Beta -- Cap on Artifact per week?
There are some caps on spending deep in to prevent potential hard grinding. We'll have more details to share later. (WarcraftDevs)

Artifact transmog: will we be able to, eg. mog Icebringer different from Soulreaper? Sorry if already answered, haven't seen.
Yes, mainhand and offhand will remain separately transmogrifiable. (WarcraftDevs)

Will artifacts be transmoggable between weapon types? ie fist weapons transmogged to maces?
You will be able to transmogrify your Artifact to look like a different weapon, following the normal transmog rules. (WarcraftDevs)

Can you expand on alts getting artifacts? Will we be able to experience the story (lore) of all spec artifacts on one char?
Yep! You can do the artifact quest lines for all of a character's available specs. (WarcraftDevs)

PvP
With the introduction of a PvP talent system, are the normal talents still active in PvP areas?
yes (holinka)

Any word on racials in PVP? I'm assuming they're removed in RBG and arena, because trinkets and enchants are removed.
Racials, Talents, Artifact Traits, and of course PvP talents will all be active in both unrated and rated PvP. (WarcraftDevs)
this includes world pvp, right? And duels?
Yes, this includes world PvP and duels. (WarcraftDevs)

Lore
Can I ask you a little lore question? What is the relation between mana, arcane and chi/life? Is mana any different from chi?
An upcoming book will detail these and other fundamental forces! Arcane is a fundamental power, "Mana" is just a measure of it. (DaveKosak)
"Chi" is a Pandaren term for "Spirit," the primal life force that shaman tap into. (DaveKosak)

Hi, . Like other Paladins, must Blood Knights have faith in the Light to use it, or CAN they just take it from the Sunwell? TY
technically they can take it but Liadrin has moved the blood knights away from that type of abuse of the Light. (Abrosiabi)

what about Illidan. You almost didn't say anything about him at the panels . What's his status? Is he hiding/plotting something
long storyline throughout whole expansion. Patience please (Abrosiabi)

Green dragons were immortal until the events of Cataclysm and the unmaking of Deathwing, as I understand it. (DaveKosak)
Slight error Mr. Kosak. All dragons were mortal before Cataclysm, just long lived. The Aspects, alone, were immortal
Yes! Thank you. (DaveKosak)

Hi, . Like other Paladins, must Blood Knights have faith in the Light to use it, or CAN they just take it from the Sunwell? TY
To wield the Light as a weapon takes intense focus and a VERY powerful belief. Power isn't stolen the way Warlocks take it (DaveKosak)
What? That directly conflicts with the BK's origin of stealing power from M'uru, and the AskCDev answer about it.
Question was about present day and Sunwell. (DaveKosak)

Any chance the habit of locking big lore moments behind mythic raidng can stop? Lore nerds are not Raiders and vice versa usually
Well, by definition raid fights and their result HAVE to be important for lore. LFR is there to ensure everyone can see it! (DaveKosak)
That said the Lore of Legion's Raids R making me 4 the first time want to seriously try Raids maybe I am contradicting myself lol
Flexible raiding makes it much easier to get involved. Find a fun guild - raiding is VERY fun! (DaveKosak)

UI / Addons
Are there any plans on having a built-in option to track debuffs on nameplates without extra addons?
We're experimenting with ways to show some debuffs (such as DoTs) on nameplates. Beta feedback will be invaluable! (WarcraftDevs)

Reputation / Questing
A little confused on zone scaling in Legion. If lvl 102 and lvl 108 players group together, what do mobs scale to?
The way it works, it acts like a 102 to the 102 and a 108 to the 108. It's seamless enough that you don't need to worry about it. (WarcraftDevs)

Misc
What does everyone think? 3 day BlizzCon? (I doubt I would survive.) (DaveKosak)

But there are now so many happy little trees
It's actually a problem game designers face. "We like this thing, give us more of this thing until we don't like it!" (holinka)
by Published on 2015-11-12 01:03 PM

Legion Class Preview Series



Legion Class Preview Series: Rogue
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Welcome to our World of Warcraft: Legion class preview series. In this entry, we’re exploring the Rogue—to find out what’s in store for a different class, check out the overview.

We finish off our early look at class and specialization design with the Rogue. In these blogs, we’ve been exploring class identity, discussing Legion’s new designs, and presenting core combat abilities for each specialization—laying the foundation upon which talents and Artifacts will build further. With that in mind, let’s delve into what it means to be a Rogue in World of Warcraft.

Rogues fend for themselves, looking for fights in which they dictate the terms. They’re the shadows in the night that remain unseen until the right moment comes to strike—then they dispatch an opponent with quick blade work or a deadly toxin snuck acutely into the bloodstream. Rogues are opportunistic thieves, bandits, and assassins, but there’s an unparalleled art to what they do.

