World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2013-10-25 06:11 AM

Blizzcon in a Box Contest Ends Tonight!

Reaper of Souls First Look: The Mystic

NA Connectivity Issues, Opt-In Waves, Hearthstone Highlights, Beta Key Giveaway Reminder

Patch 5.4.1 PTR - Build 17513
Build 17513 was deployed to the PTR realms yesterday, with tooltip updates being the only spell changes.

This patch is a ~3 GB download and combines all of the previous Mists of Pandaria patches into one file. This should allow the launcher to remove all of the old patch files that have built up over the expansion, saving a little bit of disk space and having to go through multiple files to patch assets that changed over the expansion while playing.

Recruit a Friend In-Game UI

Recruit a Friend Pet Rewards
Some pets that were previously only used for promotions in Asia are now Recruit a Friend rewards.

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Item Set Bonuses
  • Item - Mage T15 4P Bonus Increases the effects of Arcane Charges by 20% 5%, increases the critical strike chance of Pyroblast by 5%, and increases the chance for your Frostbolt to trigger Fingers of Frost by an additional 6%.

Warlock (Forums)
  • Haunt You send a ghostly soul into the target, dealing [ 2,804 + 262.5% of Spell Power ] Shadow damage and increasing all periodic damage done by your spells on the target by 0% 35% for 8 sec. Warlock - Affliction Spec. 1 Soul Shard. 40 yd range. 1.5 sec cast.

Next Connected Realms (EU)
The first set of EU Connected realms is going live today and it looks like the next batch will be coming next week!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As a part of our ongoing Connected Realms implementation, we will be connecting additional realms as listed below. We don’t have a specific date yet on when these connections will occur, but we’ll provide another update once we do.

Realm Connections:
  • Mug’thol and Dethecus/Theradras
  • Temple Noir and Naxxramas
  • Crushridge and Emeriss/Hakkar
  • Sporeggar and Scarshield Legion

We’ll provide updates on the next batch of realm connections as they're available. For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

Upcoming Dampening Hotfix
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We agree that matches where one team decides they can’t win (usually because they’ve lost a player), and thus decides to play defensively in an attempt to force a tie, don’t really make for fun gameplay. In fact, one of our original goals for 5.4 with The Crowd Chose You was to eliminate that sort of behavior. We’d much prefer matches to end with a winner whenever possible through fair play.

To that end, we’ll be applying a hotfix that will add one small tie-breaker. After the hotfix, if a match should last for the full 20 minutes, the team with the most players left standing will be awarded the victory. If both teams have an equal number of players alive, the match will still end in a draw (as it does currently).

We feel that this will continue to encourage players to try to defeat the other team, while discouraging them from dragging the game out hoping for a tie, without any other major impact on player behavior. We’ll give an update to the official hotfix blog when this hotfix goes live.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Connected Realms
I was wondering why are all the realms getting merged PvP ones, both in US and here, without any PvE ones getting merges? Any particular reason for this?
No special reason other than we have to start somewhere. Not to worry though, low pop PvE realms will get some love too soon enough

Why are low pop realms connected with other low pop realms? it should be a high pop realm with a low pop realm.
We have just begun connecting realms, and many more connections are planned still. Once we are done with the entire process, the population on all connected realms should be quite healthy

Any plans on connecting full servers with dead ones and moving people over. Or just splitting the server in two, but keeping them connected? Here in Draenor its a mad house. 1000+ queue lines some times, was made to wait for an hour and a half once.
The current high population realms that have queues will remain as they are today, however we are monitoring the situation on those realms. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Arena Queue Length
Klause is correct -- we were actually just unable to start new Arena matches fast enough. Turns out, you guys really like to PvP.

We pushed a hotfix last night that should have cleared up the issue and sped up queues significantly. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

LFR Queue Time
In my experience, queue times can vary depending on a few different factors including the time of day and which day of the week it is. I usually end up trying to get my alts through on a Tuesday night, and the queues often seem quite short at that point.

