World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2014-10-12 09:23 AM

Double Exp and Double Goblin Buffs, Clarsen's Monk Guide, DH BiS Guide

BlizzCon 2014 America Regionals Deck Lists

Skin Spotlight: Master Tyrande, Town Hall: Heroes #34 - The Return of the Alpha

Hazzikostas & Holinka Interview Recap
The interview with ConvertToRaid mostly recapped things that have already been talked about, but the highlights are below:

  • The Blizzcon Live Raid is Method vs Midwinter in Heroic Highmaul.
  • The Simcraft DPS rankings are currently not accurate. (WatcherDev)
  • Warlords boss fights try to integrate the environment more, similar to the Siegecrafter fight in Siege of Orgrimmar.
  • Only the ring legendary is planned right now. Earning legendary items over the course of the expansion is the plan going forward.
  • Later patches may increase the rate at which alts can complete the legendary quest line, as long as one character has already done it.
  • The team is continuing to try and make arenas easier to watch.
  • Updating Moonkin and other shapeshifted player models is still on the list.
  • The Warlords world bosses won't be hard like the early version of Oondasta.

Originally Posted by Watcher
Just chiming in since I know my remark will be controversial. SimCraft itself is a very cool utility, and can definitely be helpful for better understanding and modeling rotations and trying to answer questions about a spec itself, such as "How much of a difference does my 2pc bonus make?" or "What if you tried a different rotation that prioritized X over Y?"

Where it breaks down, is when you try to compare across different classes/specs, which are using different modules. Some are better than others, but they're also making different assumptions along the way. I realize that players really want to understand where their spec falls in the overall rankings, and that in the absence of an up-to-date 6.0 raidbots or equivalent, a visual chart like the SimCraft output looks tremendously appealing. But it really isn't an accurate reflection of the current state of overall spec balance.

And again, this isn't to say that balance is perfect. It isn't. But I'd avoid focusing on these particular numbers.

Accuracy varies a lot from module to module. In general, most of the ones I've looked at are decent about answering questions within a given spec (stat weights, set bonus value, rotation variations, etc., like I said above), which is what the tool was originally (IIRC) designed for. In terms of being an accurate picture of best vs. worst... well... let's take a look at the SimCraft stack rank from a month before 5.4 went live, which I found with some quick Googling: According to that, I guess every warlock should've rerolled before Siege of Orgrimmar, because they were apparently terrible, huh?

Warlords of Draenor - New Character Models
We are finishing up our new character model previews with Gnome, Night Elf, Tauren, Troll, and Draenei. We looked at the other races yesterday. Blood Elves are coming in a future patch.

Gnome Male

Gnome Female
The happy Gnome Female from Blizzcon is gone now.

Night Elf Male

Night Elf Female

Tauren Male

Tauren Female

Troll Male

Troll Female

Draenei Male

Draenei Female

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mage (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
was giving prismatic crystal a GCD intended?
Yes, and its duration increased to compensate (and then some). (Celestalon)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Are windwalker monks really supposed to have 30+ keybinds in warlords? I just counted the skills and the prunning did nothing to us
They had the lowest number of active buttons in the game. (holinka)

Are the normal 5-mans in the beta supposed to be incredibly difficult to do in heroic raid gear, or is it just me?
Your gear is being scaled to the bare minimum for the zone. Which dungeon(s) did you find to be too challenging? (WatcherDev)

Are the insanely long loot tables for dungeon bosses intended ?
Personal loot in dungeons means every boss needs to have at least something for every spec. (WatcherDev)

Why don't you guys make a PvP talent tree to a whole different one from PvE separated, so they don't interfere for more balance?
We already do so many thing to tune the game separately. A second talent tree sounds like a complexity nightmare. (holinka)

Reputation / Questing
Does WoD have hidden/alternative quests that reveal themselves after having a convo between an npc?
Quests are there to guide you, so we don't generally hide them. WoD has more "discover-able" content than any expac, though. (_DonAdams)

Does WoD give players choices that alter (at least slightly) the story while questing? Makes people pay attention to the story.
The building you choose to construct at your garrison outpost in each zone can lead to different quests in some cases. (_DonAdams)

Do WoD have optional (or interactions) that are morally driven rather than reward driven? (Saving a person in a fire for nothing)
We tend to create interactions that have a mechanical purpose (objective credit, buff) or add flavor. (_DonAdams)
If you save a person from a fire, we feel like we should reward you for that, in addition to you feeling morally good about it. (_DonAdams)

