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Beta Week 5: Keys from Week 5 have been released! Check the status page to see if you won.

by Published on 2016-03-24 01:34 PM

PTR Patch 2.4.1 S6, Season 6 Rewards

New Warrior Card Reveal - N'Zoth's First Mate

Blue Posts Round-Up - Core Health & Others, Epic Plays #63, Summer Season Details

A Full List of Datamined Overwatch Brawls in Patch 28072

Legion - Subtlety Rogue Spell Animations
New animations aren't complete, but here is an early preview of the new and modified Subtlety Rogue spell animations.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Elite PvP Gear and Transmog
Are the elite PvP sets from past seasons/xpacs going account wide like the CM sets are? I've heard yes, and no, But I've never seen Blizzard comment on the topic.
Yes. You still need to meet the equip requirements on the item you're transmogging to, so it is functionally unlocked only the class (or classes if you are super pro) you earned the items on.

The old tabards do not have any equip requirements, so they will be available for any character to use.

inb4BUTMYGLADMOUNTS: Like many systems that are added in during the game's lifespan, this is a case where the items and rating system that delivered them are very legacy, and we don't have a good way to know what your rating was in a given season this many years later. Transmog handling isn't indicative of a philosophy shift in how we handle prestigious PVP rewards, and we may change how this works for tabards & cloaks going forward.

Will the xmog system be bnet wide or account wide? Also will you need to login to the character for said items to pop like heirlooms when they first came out?
Yes, population of the transmog collection will be very similar to the addition of toy and heirloom collections. Each character will contribute to your account-wide ( collection as you log them in.

One last question though, you said meet the requirements, In my case that would just mean a priest that is at level x (x being whatever level the gear was at the time) so for cata elite gear the alt priest in question would need to be 85 and so on correct?

Not just priests I had that were also 2200+ in that particular season?

Yes, if you have a set of elite gear in your priest's bank, once that is added to your transmog collection any other Priests on your account only need to meet the level requirement to gain access to that transmog. Your Mages wouldn't be able to use it, because the gear is restricted to the Priest class. Again, this may not be how it works in future seasons, just for legacy seasons. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Vanilla PvP Sets and Transmog
Any character that is able to purchase the Replica pieces right now, will still be able to use them for transmogrification in Legion. However, the appearances won't be made available account wide. The same rule also applies to the Replica weapons.

However, you can still unlock these items, on a per character basis, by obtaining 1800 Battleground Rating in Rated Battlegrounds. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World PvP
Can't the honor talent just activate when entering PvP combat?
Honor talents activate whenever you engage in PvP including out in the world. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

PvP and Ability Pruning
daily reminder: this thread is already 5 days old and still not a single response.
Generally when you see a major point of discussion on the forums that is being met with what seems like complete silence, it's not because we're stonewalling and assuming the concerns will just go away if we ignore them for long enough. We're usually discussing the same issues internally with just as much enthusiasm (though generally with fewer memes and hashtags), but don't have anything to share just yet.

It'd be most helpful if this type of discussion could focus on specific examples of abilities that you miss, and why you feel they're important to deep and enjoyable gameplay.

I'd like to describe one category of abilities that is the least likely to return: tools added in recent expansions that ultimately contributed to homogenization. BC is generally well-regarded historically when in comes to WoW PvP (and raiding). But then we gave everyone 4 new abilities in Wrath; then 3 more on top of that in Cata. And then reworking the talent system in Mists and Warlords actually introduced a ton of new active abilities and procs (since the old talent "trees" actually were mostly passive modifiers with only a handful of active gameplay drivers).

Along the way, we made what I'll freely admit were design mistakes. The underlying one was probably just committing to adding X new abilities each expansion even when many classes genuinely were complete and functional packages without any need for that many new abilities. But then more specifically, coming up with fun and desirable new abilities is hard, and a bit too often we turned to the easy path of looking for a class's weaknesses and offering solutions to those weaknesses. Paladins lack mobility when Freedom isn't up? Let's give them them an array of passive and active sprints to choose among. Shamans don't really have CC? Let's give them Hex, a stun, and a root. And so forth.

Subjectively, removing those things now feels like a nerf, and objectively, it essentially is one. But in the context of broader CC and cooldown disarmament, it's not coming at the expense of balance. And offering new tools, especially through the PvP talent system, that can accentuate strengths, seems like a better path than continually shoring up weaknesses at the expense of diversity.

Finally, I'd like to respond to the idea that this is all about increasing accessibility for new players at the expense of veterans. It is not. The new player experience has always been fairly streamlined, with only a handful of abilities available, and new ones meted out over the course of many levels. We don't think that the existence or absence of a cooldown or CC tool at level 75 has any impact on a new player's ability to approach and enjoy the game. But it does have impact on the clarity of gameplay at max level, spec homogeneity, and how impactful each individual ability can be in a world full of analogues and counters.