If time is your main obstacle, you might want to consider getting a group of like-minded guildies or friends together and tackling it on Flex difficulty at a set time each week (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Reaper of Souls First Look: The Mystic
It looks like Reaper of Souls will be bringing back the Mystic that was removed from beta, adding Transmogrification and Enchanting (similar to Reforging in WoW).

Dark Legacy Comics - #412
DLC #412 takes a look at how many free to play games work.

by Published on 2013-10-24 06:12 AM

Blizzcon in a Box Contest, Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: October 21

Blizzcon in a Box Contest, Design a Legendary Part 1, More on Design a Legendary, Blue Posts

Hearthstone Deck Building Hints, Opt-In Waves, Beta Key Giveaways

Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: October 23
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Garrosh Hellscream
      • [Requires a realm restart.] Kor'kron Reapers now deal less damage on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • [Requires a realm restart.] Minion of Y'Shaarj's Empowering Corruption now heals for 15% of health (down from 30%) and increases damage dealt by 20% (down from 50%) on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • [Requires a realm restart.] Harbinger of Y'Shaarj's Y'Shaarj Touched now heals for 2% of health per second (down from 5%) and increases damage dealt by 20% (down from 50%) on Raid Finder difficulty.

Next Connected Realms (US)
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We will performing maintenance on the realms listed below on Thursday, October 24 from 6:00 a.m. PDT until approximately 11:00 a.m. PDT. Once these are available again, these connections will be complete. We will provide additional updates as needed.

Next Realm Connections:
  • Dethecus and Detheroc
  • Auchindoun and Laughing Skull
  • Hakkar and Aegwynn / Gurubashi
  • Rivendare and Firetree
  • Dunemaul and Bloodscalp/ Maiev/Boulderfist

Next Connected Realms (EU)
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re kicking off the Connected Realms implementation here in Europe, and below you can see a list of the first realms to be connected. We don’t yet have a specific date for when these connections will occur, but we’ll provide another update once we do.

Realm Connections:
  • Hakkar and Emeriss
  • Taerar and Echsenkessel
  • Burning Steppes and Kor’gall
  • Theradras and Dethecus

We’ll provide updates on the next batch of realm connections as they're available. For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Repair Costs
On face value the existence of repair costs may seem questionable, however as others have pointed out it does serve a purpose.

Without loss or the potential of losing something, the feeling of success diminishes. Some of the most punishing games can also be the most rewarding, which can be important for players. To state that repair costs are only an artificial gold sink is not quite accurate, they should deter players from dying within the game and indirectly act as an incentive for success.

The initial point about having meaningful gold sinks in the game is valid and it's something we've worked towards with a number of features, such as the Void Storage. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Dampening and Necrotic Strike
We’re paying very close attention to Dampening, we understand that sparing Necrotic Strike seems like a controversial decision but we don’t really think it should be considered so; Necrotic Strike's mechanics are also very often misunderstood, so maybe that has something to do with it.
Like I said, we’re monitoring this very closely, and even though we’re confident in the outcome of this latest change, things might still change. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

BlizzCon 2013 World of Warcraft Global Invitational: Meet the Teams
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The World of Warcraft Global Invitational is set to rock BlizzCon 2013 and we have just the teams to do the job. Eight top 3v3 Arena teams from around the globe have been invited to compete in the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational, taking place November 8 and 9 at BlizzCon in Anaheim, California.

The teams battling it out in each group has been chosen as follows:

Group A
  • MiR (EU)
  • Skill-Capped (NA)
  • Flash Wolves (TW)
  • The Last Battle (CN)

Group B
  • Bleached Bones (EU)
  • PvP-Live (NA)
  • LG-IM (KR)
  • LKD (CN)

To help you figure out which team to root for, we’ve put together a quick overview of who’s made it to the big dance.

North America
  • Alex 'Sodah' Ringe
  • Rodney 'Talbadar' Pare
  • Adam 'Chanimals' Chan

Sodah and Talbadar are no strangers to the WoW Arena scene, but they’ve never carried the same flag until now. The two have built a strong respect for each other over years of rivalry, and this year they hope to combine their skills with Chanimals’ Warlock experience to defeat anyone the world can throw at them. The trio will represent Skill-Capped, a site dedicated to improving and growing the community’s understanding of WoW PvP.

