World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2015-07-23 06:58 AM

Ruins of Sescheron Preview, Legendary Gems' "Gift", Kanai's Cube Preparation Guide

New Expansion: The Grand Tournament - New Cards, Card Back, Hearthstone Patch 9554

Leoric Community Builds, ESL Announces Road to Blizzcon Tournament, Void Prison on BHB

Patch 6.2 Hotfixes - July 22
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Raids and Dungeons
Hellfire Citadel
Hellfire High Council


  • Etheralus, the Eternal Reward absorption effect should now correctly factor in Multistrikes from Healing Stream Totem and Healing Tide Totem. Additionally, healing dealt by Spirit Link's health redistribution no longer counts towards the absorption effect.
  • Nithramus, the All-Seer damage effect should now correctly factor in damage caused Prophecy of Fear's Doom Nova.
  • Prophecy of Fear Doom Nova effect should no longer be incorrectly triggered by Sunfall.

  • Fixed an issue where Venom Rush could incorrectly persist indefinitely.

Paragon - Mythic Mannoroth Kill Video
We looked at Method's Mythic Mannoroth video recently, so today we are taking a look at Paragon's video while we wait for more guilds to clear Mythic Hellfire Citadel.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Arms Nerf Justification
Prior to the nerf earlier this week, Arms was outperforming most specs by a considerable margin on virtually every fight in Hellfire Citadel. Our intent with the reduction of the 4-piece bonus this week wasn't to drastically reduce the viability of Arms Warriors, but rather to tone their DPS down just a bit and bring them more in-line with other damage dealers, while also fixing a bug that exacerbated the issue.

The nerf has only been in effect for a little over 24 hours, but so far Arms still seems to be doing very well. We'll continue to monitor how this change -- along with the changes we made to other DPS specs this week -- play out in Hellfire Citadel. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
The only reason I play Horde PVP in WoD is for the faster ques, same reason I played Alliance in MoP. Dont take my fast ques away.
Why do you think it will make your queues longer? (holinka)
Competition for spots, beforehand the horde would go straight in the spot, now loads of ally are contending for it
It is based on queue times. Currently, it would only be available when there are a lot of Alliance waiting. (holinka)
If it ever got to the point where the other faction was waiting too, it would turn off. (holinka)

If mercenary system get approved from the community on unranked pvp is there any chance to bring it to ranked arenas/rbgs?
The intent of Mercenary mode is to fix long queue times caused by faction populations. Doesn't apply to Ranked PvP. (holinka)

Why merc mode over, say, this:
A number of reasons. First, assuming the proposal as a non-optional thing: Sometimes Alliance just end up on Horde side. (holinka)
It is very jarring to suddenly be on the opposite side in starting area themed around the other faction. (holinka)
Second, it doesn't benefit the less represented faction in any way. Merc allows savvy players to switch sides to help. (holinka)
Third, we want to preserve the faction conflict in our unrated battlegrounds. (holinka)

In Mercenary Mode mode will players who are placed on opposite side wear the mask or is that a blog element only?
The NPCs have masks. (holinka)

It's just funny, Darkmoon firewater stacking, hotfixed in 2 days. PvP gear hotfixed in two months. Fun nerf > PvP
Bugs and design changes are not created equal. (WarcraftDevs)

Mount size nerf, undocumented in 6.2 notes. Can I get clarification on this please?
The change in 6.2 was too severe. We're currently discussing how to find a happy medium. We don't hate fun. (WarcraftDevs)

Hearthstone - The Grand Tournament
Blizzard announced another Hearthstone expansion today! Check out the full details on Hearthpwn.

  • The Grand Tournament launches this August with 132 new cards, many of which affect hero powers.
  • There will be a 50 Pack pre-purchase available next week for $49.99 USD which gives you a card back.
  • All of the new cards that have been revealed so far have been added to the deckbuilder on Hearthpwn!

by Published on 2015-07-22 05:43 AM

Diablo 2.3 PTR Patch 1 - Datamined Info

Special Announcement Tomorrow, Class Design Competition Finalists, Archon Team League Week 4

Leoric - Hero Trailer, Skins, Lore; Bans Coming to Team League

Armory Stats - Shipyard Achievements
Today we are taking a look at some of the shipyard achievements added in Patch 6.2. The data used today is a set of 1.8 million accounts that had a character active after June 15, 2015.