Thanks for the replies so far. A couple of specific responses, though I am by no means discounting the other examples so far that aren't getting direct replies:

For Warlocks - No baseline Demonic Portal - Remove gate way and give us Portal Back. No Shadowfury
Though it still exists as a talent, Demonic Portal is actually an example of removing weaknesses in a way that harms class differentiation. Going back to BC, one of the core differences between the two pure offensive casters, warlock and mage, was that warlocks were far more durable and "tanky," while mages were frail but had more mobility and escape tools (Nova+Blink being central to that). Giving an instant teleport/escape ability like Demonic Portal to warlocks did a great deal to blur that distinction, and the class's design might have gone in a quite different direction without it.

Shadowfury falls more under the general CC disarmament pass. It's an ability that used to be available solely to Destruction warlocks, deep in their talent tree. An AoE stun like that is incredibly strong, and was only balanced as a tool exclusive to a spec that faced significant challenges in PvP at the time, due to their reliance on cast-time spells and other factors. When it became available to the class as a whole alongside their other CC, as part of the Mists talent system conversion, that simply proved to be too much, and so it was a prime candidate when we started looking to dial back the overall amount of crowd control being thrown around.

For me, abilities like Dark Simulacrum added a great level of depth. A friend of mine loves the ability and the freedom it offers: do I need a heal? Let me put it on a healer. That mage is probably going to Mirror Image, let me steal that. That sort of stuff.
Dark Simulacrum is a talent available through the Honor system, so that exact gameplay, which we agree is awesome, should still be present. Like Grounding Totem, these types of abilities really shine in PvP, and were subject to so many restrictions in raid/dungeon usage that many players often gave up even trying to use them. And then occasionally we'd miss a spell flag, and you'd be able to entirely negate a major boss mechanic like Xhul'horac's Void Surge (not intended, but left in due to how many groups had come to rely on it by the time we realized the problem). Those are fun and cool abilities, but they simply fit better in the PvP space, and the dedicated Honor system allows us to make that distinction now. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Legion PvP
We understand your concern here and the enthusiasm people have to test class balance with everything unlocked. The reality here is that there our primary focus is not currently on class balance but on leveling through the honor system. In the not to distant future, we will want to focus solely on class balance and we'll set everyone to honor level 50. Once we've done that, there will be no turning back. But there are still some stages of the Alpha where more people will be invited to test and they'll get their first experience leveling up through the system. We've recently made changes to the amount of honor required to get to level 10 that will be seen in our next build. We'd like to test those changes in a live environment.

My question is, idk if there's a way to be specific enough about it but: what is the overall goal here for length of time to level up?

For instance, in relation to time it takes to get a full conquest set of gear? Are you aiming for the time it takes to get to honor level 50 to be relatively the same as getting a full set of conquest gear? A bit more? A bit less? A lot more?

It should take longer than it currently takes to get a full set of honor gear (bearing in mind that the new honor system has a "rest" system similar to XP). In Legion, the rate at which you earn honor is similar to Warlords.

We'll take a look at the rate at which you earn honor in Skirmishes.

Also, if you really want to check out Honor Level 50 matches, you can coordinate War Games with "Tournament Rules" checked in the UI. Players are all Honor Level 50 and set to the same "item level" when Tournament Rules are enabled.

Prestige is 100% voluntary and offers no power advantage. We are fine if players who care solely about their rating do not Prestige. Rating is serving them fine as a progression mechanic. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
One of the most interesting things about testing the new spell anims in Legion is how often I spent just hitting stuff, not for a quest. (Muffinus)
They can be a bit noisy in raids though. even if other players are toned down. Next raid testing though I’ll prob make a list.
Sound team is really on top of fading out things, please do provide feedback! Not sure who is on twits, looping level99RedMage (Muffinus)

If you would like to provide feedback on the Oondasta/Galleon spawn timers, go ahead. (Muffinus)
agreed, too long, 15 min like the other Pandaria world bosses would be very nice
What if that meant reducing the drop chance to 1/10? (Muffinus)

I think I just want more D&D in my W&W. Story! The Unknown! Not timeless theme parks and redeemed genocidal orcs
Call me crazy, but I felt like MOP had this concept pretty well, ya? New endgame, new area, new enemies, etc. Good job DaveKosak (Muffinus)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Hey GC!Didnt know u left Blizzard.Tell me-did game design change a lot after it became Activision?
Not at all while I was there. (OccupyGStreet)

Warcraft on Face Off
Special effects make-up artists had a very time limited challenge on Face Off to take a Warcraft race and turn it into a more realistic version of the race.