PvP Live
  • Kyle 'Novoz' McKitrick
  • David 'DannyCarey' Cook
  • Michael 'Thugonomics' Negley

Novoz and Thugonomics have been competing together for several seasons now, but haven’t yet been able to claim a spot on top of the pedestal. For this year’s BlizzCon, destiny helped round out their roster and brought DannyCarey’s monk to try to weave victory from the mists for Thugonomics and Novoz.

  • Jonathan 'Minpojke' Andersson
  • Mathias 'Zunniyaki' Esterlechner
  • Youness 'Nóliferqt' Dorqoch

The members of MiR met each other about two months after the start of Arena Season 13 in May 2013. They then focused their skills predominantly on playing a Shadow Priest, Frost Mage, and Restoration Druid, a combination that allowed the trio to remain the highest European team throughout the entire season.

Bleached Bones
  • Jamie 'Blukstack' Garcia Acebal
  • Simon 'Boetar' Heinks
  • Rene 'Swapxy' Pinkera

Bleached Bones has participated in several tournaments, such as the 2011 and 2012 European Regionals, 2012 World Championship (BWC) in Shanghai, and the recent Bleached Bones and MiR Gaming online tournaments. Bleached Bones has been playing together as a team for over a year now, and thanks in part to their success in tournaments and on the European ladder, the team has gained the synergy and team dynamics required to beat the best of the best. Since last year’s BWC, Bleached Bones has been getting in as much practice as possible, playing hours and hours every day to prepare for BlizzCon 2013 and to show their skill and experience as a team.

The Last Battle
  • [TBD] Yang 'Bqsslol' Wenbin
  • [TBD] Li 'Holylolz' Yang
  • [TBD] Yeung 'Feelfear' Wing Yu

Yang Li and Wenbin Yang played on the team DoubleG at the 2012 World Championship. This year, they’re playing under the name “The Last Battle” to acknowledge that they’re getting older, and that they believe this is the last year they’ll be able to make it to the global stage at BlizzCon—an opportunity they’d like to cherish as much as possible.

  • [TBD] Yang 'Yunainai' Huajun
  • [TBD] Zhang 'Badcat' Wenfeng
  • [TBD] Niu 'Hanaichuan' Muzhi

BadCat previously competed against his current teammates in the Chinese World Championship 2012 qualifiers, but their mutual enjoyment of the challenge and variety of play the Arena affords them has brought these former rivals together to strive for victory in the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational at BlizzCon this year.

  • Jinhyung 'Avenger' Park
  • Jongmun 'Shotky' Shin
  • Seungmin 'Nooker' Ok

LGIM competed at BlizzCon as 'Kimchi Man' in 2011 and at the 2012 World Championship as LGIM, and this is their third consecutive time participating in the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational. Warlock player Adouken, who led the group for the past 2 years, has left, but a new member 'Nooker' has joined—and their lineup has never been so formidable. LGIM has been throwing in everything they have to honing their skills and teamwork, and their performance is something to look forward to.

Flash Wolves
  • Wei-Yi 'PrankCat' Chen
  • Kwok 'Nightrain' Yuk-Nam
  • Che-Yuan 'Shunsha' Chang

Flash Wolves was formerly known as TEAM ROCCAT, and Prankcat is a veteran of global tournaments play. Due to the team’s outstanding score in the 2013 World of Warcraft World Championship Series Taiwan Finals, they gained sponsorship and are able to represent Taiwan for the second time—and they’re determined to win the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational!

You can catch all of the action shoutcast by Jared 'vhell' Coulston, Adam 'Hoodrych' Brown, Isaac 'Azael' Cummings-Bentley, and Blizzard Community Manager Josh 'Lore' Allen for FREE via the official BlizzCon 2013 live stream, available at The coverage starts Friday at 11:45 a.m. Pacific time following an introductory pre-show. Make sure to take a look at the complete Friday and Saturday schedule so you don't miss a moment.