As with Hunters, the three Rogue specializations have long suffered from a lack of distinct identity. What truly sets an Assassination Rogue apart from Subtlety? And just what is a “Combat” Rogue anyway? Aren’t all three pretty focused on the art of combat? With that in mind, we’re making some bold changes that take each spec in a much more pronounced direction. We’re finding what makes them each special and amplifying their fantasy by creating abilities and talents unique to each spec that better align with their core theme.


Assassination
One of the favorite tools of the assassin is a pair of daggers coated with vicious poisons. The damage they inflict is deceiving at first—the initial wounds often seem survivable, even superficial. Then the toxins set about their business. Wounds don’t close, and blood loss continues unabated. Assassins begin their work stealthily, choosing their targets and methods of engagement carefully—but once committed to a course of action, they stick to their target until the job is done rather than disappearing into the shadows to avoid their quarry’s blows.

"Assassins begin their work stealthily, choosing their targets and methods of engagement carefully"

Gameplay
For Rogues, no specialization describes itself better than Assassination, which also remains closely aligned with its existing fantasy. And we’re further enhancing those themes through their gameplay. First, this is now the only Rogue spec with access to poisons and bleeds, making much of your damage a little more delayed, but nonetheless massive. In addition, Venomous Wounds triggers based on a combination of bleeds and poisons now to accentuate that gameplay. Assassination is home to the most volatile combo-building. Mutilate is already effective in this regard, but Seal Fate needed some improvement—it now can trigger from both hands with Mutilate.

Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Assassination Rogues:
  • Garrote
    • 45 Energy, Melee Range, Instant, 15 sec cooldown
    • Garrote the enemy, causing strong damage over 18 sec and awarding 1 combo point. Silences the target for 3 sec when used from Stealth.
  • Mutilate
    • 55 Energy, Melee Range, Instant
    • Attack with both weapons, dealing strong Physical damage. Awards 2 combo points.
  • Envenom
    • 35 Energy, 1 to 5 Combo Points, Melee Range, Instant
    • Finishing move that drives your poisoned blades in deep, dealing instant Nature damage and increasing your poison application chance by 30%. Damage and duration increased per combo point.
  • Rupture
    • 25 Energy, 1 to 5 Combo Points, Melee Range, Instant
    • Finishing move that tears open the target, dealing bleed damage over time. Lasts longer per combo point.
  • Seal Fate
    • Passive
    • When you critically strike with a melee attack that generates combo points, you gain an additional combo point.
  • Venomous Wounds
    • Passive
    • You regain 10 Energy each time you deal Bleed damage to a poisoned target.
  • Mastery: Potent Poisons
    • Increases the damage done by your poisons by 70% (with Mastery from typical gear).

Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Assassination-specific talents:
  • Elaborate Planning
    • Passive
    • Your finishing moves grant 20% increased damage done for 4 sec.

Combat
GONE!
OK, not exactly. The lack of a clear theme for the Combat Rogue really gave us an opportunity to reimagine the spec in Legion, to ensure that they have their own depth of character and a unique fighting style that sets them apart from the other Rogue specs.


Outlaw
"To survive in such a world, outlaws must become master swordsmen in toe-to-toe combat—and they can’t shy away from fighting dirty"

Outlaw rogues are the unscrupulous scoundrels of Azeroth. Operating outside the law, they bend the rules and distort the truth to get what they need. While they share plenty in common with other rogues, these outlaws have little use for tact or discretion, happy to engage in a tavern brawl or spontaneous duel, rarely patient enough to wait in stealth for the opportune time to engage. To survive in such a world, outlaws must become master swordsmen in toe-to-toe combat—and they can’t shy away from fighting dirty. If blade fails to cut too deeply, the outlaw takes advantage of a concealed pistol, catching the enemy by surprise with a quick blast.

Gameplay
To achieve the “swordmaster” fantasy we’re going for with the Outlaw Rogue, we’re giving them several new and upgraded abilities, such as Saber Slash and Pistol Shot. We’re also deemphasizing Stealth, with Ambush being their only remaining opening move. Stealth will still provide its core Rogue utility, but Outlaws are more comfortable fighting toe-to-toe with a sword than skulking about. Finally, we’re ensuring that Outlaws retain several signature abilities from Combat, such as Adrenaline Rush and Blade Flurry. These abilities provide a good basis on which to build new and distinct flavor. A wide variety of talents enhance the fantasy further with themes of the swordmaster, brawler, or even pirate.

Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Outlaws:
  • Saber Slash
    • 50 Energy, Melee Range, Instant
    • Viciously slash an enemy, causing moderate Physical damage and awarding 1 combo point. Saber Slash has a 35% chance to strike an additional time, granting additional damage and combo point, and making your next Pistol Shot free.
  • Pistol Shot
    • 40 Energy, 20 yd range, Instant
    • Draw a concealed pistol and fire a quick shot at an enemy, dealing moderate Physical damage and reducing movement speed by 50% for 6 sec. Awards 1 combo point.
  • Slice and Dice
    • 25 Energy, Instant
    • Finishing move that consumes combo points to increase attack speed by 40%. Lasts longer per combo point.
  • Run Through
    • 35 Energy, 1 to 5 Combo Points, 8 yd range, Instant
    • Lunging finishing move that causes damage per combo point and has increased range.
  • Combat Potency
    • Passive
    • Your off-hand attacks have a chance to generate 15 Energy. Slower weapons have a higher chance.
  • Ruthlessness
    • Passive
    • Your finishing moves have a 20% chance per combo point spent to grant a combo point.
  • Mastery: Main Gauche
    • Your main-hand attacks have a 44% (with Mastery from typical gear) chance to trigger an attack with your off-hand that deals minor Physical damage.

Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Outlaw-specific talents:
  • Quick Draw
    • Passive
    • Free uses of Pistol Shot granted by Saber Slash now generate 1 additional combo point, and deal 50% increased damage.


Subtlety
Subtlety rogues are the masters of the shadows, and they strike unseen. They don’t have the lethal poison-tipped daggers of the assassin or the brawling prowess of the outlaw, but their acumen on the battlefield and ability to hide in plain sight are unrivaled. Some claim the art of subtlety looks like malevolent shadow magic—but no matter from where their power is derived, these rogues are capable of performing devastating assaults on their enemies, slipping away unharmed to strike again without detection. Most rogues train their entire lives to learn how to walk in the shadows—subtlety rogues were born there.

"The subtlety rogue's acumen on the battlefield and ability to hide in plain sight are unrivaled"

Gameplay
As the true masters of stealthy gameplay, we’ve pushed Subtlety further toward making heavy use of Stealth as their primary combat mechanic. The new version of Shadow Dance allows Subtlety to weave in and out of Stealth rotationally. Meanwhile, Shadowstrike provides incredible mobility for attacking from Stealth. Finally, to further reinforce the matter of their relationship with sinister Shadow magic, Subtlety makes use of a new ability called Nightblade, which applies Shadow damage over time.

Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Subtlety Rogues:
  • Shadowstrike
    • 40 Energy, 30 yd range, Instant, Requires Stealth
    • Strike through the shadows, appearing behind your target and dealing strong Physical damage. Awards 2 combo points.
  • Backstab
    • 35 Energy, Melee Range, Instant
    • Stab the target, causing moderate Physical damage. Damage increased by 30% when behind your target. Awards 1 combo point.
  • Nightblade
    • 25 Energy, 1 to 5 Combo Points, Melee Range, Instant
    • Finishing move that infects the target with shadowy energy, dealing Shadow damage over time and reducing movement speed by 50%. Damage and duration increased per combo point.
  • Eviscerate
    • 35 Energy, 1 to 5 Combo Points, Melee Range, Instant
    • Finishing move that disembowels the target, dealing increased damage per combo point.
  • Shadow Dance
    • Passive
    • Your finishing moves have a 20% chance per combo point to activate Stealth. For 3 sec, this Stealth will not break when you autoattack or take damage. When this effect occurs, a Shadow Decoy will appear nearby, confusing your enemies.
    • Developer Comment: This will function differently in PvP, granting the use of abilities that require Stealth, but not actually providing Stealth.
  • Shadow Techniques
    • Passive
    • Your autoattacks have a chance to generate a combo point.
  • Mastery: Executioner
    • Increases the damage done by your finishing moves by 55% (with Mastery from typical gear).

Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Subtlety-specific talents:
  • Relentless Strikes
    • Passive
    • You gain an additional 40 Energy when you enter Stealth.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this early preview of our approach to Rogue class and specialization design in World of Warcraft: Legion. We’re looking forward to hearing more feedback and sharing in ongoing conversations with the community regarding these and all of the other changes we’ve discussed in this series, and we’re excited to get this information out before our broader beta phase to make sure we have as much time as possible to iterate and carry on the conversation.

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you in the Legion beta!
by Published on 2015-11-12 01:02 AM

Legion Class Preview Series: Druid
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Welcome to our World of Warcraft: Legion class preview series. In this entry, we’re exploring the Druid—to find out what’s in store for a different class, check out the overview.

We continue our early look at class and specialization design with the Druid. In these blogs, we’ll be exploring class identity, discussing Legion’s new designs, and presenting core combat abilities for each specialization—laying out the foundation upon which talents and Artifacts will build further. With that in mind, let’s delve into what it means to be a Druid in World of Warcraft.

Guardians of nature who seek to preserve balance and protect life, Druids have unmatched versatility on the field of battle. This is in part because druidism is much more than a fighting discipline—it’s a way of life steeped in traditions so ancient that even the origin of their kind is preserved largely in mythology passed on through millennia.

Druids harness nature’s raw energy for an incredible breadth of offensive and defensive abilities, as well as to restore life to the wounded. Through communion with nature and the demigod Cenarius, Lord of the Forest, Druids are supernaturally endowed with the gift of shapeshifting, allowing them to take the form of all manner of nature’s creature and access powers as distinct as they are diverse.