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!

Name Points Percent Category
Set Sail! Construct a shipyard for your garrison.
Naval Fleet Upgrade your shipyard to level 2.
Naval Armada Upgrade your shipyard to level 3.
Seaman Complete 50 Naval Missions.
Naval Treasure Specialist Complete 25 Naval Treasure Missions.
Ironsides Upgrade a ship of every type to Epic quality.

Patch 6.2 Hotfixes - July 21
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Tier-18 2-piece set bonus for Protection Paladins' Avenger's Reprieve effect no longer stacks and will refresh the duration of the effect instead.
  • Fixed an issue that caused Hammer of the Righteous to often hit the primary target twice instead of damaging one of the secondary targets.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Fixed an issue where the damage increase in a hotfix from June 26 for Repudiation of War was not working correctly.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Felhunter should now correctly require line-of-sight with its target to use the Spell Lock ability. Previously, it was incorrectly using line-of-sight with the Warlock instead.

Naval Missions
  • Black Market Journal: This naval mission should now have the correct blockade prerequisite for Barrier Sea.

  • Filling the Ranks: Tracking for progress towards completing the achievement should now be working correctly.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Two important notes about Mercenary mode: 1. You have to elect into it. 2. Mercenaries look and play 100% like the opposite faction. (holinka)
If someone wants nothing to do with mercenary mode, their experience will essentially be the same as it is now. (holinka)
I don't play human. But obvious question is what happens to them when they become orc but have no trink? Thx for all u guys do btw!
We're discussing solutions to that problem. (holinka)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
While the developers have been pretty quiet since @WarcraftDevs appeared, Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Do you think WoW 7.0 will be released on consoles, too? WoD ability pruning feels like a preparation for game controllers.
I would be surprised. WoW is really dependent on mouse + keyboard. But I have no insider knowledge either way. (OccupyGStreet)
Seems like 80% of the mmoc crowd dislikes the WoD changes.
I can't comment on specific changes because I'm out of touch. (OccupyGStreet)
My experience has been that players often remember how they felt when the game was new. (OccupyGStreet)
They remember that feeling and associate the older designs with those fond memories. (OccupyGStreet)
I loved the experience I had in BWL. Does that make BWL a better raid than Ulduar or ToT? Not in my opinion. (OccupyGStreet)

At lunch we were discussing progression rates in various games. (OccupyGStreet)
I postulated you can never effectively increase game time by drawing things out. You always have to add new rewards to justify it. Thoughts? (OccupyGStreet)
An example might be level rates in RPGs or farming loot in order to be able to handle bigger challenges. Just adding time always falls flat. (OccupyGStreet)
drawing out the rewards will make probably a third of players say Ill never get there. I quit.
Right. That was my thought. You can add more rewards to increase the time commitment though. (OccupyGStreet)
depends on the "experience". Are you trying to take a 20 hour experience and stretch it into a non meaningful 200hr exp?
No, I think there are games that do a good job of offering both. But some people want the shorter version and just get overwhelmed. (OccupyGStreet)
If it was a compelling enough game for me to want to play it again, I'd choose 200 on the second play thru.
Yeah, exactly. The same way you might go do new game+ for a harder version (or move on to another game). (OccupyGStreet)
only if the 20 hr experience cost less $$
Interesting.... (OccupyGStreet)
I think that's better done through design. If you ask people whether they want to miss out on stuff, they'll choose not to.
It's an issue of discipline. You can tell yourself to ignore all the collectibles on your map, but it's hard in actuality. (OccupyGStreet)
I would prefer they just give me the 20 hour experience because dev resources still would have been drained to make the 200.
I like the 200 hour experience in Witcher 3 and Assassin's Creed. I didn't want it for Batman. I think it's individual taste. (OccupyGStreet)
Maybe 20hrs gives you the main story directly and no side quests while the 200 throws you into the world like Skyrim
Yeah that's what I was thinking, or at least far fewer side quests. (OccupyGStreet)
I had friends quit Witcher because they were overwhelmed rather than just try and focus on the core story. (OccupyGStreet)

What if a game asked you at first launch if you wanted the 20 or the 200 hour experience? Sort of like choosing difficulty? (OccupyGStreet)
You mean similar to how Bioware had that 'Dialogue heavy, combat light' option for Mass Effect 3, but for open world?
Exactly. (OccupyGStreet)

Heroes of the Storm - Leoric
Leoric was added to live servers today and his trailer was released. Check out the skins and lore on HeroesNexus.

by Published on 2015-07-21 06:16 AM

Diablo 2.3 PTR Patch 1 - Datamined Info

Champions Pursue Valor, Glory, and Fun, Popular Decks of the Week

North America July Open Stream, Epic Plays of the Week #39

Patch 6.2 Hotfixes - July 20
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Class Tuning Changes
Please note that the following class tuning changes are still in-testing.