Poll - Warcraft on Face Off
Which race ended up looking the best?

N'Zoth Artwork
A full version of the N'Zoth artwork was posted on Twitter.

by Published on 2016-03-23 12:23 AM

Update (5:20 PM EDT): The entire N'Zoth artwork was posted on Twitter.

Potential BlizzCon 2016 Dates - November 4 and 5
Blizzard may be getting ready to announce BlizzCon, with an update to the Blizzcon site that has since been reverted, including this information:
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
BlizzCon is an epic celebration of Blizzard Entertainment's game universes and the global player communities that bring them to life.

This year marks the 10th BlizzCon and Blizzard's 25th anniversary—we’d love for you to join us in celebrating these milestones together at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5, 2016.
by Published on 2016-03-22 05:53 AM

New Moderators Reminder

New Warlock Card Reveal - DOOM!

New PTR Patch - Dehaka Files, Changes to Ranked Play

Recall: The Story of Winston - Overwatch Animated Short, New Overwatch Agent Pictures!

Legion - Enhancement Shaman Spell Animations
New animations aren't complete, but here is an early preview of the new and modified Enhancement Shaman spell animations.

Legion - Artifact Appearance Unlocks
PvP artifact appearances will be unlocked for all specs per character when you earn the difference appearances.

Warcraft Movie Set
Duncan Jones shared another picture from the Warcraft movie set today!.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Legion PvP Testing
This morning, a wave of invites was sent out with a focus on PvP experience. We'll continue to monitor participation. Thanks! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Item Level Scaling in PvP
Can we get any confirmation how it trickles down to lower level PvP? Still static 0.1%?
Low levels are currently set to the same scaling values as level 110. The baseline item level is different for each bracket. It is approximately the ilevel of an heirloom item at the max level for each bracket. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Grove Warden
Will they ever fix Grove warden? The camera bug is making me so dizzy, I love the looks of the mount but can't stand using it.
Just a... heads-up... this is something that we are aware of and it's being tracked for a fix in an upcoming patch. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
doesn't matter when often one "style" is too good not to play over the other talent. i often choose my gameplay style by class.
During alpha, you should pretty much ignore tuning. (Celestalon)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
happy with the state of balance druid gameplay on #legion? Would love to hear design goal, spec seems a bit... lost atm
Balance is looking solid, especially after the latest Artifact revisions. Any specific feedback or questions? (WarcraftDevs)
Our issues are here in this post, but no Dev gave us an answer.
That feedback is almost exclusively about tuning, which hasn't happened yet. (Celestalon)

Will male-BE in #legion eventually get ALL the updated melee animations? (i.e. Bloodthirst upwards swing instead of old spin)
This is an interesting question. They have the animations, but some iconic race-specific animations are still... (Celestalon)
...used for a few things, since players found them iconic. Don't want to lose all the soul of the race. (Celestalon)

Character / Items
Will the Warglaives of Azzinoth be recoded as "warglaives" with new warglaive animations? Or still swords and old animation?
It's important that Warriors and Rogues continue to be able to use them, so they will likely remain as swords. (WarcraftDevs)

The shapeshift camera bug is there with ghost wolf form, too
We are aware of this issue across many transformations on the Alpha. We're working on fixing it soon. (WarcraftDevs)

Artifact based abilities seem to act like Artifact is a separate mob - critless DotS, only 5% Crit, no benefits from Mastery
They should act like you casting them, using your stats. It's a bug if not. (Celestalon)

Curious if @WarcraftDevs are seeing anyone use Adaptation or Relentless in #PVP. Everyone I've seen uses Medallion.
We would be interested in hearing feedback from players who have tried Adaptation or Relentless in PvP. (WarcraftDevs)

Will we get an option to see our PvP Prestige progress on a bar like our Xp and Artifact Power?
Yes, this will be an option! (WarcraftDevs)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
LFD was a choice between doing content or not doing it at all. Could take hours to find dungeon groups.
I'll argue that's a false dichotomy. I agree with the problem but maybe there were other solutions. (OccupyGStreet)

I dont get why you think matchmaking is no valid group setup mechanism if most of the players prefer it over organization.
I think they are valuing convenience though. It's like being surprised that players like free loot. (OccupyGStreet)
In BC, Mechanar was the most popular dungeon by far. I don't think it was for the encounters. It was for quick badges. (OccupyGStreet)
So you just have to be careful when you measure participation that you don't mis-conclude they love the content they are doing. (OccupyGStreet)

N'Zoth Revealed
Hearthstone's latest expansion has revealed N'Zoth, who is one of the Old Gods.