Known for hybrid utility and shapeshifting, Druids have four diverse and well-established specializations. In Legion, we’re focusing on empowering Balance gameplay, strengthening the cohesion of Guardian abilities and their fantasy themes, and renewing Druids’ overall trait of shapeshifting between forms to fulfill distinct functions.

Making use of multiple forms for different situations has been difficult for many years, either due to a lack of access to the “off-spec” talents that make your alternate forms feel strong or because the process itself has felt overwhelming and convoluted. To help solve this issue, we’re taking a new route by replacing Heart of the Wild with a full row of Affinity talents, which essentially allow every Druid to choose an off-spec from the remaining three specializations.

Affinities provide two benefits: first, a passive ability that is useful at all times, even to your main role; second, access to multiple key abilities to use in associated shapeshifting forms. To give you a sense for how choosing your Affinity will impact gameplay, regardless of what form you’re in, here’s a look at the passive abilities they grant:
  • Balance Affinity
    • Astral Influence: Increases the range of all spells, abilities, and autoattacks by 5 yds.
  • Feral Affinity
    • Feline Swiftness: Increases movement speed by 15%.
  • Guardian Affinity
    • Thick Hide: Reduces all damage taken by 10%.
  • Restoration Affinity
    • Ysera’s Gift: Constantly heals the Druid, or allies when the Druid is at full health.

Unlike Heart of the Wild, Affinities are not temporary buffs. This enhanced access to an off-spec, delivered through a cleaner game mechanic, empowers Druids of any specialization to make interesting situational combat decisions.


Balance
The elements that carve form into the universe are fluid forces of nature. Some beings seek to bend the power of these natural elements to their will. Druids, however, worship the protecting spirits of nature. Long ago, nature’s equilibrium was thrown out of balance, leaving the world vulnerable to catastrophic events, including the first invasion of the Burning Legion.

By leveraging the sacred powers of the moon, the sun, and the stars, balance druids access arcane and nature magics—made more potent still through shapeshifting, when the spellcaster takes the form of the moonkin—to aid in the fight against imbalance that threatens the natural order of all things.

"Balance druids access arcane and nature magics to aid in the fight against imbalance that threatens the natural order of all things"

Gameplay
Balance Druids have had a variety of cyclical rotations over the years. The core design problem in all of these cycles is that they’ve forced players into watching closely for UI cues and casting spells in largely predetermined orders. The Legion design is focused on providing a flexible combat experience, where you can use abilities as you’d like, and each has a specific purpose. The Eclipse Bar has been completely replaced by an Astral Power resource, which is built and spent, and provides a platform for abilities to create interesting, engaging, and powerful effects. Balance gameplay will center on maintaining your DoTs, generating Astral Power with a mixture of Lunar Strike and Solar Wrath, and spending Astral Power on either Starsurge or Starfall.

Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Balance Druids:
  • Moonfire
    • 45 yd range, Instant
    • A quick beam of lunar light burns an enemy for minor Arcane damage and then an additional strong Arcane damage over 18 sec.
    • Usable while in Bear Form.
  • Sunfire
    • 45 yd range, Instant
    • A quick beam of solar light burns an enemy for minor Nature damage and then an additional strong Nature damage over 14 sec to the primary target and all enemies within 5 yards.
  • Lunar Strike
    • 45 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
    • Call down a strike of lunar energy, causing strong Arcane damage to the target, and minor Arcane damage to all other enemies within 5 yards.
    • Generates 15 Astral Power.
  • Solar Wrath
    • 45 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
    • Hurl a ball of solar energy at the target, dealing moderate Nature damage.
    • Generates 9 Astral Power.
  • Starsurge
    • 40 Astral Power, 45 yd range, Instant
    • Launch a surge of stellar energies at the target, dealing massive Astral damage.
    • Also grants you Lunar and Solar Empowerments, which increase the damage of your next Lunar Strike or Solar Wrath by 30%, respectively. You can accumulate up to 3 of each Empowerment.
  • Starfall
    • 60 Astral Power, 45 yd range, Instant
    • Calls down waves of falling stars that damage enemies at the targeted location. Deals strong Astral damage over 8 sec.
    • Enemies in your Starfall take 30% additional damage from your Moonfire and Sunfire.
  • Mastery: Starlight
    • Increases the damage of Starfall and Starsurge, and the effect of the Empowerments that they grant by an additional 30% (with Mastery from typical gear).

Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Balance-specific talents:
  • Blessing of the Ancients
    • Instant
    • Gain a Blessing of the Ancients, activating or swapping between one of the two following beneficial effects:
      • Blessing of Elune – Increases Astral Power generated by Solar Wrath and Lunar Strike by 50%.
      • Blessing of An’she – Grants 3 Astral Power every 2 sec.


Feral
Feral druids also seek to curb imbalance in nature. They observe the fantastic intricacies of the physical world and the delicate fabric in which all living creatures are given purpose. Whether on land or in the sea, in a lush jungle or an uncultivated desert, death is part of the cycle which sustains life. Nature is an eternal dance between predator and prey.