Is there any open-world non-raid reason to group in WoD? Do you think there should be? Is that supported gameplay?
We have some group quests while leveling up, and several of the max-level outdoor areas are group content. (WatcherDev)

In Diablo 2 there are random shrines that spawn to add flavor to the gameplay. I always wondered why WoW doesn't have this...
Timeless Isle had these! (Muffinus)
Will we see any random shrines like these in Warlords?
There are tons of useful buff items scattered around Draenor/endgame POIs, not shrines this round, different/new stuff (Muffinus)

Is the barn supposed to make cooking obsolete or is this an oversight? Garrisons shouldn't be more important than the characters.
Your shipments are limited, and not everyone will have the barn, how many feasts does your raid need? (Muffinus)

Any chance we can Have prisoners of enemy factions in our garrison? i'd love to have gnome slaves and goblin overseers please
This was going to be a feature of the barracks jail at one point, maybe we'll revisit it in the future with some fun questgivers (Muffinus)

some of us would rather have a "collect them all" than "research which follower comes from where in advance"
You can see them in your follower list (uncollected followers show up as grey but searchable), but yes that is a concern. (Muffinus)

What if we want to collect those other followers though!
Considering ways to allow you to gain them in the future. (Muffinus)

Hazzikostas & Holinka Live Sunday, 10/12
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This Sunday, October 12 at 9:00 a.m. PDT, lead game designer Ion Hazzikostas and senior game designer Brian Holinka will be joining the Convert to Raid show panel live to discuss all things Warlords of Draenor. You can tune in via Convert to Raid's website or on GamebreakerTV's Twitch channel. My colleagues and I will be hanging out in Twitch chat during the show to mingle with you all too.

We'd love to have you tune in!

After live airing, rebroadcasts of the show will be available in MP3 and VOD formats at
by Published on 2014-10-11 11:23 AM

Edriel's End-Game Suggestions, Saturday's Technical Issues

BlizzCon Americas Regional Finalists & Videos

Heroes Alpha Patch 32455 - Promotional Items, Anub'arak & Azmodan, New Mounts, New Skins, Hero Changes

Warlords of Draenor - New Character Models
With Patch 6.0.2 and new character models only days away it is time to take a look at the new character models that go live with the patch. We are starting with Human, Dwarf, Orc, and Undead.

Human Male

Human Female

Dwarf Male

Dwarf Female

Orc Male

Orc Female

Undead Male

Undead Female

CASC Conversion in 6.0.2
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As previously announced, the Warlords of Draenor 6.0.2 pre-patch marks our transition to the new “Content Addressable Storage Container” (CASC) file format system. This transition is an automatic process that will occur through the desktop app as it installs Patch 6.0.2. While it shouldn’t require any action on your part, we have a few notes on the process that can help ensure a smooth install.

  • By default your desktop app is set to download future patch data automatically. If you’ve turned yours off we recommend re-enabling it to download the 6.0.2 patch data. It’s a pretty big patch, and starting now will save you precious Iron Horde-killing time on Tuesday. Your background download settings are configurable per-game, and you can also adjust things like download speed, among other settings.

  • There will be one small final patch on 6.0.2 release-day that will include the last few files to install the patch. Right now we’re expecting it to be around 100MB.

  • If you’re one to leave your computer on and desktop app running, on the morning of the patch release the install and conversion to CASC will happen automatically.

  • Hard drive fragmentation can slow down just about anything you do on your computer, but especially when a program needs to move around large data files, like this patch and conversion process will need to. If you haven’t defragged your hard drive in a while, we recommend looking into it as a possible install-time saving preparation step. Note that defrags aren't typically necessary or recommended if using an SSD.

  • If you’re coming back to the game and looking to reinstall from scratch, be aware that all game discs out in the world are printed using the old MPQ file format. That means that if you attempt to install from those discs after 6.0.2, the desktop app will instead install by downloading the game. That’s of course not necessarily a bad thing, especially because downloading can actually sometimes be faster than a disc install. Discs being printed for Warlords of Draenor, and for future “Battle Chests”, will be printed in the CASC format and they’ll be able to be used to install from as before.

  • If you encounter any problems with the install or conversion please visit our Technical Support forum. For additional troubleshooting instructions or to speak with Blizzard support please use the Support site.