Dark Legacy Comics #530
DLC #530 has been released!

by Published on 2016-03-21 07:03 PM

Warcraft Movie Trailer, Overwatch Short Tomorrow, Tweets, Frost Mage Spec Preview

Overwatch - Recall
Overwatch's first animation short has been released!

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
"Recall" tells the story of Winston—a genetically engineered gorilla and brilliant scientist who longs for the days of heroism to return. In this episode, we explore Winston's thoughts and memories as he wrestles with the decision to recall the agents of Overwatch, all while the forces of Talon stage an attack on his laboratory in the abandoned Watchpoint: Gibraltar.
by Published on 2016-03-21 12:51 AM

Update (2:00 PM EDT): Duncan Jones shared another picture of the Warcraft movie set.

Reaper of Souls Anniversary Giveaway, 2nd Server Slam, Bluddshed's Firebird Archon

New Legendary Priest Card Reveal - Herald Volazj, Most Popular Decks of the Week, This Week in Hearthstone

New In Development Video - Dehaka, Shogun Artanis, Shadowpaw Li Li & More

Achievements & More Skins Soon, Play of the Game, Social UI Philosophy, TownHall Overwatch Ep 4

Warcraft Movie Trailer
Yet another trailer has been released, with a few new clips.

Overwatch Short Tomorrow
Don't forget to check back tomorrow at 12 p.m. PDT for the first Overwatch Short, Recall! It tells the story of Winston, including his thoughts and memories as he wrestles with the decision to recall the agents of Overwatch, all while the forces of Talon stage an attack on his laboratory in the abandoned Watchpoint: Gibraltar.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Hate to be that player, but the only problem I have with Legion rn is that fire mages have mandatory frost spells/talents. X_x
Seen feedback in both directions. "I'm a fire mage, I only want fire spells" & "I'm a Mage I should be able to use all schools" (holinka)

Please do not force LFR on players (for the artifact upgrade questline). At least let them do Normal Raiding in place of LFR.
You can do it in other difficulties, LFR/LFG is just an option for players without premade groups. (WarcraftDevs)

I'm kinda surprised, devs didn't take lessons learned from dungeon finder and lfr when they made ashran.
Different situation when direct competition is involved. (holinka)

Will the arena also function in the actual zone? Like free-for-all Nagrand arena in outland Nagrand? Would be nice!
No. This location in the world is used by the Feral Druid artifact acquisition line and will not function as such. (WarcraftDevs)

the new arena looks amazing. Did Julien work on it?
Yup Chris and Julien collaborated on it and did a great job! (holinka)

Are Horde players going to get an option to fire back at Tyrande's insults in Val'Sharah, like the Alliance had with Vol'jin?
The dialogue in the beta got a lot of deservedly negative feedback, it's being changed! (DaveKosak)

Pets and Pet Battles
So there might be 'collector content' but not so much 'battler content', which will upset one side. Or vice versa. Tough to find a balance.
I think that both groups both can and should be satisfied, the game is richer for having both, and cross-pollination. (Muffinus)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
It has been 2 years already? Man I still remember Riot announcing you joining their company and everyone being scared of Lissandra Nerfs
They actually introduced me around the office as the person who would focus on buffing Lissandra. For the record, my frost mage in WoW was like level 32 or so. Not sure she ever PvP'd. It was just an urban legend.

Final Boss - Frost Mage Spec Preview
Final Boss is back with another spec preview!

by Published on 2016-03-19 09:15 PM

Warcraft Movie Ad
Yet another Warcraft movie ad has appeared, this time on Twitter!

Micky Neilson Leaving Blizzard
Micky Neilson has worked at Blizzard for 22 years and is currently the Publishing Lead, working on projects like Overwatch: First Strike, an upcoming upcoming Overwatch graphic novel. Previous work includes the Black Temple trailer! Reidor on Twitter shared the news from his newsletter:
Originally Posted by Micky Neilson
After 22 years, I'm leaving Blizzard.

The time has come for me to pursue personal projects that I love. I'll be moving from California to Washington State. My last day at Blizzard will be March 25th.

I look forward to working with Blizzard on freelance projects, one of which will be announced shortly. Aside from that, my upcoming works might include more game-related writing, script writing, consultation...and most certainly, novels. All of which will be announced and discussed right here in this newsletter, once a month.

I spent some of the best years of my life at Blizzard. It's a bittersweet departure to say the least. But I'm excited for the all the opportunities that lie ahead!

So...there you have it, the big news. Thank you for all your continued support!

Hope this finds you all well.

Stay awesome,

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