World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2014-01-15 08:16 AM

Ghostcrawler is Now Lead Game Designer at Riot Games

Difficulty Changes, No Account Wipe With The Next Patch, HC and the 'Lower Difficulty' Feature, Affixes and CC, Item Discussions

Opt-In Beta Invites Wave, Hearthstone Wiki Updates, MG Interviews, Community Spotlight: Cake

Flex Item Levels
Watcher commented on the item level requirements of many PuG Flex groups, as well as sharing that usually people who do Wing 1 and 2 are somewhere in the 530s and Wing 3 and 4 are in the 540s.

Patch 5.4.2 Hotfixes - January 14
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
  • Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Snake Trap now uses the same version of Mind-Numbing Poison debuff as Rogues; reducing the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Paragons of the Klaxxi
      • [Requires a realm restart.] Resolved an issue that could cause tanks to be unable to interact with a fallen Paragon.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
WoW Customer Loyalty Program
This has been a topic of constant discussion and debate for years now, both within the community and internally here at Blizzard. It's a surprisingly controversial subject on all fronts, but I'm sure tagging this thread with blue won't kick up any dust... (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Leveling and Arena Ratings
We're working on a hotfix for this issue right now. The intention is that only players at level 70, 80, 85, or 90 should be able to queue for Arenas, and that as soon as a player levels up, their ratings will be reset.

lore can you guys reset the people that have leveled to 90 with level 89 ratings
Yep, that's the plan. It may not happen at the same time that the hotfix applies, but we'll be resetting ratings for those characters. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

A Day in the Life of Blizzard
We had a short run of something similar to what you describe with our "A Day in the Life" series, released during Blizzard's 20th anniversary: (Even our team's own Bashiok is featured!)

There's definitely some value to opening up our doors a bit more, so to speak, and giving the community an opportunity to get to know more of the names and faces within Blizzard, and the work-related responsibilities those people have.

That said, it does take a fair amount of resources from multiple departments to put features like that together. When possible we like to couple them with other announcements or initiatives to provide more background and context for what we're working on.

One thing we do fairly often as well is sit various developers and other Blizzard content creators down with fan/media sites for interviews. Ideally that allows for more community-driven questions to be answered, as opposed to any of us rather aimlessly talking about our day-to-day operations. They're also easier to pull off given that we're not publishing the content ourselves -- meaning much fewer resources on our end are required. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Legendary Questline
I posted about this somewhere before, but I can't find it now...

I'll largely avoid the tedious vs. challenging conversation as I'm not feeling very eloquent right now, but I will say that it's about variety. There need to be a wide variety of things to do with a wide variety of requirements to build a whole experience and appeal to any particular player at any particular moment in their schedule, knowledge, or skill with the game.

Ok, in any case, with the Legendary questline in Mists we wanted to have a reward that everyone could follow along with as the expansion progressed, and to create a story and gear-upgrade thread throughout the expansion, ultimately leading to a Legendary item of some kind. Also while developing the expansion it was important for us to support this fairly new system called LFR, and so for the Legendary to also be accessible regardless of the raid difficulty you were involved in. Obviously both have been really successful, and we're happy with hitting the goals we set for ourselves. That said we definitely learned a lot of lessons, and definitely agree on the 3000 VP step being wholly un-Legendary in particular. We think there's certainly room to improve for a future Legendary or Legendaries, and bigger goals to set to provide a challenging and rewarding experience to appeal to and be accessible by a wide range of players - to be completely vague about it. Overall I'd say we're on the same page. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hearthstone Beta - Opt-In Accounts Flagged
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The majority of the final round of invites to the Hearthstone closed beta test have now been completed - We have now directly flagged most accounts that have met both of the following criteria:

  • The account was opted into the Hearthstone beta test before January 7th.
  • The account does not have a Hearthstone license already attached to it as of January 7th.

If your account was successfully flagged for beta access, your account was also sent an email with instructions on how to download and install the game. If you cannot find this email for any reason, please go to your Account Management page - The Hearthstone license should be visible under “Summary” - “Your Game Accounts” if your account was flagged for beta access. If your account has not yet been flagged for the beta test, we are still going through all of the accounts and we will provide another update at a later time.