Blizzard Art
Blizzard added more pieces to the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Art gallery.

by Published on 2013-10-23 04:22 AM

Blizzcon in a Box Contest, Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: October 21

The Gothic Feeling in RoS, Paladins and Crusaders, Blue Posts

Hearthstone Innkeeper's Invitational: Player Spotlight

Siege of Orgrimmar Raid Schedule
Don't forget that Siege of Orgrimmar Raid Finder Wing 4 opens this week! The raid is now open on all difficulty levels.

Arena Popularity
Holinka shared some information about how the new region wide arena pools and new mounts are working out.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
How are queues 3 times as long now that there's 10 times as many people with 1 big pool?
To be quite honest, the bottleneck is spinning up games fast enough. A lot of people are queuing. We're working on a fix right now.
This is utter music to my ears. Thank you so much! I was starting to worry WoW PvP was dying, but far from it!
Just to bang the "people love rewards" drum a bit more, 3v3 has seen a big jump (probably do to the mount achievement).
It's mainly due to the 2s experience being so bad, imo- people cap in 3s instead.
2s is doing better than usual as well

Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: October 22
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • The number of guild members needed to be considered a guild Group in Flexible difficulty has been reduced. Previously, the number of guild members required in Flexible difficulty didn’t account for the scaling group size. It now requires 80% of the current group size, rounded down.
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Garrosh Hellscream
      • Hellscream's Warsong now grants a 75% increase to Physical damage dealt and health (down from 125%) on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Touch of Y'Shaarj now has a 4-second cast time for players (up from 3 seconds) on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Reduced the health of Minions of Y'shaarj on Raid Finder difficulty.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Arenas
    • Players who pick up a Shadow Sight orb will be unable to stealth for the duration of the effect.

Next Connected Realms
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As a part of our ongoing Connected Realms implementation, we will be connecting additional realms as listed below. We don’t have a specific date yet on when these connections will occur, but we’ll provide another update once we do. Please be aware that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.

Next Realm Connections:
  • Dethecus and Detheroc
  • Auchindoun and Laughing Skull
  • Hakkar and Aegwynn / Gurubashi
  • Rivendare and Firetree
  • Dunemaul and Bloodscalp/ Maiev/Boulderfist
We're currently evaluating further realm connections and will provide updates as they're available.

For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

I am on Bloodscalp any way of a having one communal forum for recruiting guild info etc. instead of 4 individual ones.
It's something we're discussing. We haven't decided anything as of yet though. It may be something that we will need to wait and do after we've determined all of the connections. We'll keep you all informed as much as possible..

Dampening and Necrotic Strike
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Ultimately it will be more difficult to heal through necrotic strike with dampening present, just like it will be more difficult to heal through ALL kinds of damage. That is the explicit purpose of the effect, and it will not benefit necrotic strike any more or less than any other attack.
Precisely. After some discussion, we came to the same conclusion. Necrotic Strike's healing absorb is no more or less difficult to heal through than actual damage. You deal with it in the exact same way: by healing the target. To put it another way, Dampening is intended to slowly lower healing output, while the amount of healing needed stays the same. To that end, we think leaving Necrotic Strike unaffected by Dampening is the right call.

I think it's also probably important to note that we're keeping an extremely close eye on how Dampening works out, not only in regard to specific concerns like Necrotic Strike but to its effect on gameplay as a whole. We feel pretty confident that Dampening will do what we'd like it to, but we'll be monitoring it closely until we're sure.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Queue System
I've noticed that the queue always pops right after you leave the computer to get something to drink.
Devs have been experimenting with sentient “troll” code from some time now…

Seriously though, adding such an option would only cause more issues than it would solve.

Imagine entering a raid and everyone is AFK
No one likes queues right? We're always trying to improve the queue times by adjusting anything that might influence players’ behaviour in positive ways. In the end though, queues are something really simple, and unless we completely revamp standard raid requirements for heal/damage/tank slots, there’s only so much that devs can do…

The system has improved quite a lot since early days though. We’ve dynamically added goodie bags to the most “needed” class specializations, added the option to queue with one specialization and loot with another, and tweaked around with the goodie bags loot in order to make it more enticing. But, at the end of the day, queues are made up of players and player choices, and this is very tricky thing to solve, it begins with getting the right answers to the right questions.