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Guardian
    • Ursa Major now lasts 15 seconds (down from 25 seconds).

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Elemental
    • Mastery: Molten Earth damage has been increased by 11%.
    • Ascendance now has a 2-minute cooldown (down from 3 minutes) for Elemental Shaman.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Affliction
    • Drain Soul damage has been increased by 50%, and now causes all other damage over time spells to instantly deal 50% of their normal damage (up from 40%).
    • Haunt damage has been increased by 25%, and now increases periodic damage dealt by 35% (up from 30%).
  • Destruction

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Fixed a number of issues with Sacred Draenic Incense for Mistweavers where it would benefit twice from effects which increase healing taken, and could bypass area-of-effect healing caps.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Armor Sets
  • Tier-18 4-piece set bonus for Discipline Priests now targets friendly targets to heal with the greatest % of missing health instead of current health. For example, the heal now prioritizes a player with 350k/500k instead of a player with 300k/300k health.

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Fixed an issue with Maelstrom Weapon that caused Healing Surge combined with the Tier-18 4-piece set bonus to heal for more than the intended amount.

Garrison Campaign
  • High Overlord Saurfang and Muradin Bronzebeard in the player's Garrisons now have chance to offer the Hellfire Citadel weekly raid quest when eligible.
  • Ruined Construct: Jewelcrafters in a raid group should no longer see an option to insert 1000 Apexis Crystals into the Apexis Gemcutter Construct.

Creatures and NPCs
Tanaan Jungle
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the demon invasion leading to Painmistress Selora appearing to not work correctly.

Raids and Dungeons
Hellfire Citadel
  • Gorefiend should no longer be using other abilities while channeling Feast of Souls.
Fel Lord Zakuun
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Fel Lord Zakuun to cast two Rumbling Fissures in rapid succession after bringing him depending on when he was brought below 30% health.
  • Xhul'horac's Overwhelming Chaos now increases damage dealt by 15% (down from 20%) per stack on Normal difficulty.
  • Combat rogues should now be able to correctly use Killing Spree again after receiving the Empowered Singularity debuff.
  • Dreadstalkers should no longer incorrectly spawn on players that are not on the platform.
  • Players should no longer be occasionally dropped off the platform when transitioning into the Twisting Nether.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the portal leading to the Archimonde encounter to not reappear in the raid instance after a soft reset.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Archimonde's Shadowfel Burst to not be removed correctly when the ability struck multiple targets.

  • Ancient Artifact should now only appear when there are more than 20 players in the battle, and the item now has a respawn timer.


Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an issue that could occasionally cause the client to crash while loading into an Arena.
  • Fixed an issue where players were unable to queue for Pet Battles through the Pet Journal while in Tanaan Jungle.
  • Fixed an issue where players were unable to queue as a party for Timewalking dungeons if one of the party members had already completed the Timewalking Bonus Event quest.

Patch 6.2 - Cats on Laps
Players recently discovered that if you target some of the cat battle pets and do /sit, they will sit on your lap.

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler has recently provided longer answers to some questions than tweets would allow.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
There's a clear difference in balancing/patching practices between Riot and Blizz. Riot has faster 2-3 week iteration cycles and Blizzard has 4-6 month content patches. What do you feel are the reasons for this difference (dev philosophy/game dev practices/game structure/manpower/management)?
Blizzard was very concern about player backlash from too many changes on WoW. We were always worried about the returning player who couldn't recognize their shaman (or whatever) because the rotation was completely different. It's a tough edge to walk -- keeping current players engaged with enough changes, without alienating returning players.

League players, even if they have mains, don't have characters in the same sense. The individual champions are a lot simpler, even though it is probably still very intimidating to return to League after a long absence and having no idea what all the new champs do. I'd say overall League players expect more frequent balance updates.