The desktop app is required in order to play Hearthstone, so make sure to install the desktop app first. If you run into issues with downloading or installing Hearthstone or with the desktop app, please visit our Support site for more assistance.
by Published on 2014-01-14 01:39 PM

Warlords of Draenor PvP Stats, Blue Posts, Blue Tweets, Hearthstone Beta Patch

Ghostcrawler is Now Lead Game Designer at Riot Games
Ghostcrawler left Blizzard last month to pursue a "great opportunity for something new and exciting". He updated his LinkedIn today to list his new position of Lead Game Designer at Riot Games.

Originally Posted by Morello (Source)
His title is the same title as Morello. I wonder if he got replaced?
Nah - League's a huge game and there's a lot to do. GC's actually some MUCH-needed help on the leadership side - it's just too much for any one person to handle and make the progress I'd like to see. We'll be dividing up some of the effort on leading it, but other than making sure more things have support, the teams are pretty unchanged from who's doing want (Statikk and friends are still doing Game Health, Meddler still heads champ development, we just have more expertise to draw on now).

A lot of the things we want to focus on with game health this year (and preseason is a kick-off to this effort) is primarily around fixing a lot of the old problems. After finishing up support (IE the gold item particulars + Annie problem), we want to focus on adding choice and depth by taking a HARD look at "ball of stats" stuff so we can actually introduce interesting stuff with trade-offs.

IF he is able to make league more about playing better then the other team then just picking the more OP team then I think he can be a good asset for Riot.

I am looking at this optimistically in hopes that it will make more champs viable and perhapws even breaking the ADC is a must meta to some degree.

I appreciate the positive thoughts.

I worked with Greg both directly and indirectly for years. He's an awesome guy who took on the impossible task of doing what Morello has done for league for so long on a game where people are incredibly invested in their character and any nerf is an extremely personal offense.

It's a tough, tough job. Greg tanked it like a champion.

I'm excited to see how helps bolster our ranks.

A while back we asked if you still wanted to see occasional Ghostcrawler Tweets and the majority did.

Keep in mind that he is no longer is speaking for Blizzard in these tweets.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
I am no longer working on WoW. You should consider any Blizzard comments I make my personal, if educated, opinions. (Source)

Dev Feedback
I dunno, you guys manage to sound pretty trite and curt and certain on the forums, too.
We're never certain. Game design is very much a crap shoot, tempered by experience, feedback and your gut. (Source)

If you left WoW because of the community I wouldn't blame you, some of the people tweeting and blaming you...
No way. I was just ready to work on something else. Ultimately game developers want passionate communities! (Source)

But most polls suggest the talent changes were liked overall, even if they weren't 100% liked. (Source)
Who was polled and when? the existing community at cata launch? the lost subs between then and now? wtb better metrics
Blizzard has excellent metrics overall, but are also smart enough to know when not to let metrics make the decision for them. (Source)
People distrust metrics they have no ability to see. Is more transparency in some of these cases worth while?
My fear was always that players would swap from giving feedback on what was fun and try to become data analysts instead. (Source)

Game Design
makes me also wonder who in Blizzard ever came up with the idea that grinding was fun? The reward is fun.
Some players enjoy being recognized for commitment and not just raw skill. (Source)

How can an evolving MMO be designed around zero grinding, zero RNG and constant meaningful rewards?
Player made content maybe? (Not a WoW announcement by any stretch.) (Source)

but this is an interesting question: how to deal with frustration. Is it something devs take in account?
Totally. As I said, too much frustration can make players quit. (Source)
But, when rewards come too easily, that can lead to boredom, which can also make players quit. (Source)

Oh, glad you pointed this out, I clicked and saw she cited me and there. Maybe some people would be surprised .
I thought the 275 vs 300 food was perfect. It really let folks decide what kind of player they wanted to be. (Source)
Interesting to see if player behavior changes post-itemsquish, when they're choosing between +24 and +25 food.
Yes! Like that economic study that shows folks will drive across town for cheap gas but not $100 savings on a dress. (Source)

So Greg, what's your thoughts on two vs. three factions in an MMO?
If I was doing a new MMO (I'm not) I would have one. H vs A is good for WoW overall IMO, but is a barrier to playing with friends. (Source)

I think mmo gameplay is fun because for me it taps into desire to optimize, gain much power...and be better than others.
One thing I underestimated as a designer is how some players simply prefer clear power gains to interesting choices. (Source)