While we've tried to ensure as speedy a conversion as possible by using most of your existing game data, this is a complex process, and depending on your hardware, hard drive fragmentation and free space, among other factors, this still may take a bit of time to complete. We hope some of these hints help cut that down even further.

Apparently it's not removing the old files, so you're going to use more space.
Not entirely accurate. As the conversion processes each MPQ, it deletes it. At the end of the conversion you should be at or around the same folder size if you've already downloaded all of the 6.0.2 data to this point, and should only need around 4GB free for the conversion itself.

Something people have noted in testing though is a lack of "garbage collection", which would cleanup redundant files after new versions are installed. This is an issue mainly in a beta environment as constant (sometimes daily) updates are released and redundant data builds up very quickly, but it isn't something that will immediately result in a larger install upon release of 6.0.2. Implementing garbage collection is something our engineers are working toward.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Level 90 UBRS
There will be an item level restriction to queue for the limited time level 90 UBRS dungeon, but we're still evaluating exactly what we want that number to be. Note that the dungeon is tuned for players with at least a few pieces of Siege of Orgrimmar LFR gear. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 6.0.2 Changes
All game-wide systems and content changes being introduced with Warlords are implemented with 6.0.2. That's all class changes, new character models, any end-of-seasons for PvP or Challenge Modes or Brawler's Guild, item squish, the new Premade Groups finder, any tuning or balancing, and pretty much every change that affects the game in a holistic way, all happen next Tuesday. So yeah, it's kiiiiiind of a big deal.

Oh also there's the pre-expansion event that happens too, so there's also some new content between now and the actual expansion launch.

What isn't available in 6.0.2, and requires Warlords of Draenor, is walking through the portal and experiencing the actual content of the expansion. Garrisons, dungeons, raids, quests, mounts, etc. etc. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Hunter (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
No hyperbole, just want to know why its excusable to be low on numbers as a pure dps class. MM is our only dps-strong option.
On what fight? (Celestalon)
On any. Patchwerk specific, it seriously feels like BM/Survival underperforms. Vague but AoE as survival is also not there.
We virtually never make Patchwerk fights; that would be an extremely niche case in practice. Not a fair comparison. (Celestalon)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Which abilities do you define as 'Barrier' and 'Block' for monks?
Block would be like Stagger and Purifying Brew (%-based). Barrier would be like Guard and Expel Harm (AP-based). (Celestalon)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
EQ buffed (through ECL Perk)? Thought we were going to put more dmg into CL and less into EQ per your post forever ago.
Ele AoE DPS w/o EQ is average. With EQ is amazing. The change is to make sure it's amazing. (Celestalon)

Are we going to be seeing skirmishes in the pre-patch? If so, can we play them in-between seasons?
yes and yes (holinka)

Any news on whether xp-on and off brackets will be merged come WoD?
they will not for the same reasons they have never been merged (holinka)

Make PvPers have their rating achieves reset but keep titles. So there is something to look forward to in WoD, I want to again
understand the desire here. We could definitely provide something cool seasonly here. (holinka)

In large scale PvP like Ashran or even AV, ranged seem much better than melee in crossfire scenarios, thoughts/opinons?
Different classes/specs have strengths/weaknesses in different scenarios. We're ok with this. (holinka)

Tank specs used to work well in PvP without being OP, in wrath for example they were perfectly viable.
For every person that says "X was perfectly viable/balanced in expansion Y" there's a person that disagrees (holinka)
Balance is certainly subjective and usually a matter of perspective. (holinka)

Reputation / Questing
Telaar post-Warsong quests should be phased to remove the orcs, no? we beat them out of the town
Phasing divides players and prevents you from helping a friend through content you've already completed. We use it sparingly. (_DonAdams)
There are TONS of places where one could argue for a "problem solved" phase, but we generally don't do them. (_DonAdams)

Could you confirm me that one can only have 1 of Shado pan's daily hubs active in the quest log at a given time?
Yes, only one area is available per day for the Shado Pan dailies. If you have old dailies, try abandoning them. (_DonAdams)

New World of Warcraft Comic: Blackhand
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
A master tactician, Blackhand has never been one to shy away from battle. No matter what enemies the Blackrock orcs face, he has always identified a weakness to take advantage of, and used it to lead his clan to victory. His strength, tenacity, and cunning are legendary among Draenor’s orc warlords.