I am explicitly not commenting on which approach is right or wrong. They are very different games with different philosophies. I also am not in tune enough with current Blizzard games to know what their balance philosophy is for Hearthstone or HotS.

How much of an impact has modern day theorycrafting (WoTLK-era sophistication with SimC dev/RAWR) had on the design/development process in WoW? Do you think this has in general been a positive force for players and/or developers?
I'll answer from the POV of League, though it is relevant to almost any game where players strive to "solve" it, even D&D.

This might surprise you, but I don't think theorycrafting is healthy overall. It removes a lot of the fun and experimentation for players when the right answer is so readily available from Google search. (Often it isn't even the right answer, but players think it is which amounts to the same thing.

Now I get that it is fun for players to theorycraft and author guides. It's fun for me too. I also get that players want to be armed with thr best knowledge to be the most effective. Being right is satisfying. I also get that those discussion help build community ties and give players a way to interact with the game when they can't actually play it. I also don't think there is a realistic way to chill it out. But if I could reverse time to a world where the information wasn't so readily available, I would. I'm not going to try to fight it though. It's here and will stay.

You've mentioned several times in the past that your job is to remove barriers, etc, for your teams. I always wondered what you mean by that. Can you provide some general examples?
These are not literal examples. Please don't read too much into them.

Example One: A team feels like they can't make progress on a design idea because they don't have the buy in of the creative team working on lore. I get buy in from the lore guys or more likely tell them we're going to go ahead with our design and they can give feedback when it's done before we ship.

Example Two: A team of designers feel blocked because they need a particle artists to add effects to a weapon or spell. I find them a resource they can borrow so that they can do the design they want instead of something designed around the absence of art resources.

Example Three: A team feels like they have to run every decision by the design lead on the project. I get buy in that we can try out one of the team members in a junior leadership role so that they can be the accountable party on their project and not the busier top-level lead.

Example Four: A team basically all agrees with the direction of a desgin but lacks the confidence to ship it. I talk through the design with them, get them to realize that they are in fact competent people who should trust their intuition and experirence.

I usually use removing barriers as a contrast to giving orders. I have found that little of leadership is actually about commanding people. Maybe it's different on an actual battlefield. IDK. For me I have found that teams usually want to do good work, but something is gumming up the pipes so to speak.

What's less likely to get a full sequel - League or WoW? Both seem like they'd benefit from a totally new game engine but can't just bin all their current playerbase.
You can update or overhaul a game engine without asking players to switch games. Traditonally, sequels were really important to the business model because boxes made all the revenue. Neither WoW nor LoL is that dependent on them. On the other hand, the risk of ending up with a much smaller population in 2.0, or even worse, having a divided population over two different but very similar products is high. I think it only makes sense if you want to change the gameplay so dramatically that you need the 2.0 to really sell that. There are also advantages from a PR perspective - sequels get more mainstream coverage than updates.
by Published on 2015-07-19 10:04 PM

Upcoming PTR Wipe and Patch

Obtaining the Galaxy Gifts Card Back & 3 Free Packs, Deck Spotlight: Budget Friendly Decks, Card Design Competition #25

Brawl With the Blues July 22nd, Fan Art Contest Winners Revealed

Supreme Lord Kazzak - Solo Kill
Raegwyn is back with another solo kill, this time of Supreme Lord Kazzak!

Mythic Hellfire Citadel Progression
Paragon is now also 13/13! You can keep up with the latest progress on WoWProgress, our forum thread, and Manaflask.

Patch 6.2 - I Found Pepe! (Or Not!)
Everyone's favorite bird got some new costumes and an achievement (I Found Pepe!) in Patch 6.2.

Interestingly, we haven't come across anyone with the achievement yet. There also have been no new Pepe NPCs added to the database so far.

So far, 1.31% of players have the What A Strange, Interdimensional Trip It's Been achievement, up from 0.41% when we checked back in May.