As a shapeshifter, the feral druid endlessly pursues a greater understanding of this truth. They seek a visceral connection to the wild, and in combat take the form of a deadly feline predator. Feral druids become ferocious, agile stalkers—ripping, biting, and bleeding their enemies dry. The forces of chaos are tamed by the druid’s primal fury.

"Feral druids become ferocious, agile stalkers—ripping, biting, and bleeding their enemies dry"

Gameplay
Feral Druids have a solid gameplay foundation that complements their fiction. Design changes in Legion are tempered, and we’re paying the most attention to talent options that provide a wider array of combat customization. Making Savage Roar optional in the talent tree in Warlords worked well to open up gameplay opportunities. We’re taking this approach further by flipping it around—Savage Roar is now a talent choice matched against two compelling alternatives that cater to different play styles.

Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Feral Druids:
  • Shred
    • 40 Energy, Melee Range, Instant
    • Shred the target, causing moderate Physical damage to the target. Awards 1 combo point.
    • Damage increased by 20% against bleeding targets.
    • While stealthed, Shred deals 20% increased damage, and has double the chance to critically strike.
  • Rake
    • 35 Energy, Melee Range, Instant
    • Rake the target for minor Bleed famage and an additional strong Bleed damage over 15 sec. Reduces the target’s movement speed by 50% for 12 sec. Awards 1 combo point.
    • While stealthed, Rake will also stun the target for 4 sec.
  • Rip
    • 30 Energy, 1 to 5 Combo Points, Melee Range, Instant
    • Finishing move that causes massive Bleed damage over 24 sec. Damage increases per combo point.
  • Ferocious Bite
    • 25 Energy, 1 to 5 Combo Points, Melee Range, Instant
    • Finishing move that causes damage per combo point and consumes up to 25 additional Energy to increase damage by up to 100%.
    • When used on targets below 25% health, Ferocious Bite will also refresh the duration of your Rip on the target.
    • Critical strike chance doubled against bleeding targets.
  • Omen of Clarity
    • Passive
    • Your autoattacks have a chance to reduce the Energy cost of your next Cat Form ability by 100%.
  • Primal Fury
    • Passive
    • You gain an additional combo point when you critically strike with a combo-generating attack.
    • Damage over time cannot trigger this effect.
  • Mastery: Razor Claws
    • Increases the damage done by your Cat Form bleed abilities by 60% (with Mastery from typical gear).

Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Feral-specific talents:
  • Jagged Wounds
    • Passive
    • Your Rip, Rake, and Thrash abilities deal the same damage as normal, but in 33% less time.


Guardian
Like their feral brothers and sisters, guardian druids attune themselves to nature through the animal kingdom. They commune with the wild to understand how life perseveres through adversity. They know that the creatures who survive are often those built to best protect themselves and their kin. In this, the guardian druid finds a deep and harmonious value in the steadfast—all the while recognizing that sturdiness requires an aggressive stance when danger comes near.

Taking the form of a great bear, the guardian druid becomes a massive wall of fur, claw, tooth, and rage, aided by the forces of nature, standing between allies and any opposing threats.

"Taking the form of a great bear, the guardian druid becomes a massive wall of fur, claw, tooth, and rage, aided by the forces of nature, standing between allies and any opposing threats"

Gameplay
Powerful themes fuel the Guardian Druid, but the gameplay falls short of delivering on them. In particular, Guardian Druids have had a strong emphasis on avoidance, dodging attacks more than almost any other tank, with abilities accentuating that. However, this doesn’t mesh well with the image of the tough and sturdy bear. We want Guardian Druids to survive through their sheer tenacity, thick hide, massive resilience, and strong regeneration. To this end, we’ve redesigned several parts of the Druid combat ability toolkit to instead focus on those core defensive ideas—health, armor, mitigation, and regeneration—while deemphasizing dodge.

Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Guardian Druids:
  • Mangle
    • Melee Range, Instant, 6 sec cooldown
    • Mangle the target for strong Physical damage, reducing the target’s movement speed by 50% for 12 sec. Deals 20% additional damage against bleeding targets.
    • Generates 5 Rage.
  • Lacerate
    • Melee Range, Instant, 3 sec cooldown
    • Lacerates the enemy target, dealing moderate Bleed damage and an additional moderate Bleed damage over 15 sec. Stacks up to 3 times.
    • Lacerate has a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Mangle.
  • Thrash
    • Instant, 6 sec cooldown
    • Strikes all enemy targets within 8 yards, dealing minor Bleed damage and applying Lacerate for an additional moderate Bleed damage over 15 sec.
  • Moonfire
    • 40 yd range, Instant
    • A quick beam of lunar light burns the enemy for minor Arcane damage and then an additional strong Arcane damage over 12 sec.
    • Usable while in Bear Form.
  • Defensive
    • Ironfur
      • 40 Rage, Instant
      • Increases armor by 100% for 6 sec.
      • Multiple uses of this ability may overlap.
    • Mark of Ursol
      • 40 Rage, Instant
      • Reduces magical damage taken by 30% for 6 sec.
    • Frenzied Regeneration
      • 10 Rage, Instant, 20 sec recharge (2 charges)
      • Heals you for 100% of all damage taken in the last 6 sec over 6 sec (minimum 5% of maximum health).
    • Mastery: Nature’s Guardian
      • Increases your maximum health and healing received by 40% (with Mastery from typical gear).
      • Also increases your attack power by 20% (with Mastery from typical gear).

Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Guardian-specific talents:
  • Rend and Tear
    • Passive
    • Your Lacerate bleed now also reduces the target's damage done to you, and increases damage you do to the target, by 3% per stack.


Restoration
The many gifts provided by nature must sometimes be reciprocated. Restoration druids seek order in the world by tending directly to its many life forms. Friend to flora and fauna alike, restoration druids celebrate birth and growth. Where there is decay, they bring rejuvenation. Where there is abatement, they summon regrowth. Life not only needs protection—it needs nourishment.

To foster this harmony, the restoration druid builds a bond with the things that grow, gaining inspiration from the flower’s bloom, the seed’s sprout, the mushroom’s spores, and the tree’s growth. Like nature, the restoration druid perseveres through patience and persistence, the foundation upon which all life is built and sustained. They use this power to mend wounds and provide persistent remedies that keep their allies from falling.

"Friend to flora and fauna alike, restoration druids celebrate birth and growth"

Gameplay
Restoration Druid themes are clearly defined, and there’s a lot of cohesive flavor to love in how the spec plays. As a result, we’re making minimal changes. Their Mastery had the most room for improvement, having basically become a passive effect. We’ve redesigned it to emphasize layering healing-over-time effects, favoring more engaging gameplay, while also catering to the Restoration themes.

Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Restoration Druids:
  • Mastery: Harmony
    • Your healing is increased by 10% for each of your Restoration heal over time effects on the target.
  • Healing Touch
    • 2% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
    • Heals a friendly target for a moderate amount.
  • Regrowth
    • 3.7% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
    • Heals a friendly target for a moderate amount and another minor amount over 12 sec.
    • Regrowth has a 60% increased chance for a critical effect.
  • Rejuvenation
    • 1.9% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
    • Heals the target for a moderate amount over 15 sec.
  • Lifebloom
    • 2% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
    • Heals the target for a moderate amount over 10 sec. When Lifebloom expires or is dispelled, the target is instantly healed for a moderate amount.
    • Lifebloom can be active only on one target at a time.
  • Efflorescence
    • 4.3% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
    • Grow a healing blossom at the target location, restoring a moderate amount of health to three injured allies within 10 yards every 2 sec for 30 sec.
    • Only 1 Efflorescence can be placed at a time.
  • Swiftmend
    • 1.6% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 30 sec cooldown
    • Instantly heals a friendly target for a large amount.
  • Wild Growth
    • 7.5% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast, 10 sec cooldown
    • Heals up to 6 injured allies within 30 yards of the target for a moderate amount over 7 sec.
    • Healing amount starts high and declines over the duration.
  • Living Seed
    • Passive
    • When you critically heal a target with the direct healing portion of Switmend, Regrowth, or Healing Touch, you plant a Living Seed on the target.
    • When the target is next attacked, the Living Seed will bloom and heal for 50% of the initial amount healed.
  • Omen of Clarity
    • Passive
    • Your periodic healing from Lifebloom has a 4% chance to cause you to enter a Clearcasting state, causing your next Regrowth to be free.
Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Restoration-specific talents:
  • Flourish
    • Instant, 1 min cooldown
    • Extend the duration of all of your heal over time effects on friendly targets within 60 yards by 10 sec.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this early preview of our approach to Druid class and specialization design in World of Warcraft: Legion. We’ll wrap up our series tomorrow with a look at Rogues.
by Published on 2015-11-11 07:01 PM

Legion Class Preview Series: Monk
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Welcome to our World of Warcraft: Legion class preview series. In this entry, we’re exploring the Monk—to find out what’s in store for a different class, check out the overview.

We continue our early look at class and specialization design with the Monk. In these blogs, we’ll be exploring class identity, discussing Legion’s new designs, and presenting core combat abilities for each specialization—laying out the foundation upon which talents and Artifacts will build further. With that in mind, let’s delve into what it means to be a Monk in World of Warcraft.

Monks were introduced in Mists of Pandaria, and their story is woven directly into the expansion’s rich and vibrant lore. Monks bring a unique martial arts style to any fight, and harness an exotic form of magical energy that’s unfamiliar to those who practice other arcane arts. They seek spiritual balance in life and in combat, and as dangerous as Monks can be on the battlefield, they’re rarely looking to pick a fight without just cause. They view the world through a different lens, finding power through serenity and inner peace—then expressing it through artful combat techniques and powers that mend life. Perhaps most surprisingly, Monks are also adept at producing powerful brews they consume to aid them in battle.

In Legion, we’re focusing on making sure Monk abilities and gameplay better match the class’s vivid backstory. We’re also looking at abilities that already lend themselves well to the Monk’s character, but whose mechanics are in need of polish.


