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by Published on 2014-06-04 10:39 PM

Update (Jun 4 Hotfix): Queuing for a non-random Normal Scenario now awards 30 Justice Points on completion (down from 70 Justice Points).

Warlords of Draenor Alpha Invites Going Out
It looks like the alpha is finally here!


  • As shown above, new character models can be disabled.
  • Currently only Frostfire Ridge is open for testing.
  • The Grinning Reaver and Warforged Nightmare have been added to in the game shop. Keep in mind that items can be added to the shop just for testing purposes.


Garrison Screenshots



UI Improvements

  • The Dungeon Journal now includes short overviews of the fight for each role, which should help players that don't know the fights.
  • The Key Binding UI has also been improved to a tabbed list rather than a very long list you have to scroll through.
  • You are now able to manage addons in game without having to log out. The Simple Addon Control or Addon Control Panel addons will do the same thing now.
  • The mount UI now supports marking mounts as favorites and summoning a random favorite mount. It also makes mounts red when they are unusable in the current area and shows a source.
  • The world map now becomes translucent while moving.
  • The Toybox UI has been added and a basic list of items is in place.
  • Bags now have an autosort and basic options to go along with it.











Object and NPC Outlines
Quest objects and NPCs now have outlines when selected or needed for a quest, making them easier to see. This replaces the old sparkles that were used for quest objects previously. Outlines can be disabled or only set on quest related entities.




Alpha Invite Email

by Published on 2014-06-04 05:05 PM

Dev Watercooler - Stat Updates for Warlords of Draenor

Warlords Dark Portal, June 3 Hotfixes, Blue Tweets, Azeroth Choppers, Final Boss #45

The Guardian Cub Heading into the Blizzard Archive
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
In approximately two weeks (no sooner than June 18), the titanically cute Guardian Cub will vanish from the Battle.net Shop and head into hiberation in the Blizzard Archive. If you’ve been thinking about adopting this in-game pet, now’s your chance before it's no longer available for purchase.


To pick up this pet or learn more about how it differs from other purchasable companions, visit the Battle.net Shop here.
by Published on 2014-06-04 03:06 PM

Warlords Dark Portal, June 3 Hotfixes, Blue Tweets, Azeroth Choppers, Final Boss #45

Dev Watercooler – Stat Updates for Warlords of Draenor
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In this Dev Watercooler, we’d like to give an update on secondary and minor stats in Warlords of Draenor. A lot has changed since we first revealed our plans at BlizzCon, so this blog will not only cover the latest developments related to what we’ve already discussed, but also go into detail on some new changes we’ve got in the pipe.

Secondary Stats

Existing Secondary Stats: Hit, Expertise, Dodge, Parry, Crit, Mastery, Haste, Spirit
As we announced at BlizzCon, we’re retiring Hit, Expertise, Dodge, and Parry. Hit and Expertise weren’t really providing very interesting gameplay, and Dodge and Parry are being replaced with Bonus Armor. Check out the Patch Notes for further discussion on why we removed these stats.

The other secondary stats—Crit, Mastery, Haste, and Spirit—work well and will be sticking around. One important note is that Spirit will only appear on items for specific slots (fingers, neck, back, and trinkets) and will give a much stronger benefit than it does today. Healers will prefer items with Spirit for those slots, but otherwise will use similar gear to everyone else.

New Stat: Multistrike
A new stat in Warlords of Draenor, Multistrike grants your spells, abilities, and auto-attacks additional chances to activate. If you’ve been following along since BlizzCon, you may remember that in our early plans, your Multistrike chance would split between two rolls and effectively have a 200% cap. We’ve since changed that to make it more clear and intuitive: the full chance is given to both rolls, with a 100% cap.

Now Multistrike grants your spells, abilities, and auto-attacks the chance to activate up to two extra times at 30% of normal effectiveness. For example, if you have 55% Multistrike and cast a Fireball that does 1000–1100 damage, you’ll have two separate 55% chances to automatically follow with another smaller Fireball that does 300–330 damage. That means every time you cast Fireball, you have a chance to see one big-damage Fireball, and then two smaller-damage Fireballs leave your hands in quick succession.