Level Type Name
1Other A Tiny Plated Helm
1Other A Tiny Viking Helmet
1Other A Tiny Pirate Hat
1Other A Tiny Ninja Shroud

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Probably dark shamans were in training until 5.3. Reasons similar to why he used other Horde races, I guess.
Garrosh got crazier and more xenophobic after he brought the heart back to Org, influence of the old god (Muffinus)
didn't say he was immune due to the Divine Bell or some other Mogu method?
Divine Bell was destroyed during Breath of Darkest Shadow iirc (Muffinus)
yes, but unless I misread the tweet, it was said that caused Garrosh to wield the heart without corruption
He didn't get corrupted... at first. OG's can still mess with you mentally, e.g. your heart will explode. (Muffinus)

Hey Muffinus, I recall you stating that fel magic uses souls, so would fel magic be both a form of chaos magic and soul magic?
Some chaos magic does, some doesn't, some shadow magic does, some doesn't, it's like a reagent for some spells, e.g. Soulburn. (Muffinus)

Reputation / Questing
Personal, frequent, weekly story helps hide the grind. Is that difficult to include, and might we expect more next expansion?
Ah, I normally try to avoid game specifics like that. I don't want my personal twitter to be another source of WoW news. (craig_amai)
Yeah, we love making the more crafted story pieces to punctuate the max-level experience. We're aimed at more and better. (craig_amai)
Difficult might not be the right word, but it's fair to say that they take time, so there are limits to how many we can craft. (craig_amai)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
While the developers have been pretty quiet since @WarcraftDevs appeared, Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Developer Communication
Why is the person it's easiest to get answers from regarding past and present WoW design philosophies someone who no longer works for the company and should be answering Qs from a much larger player base about an entirely different game?
I answer the questions I get. I think a lot of WoW players still know who I am and League players are still discovering how to reach me. I'd much prefer to talk about League.

is communication from one person on a big game design team better or easier for designers interacting with players?
Personally, I think it's better when everyone communicates. That's the Riot strategy. I think it feels authentic to players (OccupyGStreet)
I can also see why some prefer to use one person. Keeps other people from saying stuff you shouldn't say. But that also puts
My entire department is encouraged, if not required, to get out there and talk to players. (OccupyGStreet)
I'd rather just clarify when someone errs than have a system designed to be so rigid that nobody ever makes a mistake. (OccupyGStreet)

Game Design
"I could stay after work and make this a good game... Naaaaah." *faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaart*
It's typically more "I could fix this UI bug that happens in 0.5% of 5 year old graphic cards or I could add a new feature." (OccupyGStreet)

My professional opinion is that success has less to do with features and more to do with where the players are. (OccupyGStreet)
Right because players just mindlessly migrate, they don't care about things like "features." God you are thick.
It's not mindless at all. They tend to go where their friends are, and the switching cost of large groups of friends is high. (OccupyGStreet)
This is not restricted to video games. History is full of better products that couldn't convince users to convert to them. (OccupyGStreet)
OTOH, users will convert to new things that they didn't know they needed before. (OccupyGStreet)
So my point was 'tis better to create a new niche than to try and shove someone out of an existing one. (OccupyGStreet)

Do you think the constant queueing up and convenience system that WoW has now is better for an MMO? Should travelling exist?
I have a love/hate relationship with queueing for any game, even League. (OccupyGStreet)
Queuing provides an easy excuse not to make or play with friends. (OccupyGStreet)
It also gives players motivation not to resolve problems since everyone is replaceable. (OccupyGStreet)
And yet! So few players would play a game like League or WoW if we forced them to manually build a group. (OccupyGStreet)
I know that's a cop out answer but I think about this a lot. At best you can provide better rewards for premades. (OccupyGStreet)
Yet premades already come with a lot of inherent bonuses and it's still often too inconvenient. (OccupyGStreet)

At the time you left WoW, comparing to the WoTLK days, was there a difference in the level of passion that the blizzard game designers had? I feel that over time they have grown less passionate and even complacent, and the result glaringly shows in WoD.
I didn't notice a difference in passion from my point of view. Those guys pour their soul into their work. I'm not up to speed on the design so I really don't feel like I can comment, but I wouldn't try to interpret it as the developers not caring. They care very much. Disappointing you kills them.

Poll - Timewalking Event
Are you doing some Timewalking during this bonus event?

Overwatch - Solider 79 Dev Q&A
Overpwn has a nice recap of the Dev Q&A this week. One important note is the increased field of view. If players don't like the new FoV, they can turn it back down.

Hearthstone - Galaxy Cardback Tutorial
Hearthpwn has a nice tutorial on how to get the new cardback without a Galaxy S6 phone.

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