Brewmaster
The brewmaster is a quirky character, though dangerous when underestimated. Brewmasters may seem to struggle with balance as they chug their concoctions in the middle of a fight, but this unpredictable behavior is far from foolhardiness. Most opponents barely have time to process the erratic nature of the brewmaster’s fighting tactics before they find themselves laid low—possibly the result of a keg smash to the head. When an opponent actually manages to land an attack, it’s often unclear how much the brewmaster feels it . . . if at all.

"The brewmaster is a quirky character, though dangerous when underestimated."

Gameplay
The gameplay for Brewmasters hasn’t quite fit their archetypes to this point. Rather than being the tricky martial artists, staggering around with an evasiveness that frustrates their opponent while being a little squishy when taking an unmitigated blow, Brewmasters have been more focused around large absorption shields and clutch self-healing. Our new design approach is to get more gameplay depth out of their strong, thematic abilities. Instead of Chi as a resource, which had little depth for Brewmasters, we’re switching to charges on Brew abilities that other abilities still interact with.

Here’s a basic look at the core defensive and offensive combat abilities for Brewmaster Monks:

  • Defensive
    • Ironskin Brew
      • Instant, 20 sec recharge, 3 charges
      • Increases your Stagger amount by an additional 60% for 6 sec.
      • Shares charges with Purifying Brew.
    • Purifying Brew
      • Instant, 20 sec recharge, 3 charges
      • Instantly purifies all of your staggered damage.
      • Shares charges with Ironskin Brew.
    • Gift of the Ox
      • Passive
      • When you take damage, you have a chance to summon a Healing Sphere visible only to you. Moving through this Healing Sphere will heal you for 25% of your maximum health.
      • This chance is increased the lower health you are.
    • Mastery: Elusive Brawler
      • Each time you are hit by a melee attack, you gain 20% (with Mastery from typical gear) Dodge, until your next successful Dodge.
      • Also increases your attack power by 20% (with Mastery from typical gear).
  • Offensive
    • Keg Smash
      • 40 Energy, 15 yd range, Instant, 8 sec cooldown
      • Smash a keg of brew on the target, dealing strong damage to all enemies within 8 yds and reducing their movement speed by 50% for 15 sec.
      • Reduces the remaining cooldown on your Brews by 4 sec.
    • Tiger Palm
      • 50 Energy, Melee Range, Instant
      • Attack with the palm of your hand, dealing minor damage.
      • Reduces the remaining cooldown on your Brews by 1 sec.
    • Blackout Strike
      • Melee Range, Instant, 3 sec cooldown
      • Thwack the enemy with your weapon, dealing moderate Physical damage.
      • Shares cooldown with Breath of Fire.
    • Breath of Fire
      • Instant, 3 sec cooldown
      • Targets in front of the caster take minor Fire damage. If affected by Keg Smash, they will also burn for minor Fire damage over 8 sec.
      • Shares cooldown with Blackout Kick.

Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Brewmaster-specific talents:
  • Elusive Dance
    • Passive
    • Purifying Brew also grants up to 15% Dodge for 6 sec, based on the level of Stagger damage purified.


Mistweaver
Mistweavers are unique among those who heal. The energies they channel are mysterious, oftentimes misunderstood by commoners—who rarely travel beyond the borders of their homelands—as some form of folk medicine. But those who weave the mists wield the power of life’s essence, using a mixture of preventative and restorative spells to mend their allies’ wounds. The inner tranquility that guides mistweavers allows them to sustain their healing for long periods of time, and gives them the strength to care for multiple injured allies.

"...those who weave the mists wield the power of life's essence, using a mixture of preventative and restorative spells to mend their allies' wounds."

Gameplay
Our goal with Mistweaver Monks is to accentuate the existing characteristics that define them, and resolve some core gameplay issues. In simple terms, this means we’ve redesigned their abilities so that you can directly use the spells you want rather than having to set up an excessive amount of other abilities first.

The most prominent example of this was Renewing Mist, which served primarily as a setup for Uplift; we’ve reworked Renewing Mist to stand on its own, and replaced Uplift with a couple of new spells: Vivify and Essence Font. In addition, a new passive Soothing Mist mechanic gives Mistweavers a unique healing style with variable efficiency, over which you have more direct control.

We’re also focusing Mistweavers solely on healing, rather than supporting a type of mixed attack-healing gameplay that felt awkward and ultimately didn’t live up to our goals for the spec—it was unintuitive, and chiefly useful as a mana management tool. Lastly, Mistweavers will now use Mana, not Chi, as a resource, since it reduced choices and restricted gameplay in many situations.