For example, if you try to find out why are tanks always in high demand you’ll probably get very mixed responses.
-Is it less exciting to play a tank than other specs?
-Do they gear up faster than other specs? If so, why? (might lead to circular argument)
-Is it the “higher” responsibility of tanking/leading?
-Is it because they only have a few slots and that makes players afraid they won’t get guild spots?

If you have any other questions and/or answers please do share them with us, this could actually make an interesting discussion. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

AskMrRobot Update
Now that Siege of Orgrimmar is fully open, AskMrRobot has a helpful blog post on the best ways to get more gear! Keep in mind that there is a free trial available for any premium features.

Fan Art Update
The World of Warcraft Fan Art Section has been updated with new fan artwork.

by Published on 2013-10-22 01:04 AM

Blizzcon in a Box Contest
Not able to grab a Blizzcon ticket before they all sold out? Fear not, we have the next best thing: 10 x "Blizzcon in a Box"! Blizzard has stuffed these boxes with everything any group of friends would need to host their own Blizzcon viewing party while watching Blizzcon using the Virtual Ticket. We have multiple ways for you to enter - so keep reading for rules, as well as what the box holds!

How to Enter and Rules
  • To enter - Take a screenshot of your group in game yelling "Blizzcon!" Post your submission in the comments below. You can upload to Imgur and use the "Linked BBCode (message boards)" embed code.
  • Winners will be selected at random on Friday, October 25th at 11:59 PM EST.
  • Winners will be contacted via PM and will need to respond with their shipping info within 24 hours. Blizzard has given a deadline for handing in all winner's information, so if you haven't responded in 24 hours we will select another winner.
  • Due to Shipping times, this contest is restricted to North America.
  • You may only enter once per site. More than one entry on this site will disqualify you.
  • You may only win one prize.

What's in the Box
  • A bunch of thundersticks for cheering and annoying neighbors
  • Stickers!
  • About a dozen koozies for… soda. Yeah.
  • A bunch of buttons
  • Temporary tattoos
  • A set of Blizzard paper toys (Diablo, Raynor, Thrall)
  • A few of the Epic Purple Lanyards
  • About a dozen dice bags
  • 1 instruction sheet (“How to Set Up Your BlizzCon Livestream Party”)
  • And of course a Virtual Ticket code!

Other Ways to Enter
You may also enter once in each of the following contests. Make sure to read each contests rules on their contest page.
  • Diablofans - Create a Blizzcon Party Game
  • Hearthpwn - Create the Blizzcon Hearthstone card in Paint.

Murkalot's Flail is a reward for everyone who attends Blizzcon or purchases a Virtual Ticket.

Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: October 21
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
  • Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • The Dream of Cenarius effect is now removed when the Druid switches talents.
  • Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Protection
      • Protection Paladins are now eligible to receive plate armor with Haste via person loot (Raid Finder and Flexible difficulty) and bonus rolls (all difficulty modes) from Siege of Orgrimmar and Ordos.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Norushen
      • The number of Look Within orbs spawned by Norushen in Flexible difficulty will now round up instead of down, so that the ratio of orbs to players is never worse than on Normal difficulty.
    • Galakras
      • The portal leading back to the Vault of Y'Shaarj can no longer be used while in combat.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Arenas
    • [Requires a realm restart.] The Crowd Chose You has been removed and replaced with a debuff called Dampening.
    • [Requires a realm restart.] For Arena matches that last more than 10 minutes, all players in the Arena will begin to receive Dampening.
      • Dampening is a stacking debuff applied to all players in the Arena every 10 seconds.
      • Each stack of Dampening reduces all healing and damage absorption by 1%.
      • If neither team has won after 20 minutes, the Arena match will end in a draw.
      • Necrotic Strike's healing absorption is not affected by Dampening.

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