But even the best strategists can only do so much when outnumbered and overwhelmed. When ogres attack the Blackrock clan's domain, Blackhand exploits every advantage he can think of and finds he’s still unable to turn the tide of battle. With his warriors pitted against impossible odds, Blackhand has to look for aid in truly unexpected places. Will the price of the Blackrock clan’s survival end up being too high?

We invite you to read and download the free comic, “Blackhand,” written by Robert Brooks and illustrated by Alex Horley.

Learn more about Blackhand’s past and future at Characters of Warcraft: Blackhand.
by Published on 2014-10-09 07:16 PM

Patch 6.0.2: The Iron Tide Crashes into Azeroth October 14
Less than a week remains to finish everything that is changing in Patch 6.0.2!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Patch 6.0.2: The Iron Tide is scheduled to crash into Azeroth on Tuesday, October 14. Featuring new content heralding the Iron Horde incursion, updates to the skills and abilities for every class, and a host of gameplay adjustments, this overture to Warlords of Draenor is coming at you armed to the teeth.

Treacherous Developments
The Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands has turned blood red. Hundreds of strange-looking orcs are violently pouring into Azeroth, killing everything that stands in their path. Nethergarde and Okril’lon have already fallen, and while the Horde and the Alliance moved as quickly as they could to get reinforcements to their people, they are too late. The Iron Horde invasion has begun.

In this desperate hour, King Wrynn and Warchief Vol’jin have called upon their greatest champions to join the front lines in the Blasted Lands and do whatever they can to stop the Iron Horde . . . before the rest of Azeroth falls before them.

Word of this surprise attack sends players rushing to the Blasted Lands to reckon with the barbarous infiltration. After the fall of a high ranking Iron Horde general named Gar’mak Bladetwist, you’ll report what you’ve witnessed in the Blasted Lands to King Wrynn or Warchief Vol’jin. It’s apparent to both the Horde and the Alliance that this is only the first salvo in a much larger conflict, and the only way to win is to take the fight directly to the Iron Horde . . . by journeying through the Dark Portal into Draenor.

The Infiltration of Blackrock Spire
An advance party of Iron Horde forces has barged right out of the Blasted Lands and pushed all the way to Blackrock Mountain, where they found refuge and supplies in Upper Blackrock Spire. There can be only one response: the Alliance and the Horde of Azeroth must face this iron incursion head on.

Available to level-90 characters for a limited time, this specially revamped five-player version of Upper Blackrock Spire sets the stage for the coming counterstrike against the Iron Horde. Here, you will face Orebender Gor'ashan, Kyrak, and Commander Tharbek as you begin to take the fight to the enemy and sharpen the skills—and swords—you’ll need to succeed on an unwelcoming alien world.

Prepare yourself. Draenor is waiting.
by Published on 2014-10-09 05:44 PM

Garrison Preview Part 3—Who Are You Calling Your People?
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In this series of blog posts, we’re giving you a closer look at Garrisons and how you can expect to interact with them in Warlords of Draenor. This third part is focused on Followers – the people who populate your home base, do your bidding, and come together to form a small army to take on what the Iron Horde is going to throw at you.

As we mentioned in part 1 of this series, we want the process of staking your claim on Draenor to fundamentally shape your gameplay experience. In part 2 of this series, we looked at some of the buildings that you might choose to construct and the different perks and rewards they offer you. In this part, we’re getting to know the NPCs you’ll surround yourself with, and what they’re capable of.

First Bud
Once your Garrison starts to come together, with a Barracks up and running, you’ll encounter your first Follower and send him on his first mission. You’ll use the command table in the Garrison to activate the Followers window, which allows you to manage your Followers. Therein, you’ll have a searchable list of all Followers available to you in the game and all of the information you need to work with them: their class, spec, quality, abilities, traits, level, xp needed to reach next level, and what they’re currently up to. Followers can level up to 100 just like you can, and you’ll want to level them up, as each Follower becomes more powerful as she gains levels.

While you aren’t restricted from collecting as many Followers as you like, your Garrison can only operate properly with a maximum of 20 active Followers (this number is increased to 25 if your Garrison features a level 3 Barracks). Followers can be inactivated to maintain the total population you’re going for, and inactive Followers don’t forfeit any of their experience while waiting for you to activate them again later.