Here’s a basic look at the core combat healing abilities for Mistweaver Monks:
  • Mastery: Gust of Mists
    • Your targeted heals also cause a gust of healing mists, instantly healing the target for a minor amount (increasing with Mastery from gear).
  • Soothing Mist
    • Passive
    • Your Effuse, Enveloping Mist, and Vivify also trigger Soothing Mist.
    • After casting these spells, you continue to channel healing mists into the target, healing them for a minor amount every 0.5 sec, until you take any other action.
    • Developer Comments
      • Need efficient healing? Cast any heal and let Soothing Mist continue to provide free healing as long as you feel comfortable!
      • Need high-throughput healing? Cast any heal and move onto the next target in need of healing, without spending time on Soothing Mist.
      • For Mistweavers, it’s OK to have open global cooldowns between heals—Soothing Mist fills these gaps.
  • Effuse
    • 1.8% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
    • A fast and efficient spell, healing the target for a minor amount.
  • Enveloping Mist
    • 6.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 2 sec cast
    • Wrap the target in healing mists, healing them for a huge amount over 6 sec, and increasing healing received from your spells by 30%.
  • Renewing Mist
    • 3.5% Mana, Instant, 6 sec cooldown
    • You surround the target with healing mists, restoring a huge amount of health over 20 sec.
    • If Renewing Mist causes any overhealing, it will travel to the most injured ally within 20 yds.
    • When Renewing Mist heals, it has a 4% chance to increase the healing of your next Vivify by 50%.
  • Essence Font
    • 8.0% Mana, 40 yd range, Channeled
    • Unleash a rapid twirl of healing bolts at up to 6 allies within 25 yds, every 1 sec for 3 sec.
    • Each bolt heals the target for a moderate amount, plus an additional moderate amount over 8 sec.
  • Vivify
    • 5.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
    • Cause a surge of invigorating mists around the target, healing them and their 2 nearest injured allies for a moderate amount.

Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Mistweaver-specific talents:
  • Mistwalk
    • 40 yd range, Instant, 20 sec recharge, 2 charges
    • Instantly dash to an ally, and heal them for a large amount.


Windwalker
Among monks, none have mastered the martial arts as the windwalkers have, and few across Azeroth can fight with their grace. Windwalkers possess unparalleled physical finesse, and are capable of overwhelming their enemies with a dizzying flurry of punches and kicks. Their skill comes primarily from a lifetime of intense training and discipline, but the power they exhibit is shrouded in more mysticism than meets the untrained eye. The combination of their peak physical conditioning, state of inner calm, and leveraging of mystical chi makes windwalker monks a true force to be reckoned with.

"Windwalkers possess unparalleled physical finesse, and are capable of overwhelming their enemies with a dizzying flurry of punches and kicks."

Gameplay
Powerful themes fuel the Guardian Druid, but the gameplay falls short of delivering on them. In particular,
Similar to Brewmasters, here we focused on getting more depth out of less complexity. Windwalkers’ new Mastery, Combo Strikes, encourages mixing a variety of abilities, which provides a constant gameplay hook that influences every ability they use and draws inspiration from classic fighting games. In addition, we’ve polished Storm, Earth, and Fire to remove some cumbersome mechanics. Windwalkers still use a combination of Energy and Chi, along with a heavy dose of short cooldowns.

Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Windwalker Monks:
  • Mastery: Combo Strikes
    • Your abilities deal 25% (with Mastery from typical gear) more damage when they are not a repeat of the previous ability.
  • Tiger Palm
    • 50 Energy, Melee Range, Instant
    • Attack with the palm of your hand, dealing minor damage and generating 2 Chi.
    • Tiger Palm has an 8% chance to make your next Blackout Kick cost no Chi.
  • Blackout Kick
    • 1 Chi, Melee Range, Instant
    • Kick with a blast of Chi energy, dealing moderate Physical damage.
  • Rising Sun Kick
    • 2 Chi, Melee Range, Instant, 8 sec cooldown
    • You kick upwards, dealing strong damage, and reducing the effectiveness of healing on the target for 10 sec.
  • Fists of Fury
    • 3 Chi, Melee Range, Channeled, 20 sec cooldown
    • Pummel all targets in front of you, dealing massive damage over 4 sec. Deals reduced damage to secondary targets.
    • Can be channeled while moving.
  • Spinning Crane Kick
    • 1 Chi, Channeled
    • You spin while kicking in the air, dealing moderate damage over 1.5 sec to enemies within 8 yds.
  • Storm, Earth, and Fire
    • Split into 3 elemental spirits, suited to attacking 3 or more enemies. Each spirit deals 50% of normal damage and healing.
    • The Monk directly controls the Storm spirit, while Earth and Fire spirits mimic the Monk's attacks on different nearby enemies.
    • Lasts until toggled off, or either Earth or Fire are destroyed.
    • Developer Comment: Now a simple toggle—no targeting necessary! Spirits will automatically seek out nearby enemies to attack while you attack your target.

Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Windwalker-specific talents:
  • Hit Combo
    • Passive
    • Each successive attack that triggers Combo Strikes in a row grants 1% increased damage, stacking up to 10 times.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this early preview of our approach to Monk class and specialization design in World of Warcraft: Legion. We’ll continue our series later today with a look at Monks.

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