RNG sucked on items like trinkets, etc it will suck even more on gear. RNG != fun
RNG is a challenging philosophy for designers to explain. Players typically want to minimize it, but there is risk in doing so. (Source)
RNG is a challenge for players to overcome, but that sometimes gets turned into pleas to overcome it by removing it. (Source)
We *think* we want to minimize it. But the other side of that hill has a lot less grass on it than we claim to see.
Being able to reliably predict outcomes makes games boring. Even chess has a form of RNG in the actions of your opponent. (Source)
Calling bullshit. Chess is pure strategy, no RNG at all. RNG would be if pawn takes queen had an 85% chance.
Perhaps you could say games need unpredictability, which can be provided by RNG or lack of complete information. (Source)
In the internet age, it's hard for games to have incomplete information (you Google everything) so RNG has grown as a tool. (Source)
Back when I played Wasteland or Wizardry 6, you had to "solve" boss encounters and BiS lists on your own. (Source)
You are conflating random behavior with strategy, which is... wrong. Very much so.
Same is true of gear. "Should I take this upgrade?" (RNG) is more interesting than "Just 3 more Immerseus kills and I'm done." (Source)
What if I'm just -really- sick of Immerseus? I don't want to spend a year trying to get one item. :-\
Immerseus is there regardless. Would you rather have a shot at gear or know 100% of it will be sharded? (Source)

I understand the good RNG does but getting screwed by it feels REALLY bad. We don't like feeling helpless.
Yeah, and we implemented some very bad luck protection systems. With millions of players, someone is going to be the 0.01% dude. (Source)

This makes me sad. Cata heroics at launch were so much fun with friends.
I agree. There was just no alternative for solo players. Maybe that problem is fixed now. (Source)

I know why they wouldn't come back, but I miss the days of 2hr dngns because of the sterility.
I am totally a big, long dungeon customer. But I recognize not everyone is. (Source)
How did 5M end up in its current state? It went from being the most important part of the game in Classic to the least in MoP
Overall, I think zerging dungeons just became more popular, which meant dungeons had a shorter lifespan overall. (Source)
Not blaming players for that trend necessarily, and as I said, I like orchestrating pulls and CC personally. (Source)

what happened 5 mans, used to be so many in BC/Wrath, also not very rewarding. Used to love spamming them for badges.
Keeping dungeons (or any content) relevant when you start to outgear it is a big challenge for WoW. (Source)
Players would exhaust them quickly. Few want to run the same dungeon 6 times a night, 2-3 nights a week. (Source)
It's more scenery though than same raid instance 7 nights a week in several difficulties on several characters...
Just depends on what you're into, but the WoW biz works best when players have things to do for weeks rather than come and go. (Source)

the lack of new 5 man's is why I stopped playing. No <60 min content for tanks. I'm not gonna drop mid raid & strand a group.
Adding new dungeons is challenging. Players tire of even 3 new ones in a patch pretty quickly. You need a steady drip of them. (Source)

What's your stance on Challenge Modes? Did they accomplish what you guys wanted?
I think they were a big success. They didn't of course scratch the itch for players who want hard but not necessarily fast. (Source)

I don't know how the trend was interpreted by devs, but at times it had felt a bit like "Players do X therefore X is good"
No, that's the Mechanar Syndrome I talk about frequently. Few were running Mech every day because it was their favorite dungeon. (Source)
Personnaly, i found chain running mech more fun than dungeons zergfests we have now.
Hopefully it doesn't have to be one or the other, but I agree with your statement. (Source)

LFR and LFD is why WoW is doing as bad as it is right now You chew up content fast plus people no longer make friends
Before LFD, many players just never ran dungeons. I think it's a myth that it forced everyone to find friends. (Source)
While I agree with you Greg I wish it was more rewarding to do with friends.
We were worried LFD would not catch on. We were wrong. Now we need more incentives to play with friends. Some announced at B'con. (Source)

A large portion of the players on my server use it almost exclusively... getting rid of it is getting rid of them.
Yeah, LFR brings a lot of benefits for sure. I'm just not sure it's enough to keep players engaged for months. (Source)

Do you think LFR was better or worse for burnout? Personally I could stand 2-3 runs of a LFR vs 10-20 of a dungeon.
Maybe, but that LFR might "last" 2-3 weeks and the dungeon 2-3 days. (Source)
Because of loot cap. Real life time vs /played time. Which one should a dev be more concerned with?
Ultimately whatever keeps someone playing. Folks who only run new dungeons for a week or two might not come back next time. (Source)