One of the main keys to a Follower’s success is his Quality. As with many other systems in WoW, Followers come in Uncommon, Rare, and Epic quality. This designation limits the Follower’s abilities and traits, with an Uncommon Follower allowed one of each, a Rare Follower using one ability and two traits, and an Epic Follower gaining two abilities and three traits. Importantly, all Followers can upgrade to Epic Quality, and they gain random traits and a second random ability along the way. The experience they gain after they reach level 100 is what upgrades their Quality.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Your Followers’ abilities and traits define how you’ll use them, and generally, you’ll assign Followers who have specific Profession bonus traits to buildings devoted to that profession, and you'll send strong fighters out on missions. Those with a good match for your buildings will stay home and work for you while you send others out into the wild on missions.

It’s a dangerous planet on which you’re building a Garrison, and different threats are best met by certain abilities that your Followers take into battle. For example, if you need to send someone to deal with an enemy who has deadly minions, you’ll want to choose a Follower who happens to be a Druid with Entangling Roots, or a Hunter with Freezing trap, or a Rogue with Sap, etc.

You won’t always have the perfect counter for the missions you need your Followers to undertake, and that’s okay. As missions become more challenging, you’ll get to send Followers out in groups, and there are some traits that affect other Followers in the group. The race preference traits are a good example here, as a Follower who has a preference for Goblin companions will increase the chance that the mission is a success when you surround her with Goblins.

I (E.I. … E.I.) Will Always Love You
The Bodyguard trait is truly notable. A small number of specific Followers have this trait, and when you assign them to a level 2 or 3 Barracks, they become your personal protector. That’s right; if you ask him to, a Bodyguard Follower will follow you right out of the Garrison and into the savage lands of Draenor, fighting by your side, utilizing his class abilities, and gaining reputation with you.

Some restrictions may apply. Bodyguard will not follow you into any battlegrounds, instances, scenarios, or washrooms. You may only have one working Bodyguard at a time. Void where prohibited. Seriously.

Reputation, you say? Yes. Much like the NPCs you earned reputation with in Pandaria, your Bodyguard will get to know you, and after many trials by your side, he will become your Wingman and gain another Ability. After much more experience fighting together, he’ll reach the remarkable reputation level of Personal Wingman. Your Personal Wingman comes with a special perk, and perks include:

  • The ability to summon another player to your position
  • A portable repair kit
  • A portable mailbox
  • The ability to cast a portal that you can use to return to your Garrison

Do You Need Something Specific?
With a level 2 Inn/Tavern, you’ll gain access to a headhunter. Working with your own private “HR at the bar”, you can order up a Follower who has a specific ability or trait. The headhunter will then present you with three potential new hires, and you can choose one of the three.

It’s a process that is so exhausting for the headhunter that she can only perform this feat once per week!

There are many other ways to obtain new Followers. Some come to you as the result of Garrison missions. You’ll meet others as you complete quests in Draenor zones such as Talador, Spires of Arak, and Nagrand. Still others can be purchased, and Followers such as Nat Pagle can only be attracted to your Garrison by your great deeds in the field of their expertise.

You are going to do many great deeds, right?

Check out our previous Garrison previews:

In part 4, we’ll take a stroll through a fully built and operational Garrison, touching on the daily and weekly steps you might take as you bring the pain to your enemies on Draenor and seek out fine rewards for yourself.

If you’re beta testing Warlords of Draenor with us and have any Garrison-related questions or experiences to share, head over to our Beta General Discussion forum and post it there. You can also leave a comment in the forums here.
by Published on 2014-10-08 09:43 PM

Warlords of Draenor Beta - Build 19000
Build 19000 will be deployed to the Beta realms soon.

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Monk (Forums, Talent Calculator)
  • Chi Explosion damage now scales with 62.5% of AP, down from 89.1%.

Rogue (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Assassination & Subtlety

Shaman (Forums, Talent Calculator)

Raid & Dungeon Abilities
  • Ravage Inflicts 5,130 physical damage to the target. Instant. 20 yd range. Instant.

Justice and Valor Conversion
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I understand Valor and Justice will be gotten rid of, so will their be a gold conversion with any left over or should we spend it all instead?
The gold conversion for Justice and Valor Points will be made at 47 silver per point.

Patch 6.0.2 - Wrath of the Lich King Commendation Badges Removed
It looks like the Commendation Badges from Wrath of the Lich King are also going away, so be sure to buy them soon if you want to level up those reputations. You can see all of the things going away in Patch 6.0.2 in our recap.

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