New Stat: Bonus Armor
Throughout the game’s history, some items have had bonus armor on them, which made them more attractive to tanks. After we removed Dodge and Parry, we wanted to replace these stats with a new tank-specific stat, and Bonus Armor fit the bill nicely. As with Spirit, it’ll only show up on rings, necklaces, cloaks, and trinkets. It’s clearly valuable to all tanks, and will be tuned to be much stronger than other secondary stats. Tanks will want to use items with Bonus Armor for those slots.

Retiring Stat: Amplify
We tried out Amplify on trinkets in Siege of Orgrimmar, and at BlizzCon we announced that it’d be a stat in Warlords of Draenor. The intent of Amplify was to multiply the effects of your other secondary stats. However, as we continued development, we found that Amplify had some design problems. In particular, we determined that it would quickly become the absolute best stat for everyone. On top of that, even if we were to apply heavy diminishing returns, the stat still wouldn’t have an interesting effect on your gameplay. For those reasons, it’s no longer going to be a stat in Warlords of Draenor.

Retiring Stat: Readiness
Readiness was another stat that we tried out on Siege of Orgrimmar trinkets. This one looked solid at first. Cooldown reduction is a great concept, the idea was well received, and although there were some balance issues, they seemed solvable. However, as we continued development, we hit a snag. Readiness works great in small quantities on the scale of a trinket or two, like in Siege of Orgrimmar. However, when we expand that to a point where you could potentially have Readiness on all of your character’s gear, problems arise.

Using a damage-dealing (DPS) class as an example, most of the stat’s value comes in letting you use your temporary burst-damage cooldowns (Arcane Power, Vendetta, Recklessness, Dark Soul, etc.) more often. Most of those cooldowns increase damage by 20%–30% while active, which is substantial for a temporary burst ability, but doesn’t compare well against secondary stats. If you stack a lot of Crit and can reach 30% Crit from gear, that’s more or less a 30% passive increase to damage. If secondary stats are equal, you should be able to stack Readiness instead, and get a damage increase that’s similar (or at least close). But how do we give you a 30% damage increase from letting you use a +20% damage cooldown more often? And once you get to 100% uptime, then what?

We experimented with many potential design changes but never found a version of Readiness that really felt good, so we’re going to shelve it for now, at least as a common secondary stat. You may still see it pop up occasionally in small quantities, such as on a trinket.

New Stat: Versatility
The removal of Readiness left some space in our itemization plans and room for another stat to take its place. It’s important to offer players plenty of different secondary stats so that you have a wide variety of interesting and compelling gear to choose from. To that end, we’ve been working on a new secondary stat called Versatility. Versatility is pretty simple: 1% Versatility grants a 1% increase to your damage, healing, and absorbs, and reduces the damage you take by 0.5%. It’s a straightforward, obvious upgrade to your primary role’s performance, but also gives significant boosts to secondary role performance and survivability. The healing increase it provides does work on self-heals, such as Recuperate, for example. We won’t be tuning it to be anyone’s highest throughput secondary stat, but it’ll be close, and it’ll give you a nice boost to how versatile your character is in the process. It’ll be especially attractive to hybrids who want to feel more “hybridy.”

Minor Stats
Most gear that drops in Warlords of Draenor has a chance to have a random bonus in addition to its normal stats. We call these “minor stats,” and they provide a small but useful bonus to your character.

New Minor Stat: Movement Speed
The first of our minor stats is Movement Speed, which, as you can probably guess, increases the speed that you move by a small amount. Previously, movement speed increases came from enchants and various class abilities, but otherwise never directly came from gear. The Movement Speed minor stat will stack with all other sources of movement speed, but we’ll be keeping the maximum benefit you can get from it fairly low—we want it to feel like a fun bonus when you get it, but not a large increase to character power.