Why isn't it? Healers and DPS have roles; why can't tanks? Let them play a tank in PvP if they want to.
Other players tend to not have fun when facing a character who takes little damage and has a lot of control. (Source)
Why do tanks have this much control? Control use to be DPS's job. Now all DPS do is spam buttons for big numbers.
Tank control grew out of a need to keep everyone safe by controlling the mobs. I agree that it has taken away from the DPS though. (Source)

Min/maxers have for too long hijacked the gearing narrative. I hope this ends the player driven madness.
Sadly, it won't. You'll still see flex raids that demand heroic gear. Being labeled suboptimal is the worst of sins online. (Source)

Theorycrafting for me is about understanding how the game works, not about min/maxing.
I think it's useful to know a potential max target. It's unhealthy to assume that is obtainable. (Source)

what is the design goal behind making fun items with very long cds?
The idea is the "fun" quickly turns annoying when they are spammed. (Source)

i'm confused, does Gold have a reason to exist now or doesn't it? This is more exciting than repair bills, yet those stay?
Repair has a role in the game - giving you the occasional reason to visit towns and providing a small penalty for dying. (Source)
Reforging is little different from "push button -> get stat buff." (Source)

Equipping bracers feels mandatory, why don't you remove that too?
You have to actually earn the bracer by accomplishing something. Reforging is just a button. (Source)

Werent you just tweeting about minmaxing only 4 a fraction of the playerbase + huge stat value difs being your prob?
Yes. The idea is removing the burden of players feeling like they must do unfun things for trivial stat gains. (Source)
Problem is: Your team is shit at itemizing stats for certain specs. Enhance reforges almost every part (PvP)
Their goal is not to put everyone's best stats on everything.... (Source)
Because without reforging, some specs would be so bad that they would be unviable. Fix that issue, then we'll argue.
We balanced around the gear that actually existed not theoretical gear. (Source)

That comment essentially kills the desire to have alts.
If you can gear your 10 alts in a reasonable time, then I gear my 2 alts instantly and get bored. How to solve? (Source)
More account bound gear would help with that a lot IMO. Timeless isle was a good step.
Solutions like that are nice because then you're actually playing some character instead of just having all the alts caught up. (Source)

Have they considered making a tier item for all slots, but still only having 2/4 set? Might solve the breaking the set prob.
Yeah I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago. You could also have different ways to complete a set, or a transferable bonus. (Source)

Are you happy with how the Worgen turned out? I personally was disappointed with the females after the drafts seemed cool.
When game art is very controversial, it's hard to call it a victory. (Source)

."Slam dunk new race"? (Maybe someone else can enlighten me what does that mean)
The team was very excited about goblins and worgen. That level of passion doesn't (yet?) exist for say ogres and arrakoa. (Source)
I always thought back in vanilla that overs would be playable before anything else, including goblins.
I personally have always been a huge ogre fan. I think they're cool with a decent amount of lore. (Source)
If WoW truly was my fiefdom as the forums would have you believe, the ogre, centaur and nerubian player races would be OP. (Source)

Do you think WoW could ever have room for a bard based class/spec? Blizz is the only dev I would trust to make them cool.
I think it could be done. I'm not sure it's very likely. (Source)

Now that youve moved on from Blizz, what truly was the design intent for Ret in pvp?
I don't think it was a mystery. They have a lot of utility and some ability to heal in a pinch but at the cost of mobility. (Source)

mostly you say how in pve it will be/it is. i feel like you still dont care about pvp at all
Most players want spec diversity in PvE. In PvP more of a mixed bag - some players are happy with few but balanced spec options. (Source)

So now that you're out, I have just one question...Arms. Why?
We nerfed Arms too hard trying to solve the early Shockwave + TfB problems. We buffed them in 5.4, but it was too much. (Source)
TfB was flat out bad design. Lazy. It was a slap in the face. All of the tropes, because it could 1 hit. F that.
Our thought was that very rare occurrences don't have much balance impact because they are so rare. (Source)
im assuming that that has changed inthe devs minds, considering the backlash from community over tfb
Yeah I admitted that in a second tweet on that subject. (Source)

and, why has it persisted as a pve stepchild for so long, especially when fury can do it all too?
But overall the design goal for "Why have multiple DPS (or healer) specs in one class?" has proven difficult to answer. (Source)
Maybe WoW would be better if rogues had 1 spec, warriors had 2 and so on. Shrug. (Source)
I don't follow.
Maybe warrior should be Fury and Prot (no Arms). Maybe hunter should be Hunter (no MM, BM or SV). (Source)
We always struggled to define reasons for players to play both warrior DPS specs or all 3 mage specs, etc. (Source)

I'm a believer that content should follow lore. But new classes are fine. I'm trying to think of a new class that isnt dumb
I feel there is a lot of untapped class design space. D&D, Pathfinder etc. still come out with clever new ideas. (Source)

i'm on the side of stopping wow being dumbed down personally
Based on your previous tweet, do you feel like removing mandatory choices is dumbing down? (Source)
Because that is an argument I hear. Knowing that DK = Strength may not be a choice, but it is something you have to learn. (Source)
I also wonder how much of the "dumbing down" discussion is because players themselves are much more sophisticated now. (Source)
In BC, folks wondered if an item or talent was good. Now that knowledge is readily available in seconds to most of us. (Source)

How do you personally feel about the new talents? Did it resolve issues from the old one? Did it present any new issues?
Overall, I vastly prefer the new model, as a designer and player. (Source)
Old issues: Things like respecing at key levels to get gold medal talents you were expected to have. (Source)
Old issues: "Your X has a 20/40/60/80/100% to cause Y, and BTW it's crippling if Y doesn't happen so you better spend 5 points." (Source)
Old issues: designers always moving powerful talents deeper in trees to stop players from getting broken "hybrid" builds. (Source)
New issues: Not every spec gets a true choice at every tier yet. That feels possible to design though. (Source)
New issues: Some players just like more choices, even if the choice is an illusion, or can't actually be designed. (Source)

now that u have left? Do you think theyll ever update silvermoon to flyable? Or is it a NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN situation?
I doubt it will ever happen. The time investment is just too great. (Source)
I don't get how a zone in the xpak that introduced flying was designed unflyable...
Those buildings in Silvermoon aren't there. They are all ugly facades like a Hollywood backlot. And even that SM took months. (Source)

Just how complicated was it to make the capitals flying friendly ?
Very. The original cities were all fake. There were several SW Cathedrals, and the castle was kind of a skybox. (Source)
Buildings in WoW are hand-crafted by dungeon artists, and cities have a lot of buildings. It took months. (Source)
Blizzard employs X artists. If some of those work on Silvermoon, then something else isn't going to get made. (Source)
Even hiring more artists still makes the choice between working on something old or something new. (Source)

I feel Blizz did the Cata revamp in a wrong way, and now will be afraid of any revamps.
What would you consider the right way? (Source)
Restructure 1-60 quests without altering timeline of those quests. Phase Azeroth zones for level 80+ players.
Isn't that twice as much quest content though if we had to make 2 versions of say Badlands? (Source)
There was some hope that BC and LK could be updated as well, and maybe that can still happen some day. (Source)
We caught 1-60 up to "modern" time so that Deathwing and the Cataclysm could be front and center. (Source)
The revamp was nice and needed, the problem was that Blizzard tried to swallow more than it could chew.
Doesn't Blizzard always? (Source)

Why was Path of the Titan scrapped and will they ever introduce it?
It wasn't in a good enough state yet. I still like the idea of power progression that isn't related to gear or character levels. (Source)

Why was there never again an event like the Ahn'Qiraj gate opening and quest line?Were there ever plans to do smth similar?
Concept was cool. Reality was grinding linen and Silithus lag. I'd love to see the team try again knowing what they know now. (Source)

Can you clarify this? A few months ago you said the WoW team was getting bigger which would result in more freq content, yes?
The team has grown with the hope of delivering content faster. It has taken time, and they aren't quite there yet. (Source)

but I think MMO devs should aim to inspire. it's not always about the outcome, but adventure.
I agree, and it's easy to get caught up in mechanic and number tuning and not the grand adventure that it is supposed to be. (Source)

I think the biggest thing that explains WoW sub losses is the diversity in the mmo market now. I think tmmos are more niche.
Is that true though? My prediction (sans data) is that fewer players are playing any MMO today relative to say 5 years ago. (Source)

Greg, record subs in Wrath. All since then has been dumbing down, making the game easier. Subs now 1/2 max. Why?
I tend to think because the game is 10 years old and not exactly easy to get back into, esp. if your friends move on. (Source)
I really don't think it has much to do with game features or direction at all, but that is my opinion and not a Blizzard statement (Source)