New Minor Stat: Avoidance
Another minor stat, Avoidance, has previously only ever been used for a few prominent class pets. It reduces the damage you take from area-of-effect (AoE) attacks, though compared to the pet version, the Avoidance minor stat will come in much smaller quantities. The goal is to soften the blow of AoE attacks a bit, but not allow you to just stand in the fire.

New Minor Stat: Indestructible (previously Sturdiness)
We called this one Sturdiness when we announced it at BlizzCon, and its original effect reduced durability damage that you take by a small amount across your whole character. Since then, we’ve renamed it Indestructible, and changed it to cause that specific item to not take any durability damage. We think the change will make the stat more intuitive while providing a similar overall benefit.

New Minor Stat: Leech (previously Lifesteel)
Lifesteal is another minor stat that has been renamed and slightly redesigned since BlizzCon. Our original plan was for it to convert a percentage of your damage done to self-healing. We’ve extended it to work for healers as well, causing an extra percentage of all of the healing you do to heal you as well. With that change, the name was no longer fitting, so we’re renaming it Leech.

Proposed Minor Stat: Cleave
We announced Cleave as a minor stat at BlizzCon, but have since run into some problems with it. Most importantly, it was of situational value to DPS classes, always valuable to healers, and had very little value to tanks. As a result, we were concerned it would cause items that would otherwise be equally appropriate for a healer and a DPS class to be viewed as “healer gear,” which isn’t our intent. We’ve shelved it for now, though we have some ideas about how it might show up occasionally in specific cases.

The Complete List

In summary, here’s a complete list of our planned secondary and minor stats in Warlords of Draenor:

  • Secondary Stats
    • Haste: (Unchanged) Increases attack speed, spell casting speed, and some resource generation
    • Critical Strike: (Unchanged) Increases your chance to critically strike, dealing double damage
    • Mastery: (Unchanged) Increases the effectiveness of your specialization-specific Mastery
    • Multistrike: (New) Grants two chances for your damage and healing effects to fire an additional time, each at 30% effectiveness
    • Versatility: (New) Increases damage and healing, and reduces damage taken
    • Spirit: (Unchanged, healer-only) Increases mana regeneration rate
    • Bonus Armor: (New, tank-only) Increases your armor
  • Minor Stats
    • Movement Speed: (New) Increases your movement speed
    • Indestructible: (New) Causes the item to not take durability damage
    • Leech: (New) Causes you to be healed for a portion of all damage and healing done
    • Avoidance: (New) Reduces your damage taken from area-of-effect attacks.

As you can see, we have a lot of exciting changes and additions in the works designed to give you a variety of intuitive and interesting gearing options. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how these are playing out in our alpha and beta testing, and we’ll continue to refine and adjust as needed. As always, we look forward to hearing your constructive feedback!
by Published on 2014-06-04 04:44 AM

CotA And Multiple Pets Getting Fixed In 2.1, Haunt and LS %Damage On Gear To Start Applying, Console Pre-Order Bonuses

Curse of Naxxramas: Shaman Card Renamed to Reincarnate

Alpha Patch 30509 - Explorer Li Li, Commander Raynor, WW3 Sgt. Hammer, New Shop Bundle

Warlords of Draenor - Dark Portal
The Dark Portal model that is located in Draenor appears to still be in progress, as it is missing textures for most of the model, but it does have an interesting addition compared to the Outland version.

The Draenor version of the Dark Portal has a small room under it that may be related to the Gul'dan's Prison quest, which mentions Gul'dan being held below the Dark Portal to power it. If you are interested in the quests that involve the Draenor Dark Portal, take a look at the early preview of the intro experience quest line.

Build 18297 also added a red version of the Dark Portal in Outland, which currently isn't being used anywhere. There is also some nice Fan Art that uses it to make a login screen.




Patch 5.4.8 Hotfixes - June 3
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Ethereal Soul-Trader can no longer be summoned while in an Arena or Battleground.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Also, I think it's being suggested that in high end raiding, choice in talent in that tier is an illusion.
For (literally) the top 0.1% of players, it's a non-choice. For the rest, it's a way to customize the feel of the rotation. (WatcherDev)
Is that the top 0.1% of raiders or all players? Raiders as those seeing the content.
The "content" in this case is the talent tiers themselves, no? In which case they are relevant to everyone. (WatcherDev)

Character / Items
If we've deleted certain toys in the past will they still appear in the toybox? (due to having the Q completed) I.e: Marmot
We hope to, but are unsure what form that will take. (Source)

Are drop rates going to be higher to compensate for gear changing stats and the same item being usable by more people?
Drop chances and treasure table structure are both going under the knife for some upgrades to account for the new paradigms. (Source)

PvE
What are your thoughts on Challenge modes being cheesed by use of Invis pots?
Invis pots are the counterbalance for Shroud of Concealment. Otherwise rogue would be mandatory. Mob kill count keeps it sane. (WatcherDev)

Since CMs will still downscale gear, and therefore still be challenging, could their loot tables improve each tier?
Quite possibly, yes, but it's too early to make a definite call on that. (WatcherDev)
I thought the plan was later patches have new dungeons + old dungeons scale up to remain relevant (to avoid burnout)
That's what we'd discussed. Scaling up CM gear rewards as new tiers unlock is a separate question entirely. (WatcherDev)

Free Faction Change
Question. Why free transfer to alliance for faster queue when after doing so horde queues will be fast again? Defeats the purpose?
Queue length is not the primary reason people transfer. Cost is the primary reason they don't. (holinka)

Servers/Cross servers NEED to be faction balanced. PvP servers/players DO NOT want a server with a dead opposite faction = boring.
Ironically PvE servers have great faction ratios. PvP servers are the ones that have trended towards imbalance. (holinka)

PvP
is blizzard working toward anything to stop DDOS or compensating for it, especially in the rbg environment?
DDOS attacks occur outside the realm of control of Blizzard. I recommend you do not use programs that make your IP address known. (holinka)

Just wondering what Bliizard's opinion is on Horde in Isle of Conquest?
I think Horde avoid it or give up too easily. They used to win it handily. (holinka)

Any chance the base wow arena Tournament UI getting revamped soon? No life bars over characters is hard to follow.
We have discussed ways to improve including low hanging fruit like nameplates and reducing number of buffs, damage/healing numbers. (holinka)

Are honor/cp rewards staying the same for random BGs in WoD, or are we switching to only drops?
Random BG/Call to Arms won't give an honor bonus anymore. It will be strong boxes. So today's system with a different bonus. (holinka)

It is my impression that damage, in PvP, scales twice as fast as healing, because there are generally two DPS per Healer. True?
False. Those scale in parallel; no net scaling difference. (Celestalon)

with long fears being reduced to 6 seconds, will you address sap, as it's a indirect nerf to sap and its function?
no plans to change sap (holinka)

Professions
so gathering profs are largely irrelevant with farming in MoP, any interest in making a secondary 'gathering' slot?
Something we have considered, but we'll just be focusing on making gathering useful this time around. (Source)

New Jumper cables and Army knife, no engineering requirement on them? What's the point in being an engineer now?
Knife has a requirement now. We decided against the other cables. (Source)
so new knife, Eng can combat res? (please say yes) if it fails (or not anymore?) would consume a res charge or not?
Not a combat rez, but will work 100% of the time. Side effects on the engineer may still occur.

Pets and Pet Battles
Could we get a sneak peek of one of those very cool bonuses?
Here ya go: We will be introducing a new type of battle pet stone that grants levels to pets instead of quality. (Source)

Doubleagent - Level 89 Neutral Pandaren
Doubleagent, the Neutral Pandaren has finally hit level 89! If you want to join him to celebrate hitting level 90 on June 21, you can join the Alliance and Horde events on OpenRaid.



Azeroth Choppers - Final Episode Filming in Progress
The final episode of Azeroth Choppers that will reveal the winner of the vote will air on Thursday and filming is going on now!



Final Boss Episode #45 - Enhancement Shamans
This week Final Boss takes a look at Enhancement Shaman with Purge <Pure> and Bithindel <Supermassive>, both in top 25 US guilds.


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