24% of customers left under and he "quit" on his own
WoW was never "under" me, so I wouldn't be the right person to can. Personally, I would get my facts straight before I trolled. (Source)

Why did MoP do nothing but bleed subscribers throughout its life cycle? Besides the game being old.
I say this frequently, but players vastly overestimate the degree to which design changes cause sub loss. Vastly. (Source)
The guy who quits because his work schedule changes tends to not broadcast that fact. (Source)
The rage quits so often cited on forums seem more common than they are because they're on forums. (Source)
It's more likely to be an issue when a player returning after 2-3 years can't recognize the game any longer and leaves again. (Source)
Number of players coming and going has always been fairly high. Fewer new players are trying the game these days. (Source)

Was driven by YOU saying so. Be4 that players didn't remotely consider change velocity when proposing/complaining abt changes
Pretty sure I've never said that specific changes cause a lot of players to quit. Too much change overall can and does. (Source)
coming back after 2 years, I'm surprised at the faction change rate for the top Alliance guildsAlli needs buffs
My opinion is that Horde racials are too raid friendly, but my opinion doesn't count for much. (Source)

But those who have lapsed may have done so because the game was getting boring and wasn't changing enough.
Yeah, like I said, that may cause current players to lapse. But too much change can make it hard for others to return. (Source)

I dont get that. I've been here since 04 and quit and came back more times than I can count. Ive never been lost due to it =\
Would be awesome if more players were like you, but we also know many do come back and quit again quickly because they feel lost. (Source)

End of WoW for me was watching my server die and Blizzard doing nothing to resolve the problem.
What do you think they should have done? Free moves have limited effect and forced moves are very unpopular. (Source)
Should combine servers and if people cant get the name they want, well that sucks but itd be the price to pay. Just IMO
As I've said, WoW gets a lot of returning players. It's not a great experience when you can't find your friends or guild or name. (Source)

MoP has done a lot of damage to WoW. Lot of those people that have left will not be back.
You seem to be linking business data with an opinion on content, which is tenuous. (Source)
it's also an accurate representation of how content is perceived by the community.
Now both can be subjectively right, but how does that become a measurement of community views? (Source)
you once said fallout from talent changes was anticipated. Too many choices like that slowly ate away at subs over years.
The conclusion from your tweet seems to be that no design should be changed ever because someone won't like it and might quit. (Source)
No sir, not at all. But there should be a better reason than "someone complained on forums" Wrath/BC were very good models
Blizzard would never radically change a design because of just a few isolated complaints. (Source)
I didn't think so, but that's often the official explination. "this was too complicated, so we're changing/removing X".
There is complication because something is confusing for new players, which is legit, but understandable that vets don't agree. (Source)
early wrath, I tanked in fury once. I enjoyed experimenting with talents even if it wasn't "optimal" for patchrk situations
The game supports a fair amount of that, but whether fellow players tolerate it is a different story. (Source)
by Published on 2014-01-14 04:55 AM

RoS Among 2014's Most Anticipated Games, Blue Posts, MannerCookie's RoS Itemization Introduction

Changes in the Next Patch, Blue Tweets, MG Decklist Round-Up, Legends of Hearthstone

Warlords of Draenor PvP Stats
Blizzard recently shared some more information on the plans for PvP stats in Warlords of Draenor.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
We are looking at reducing or completely removing baseline Resilience, but it's a big change and requires other larger changes to go with it. Changes that big we tend to wait until an expansion (Warlords) to make - as well as a lot of testing and feedback from y'all during beta. We do have some changes with Season 15, but they won't be a huge departure from where we're already at, mainly tweaks to existing numbers.

Bashiok, I made a suggestion in a thread i created a few days ago, as well as again earlier today in a new thread someone made.
I think in-general we like to avoid piling on more systems when we can achieve the same or (ideally) better results just through intelligent use of the ones we already have - to be entirely vague about it. In any case, I think it'll be something we can really only come to a conclusion on through a ton of testing during the Warlords beta. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Can we get a pvp dummy?
Great suggestion. I'll be sure to bring it up with the team.

That said, we're doing a lot of retuning of how health works in comparison to incoming damage in Warlords, with the hope that we won't need (or can significantly lessen the effects of) things like Battle Fatigue or Base Resilience. If all goes well, there shouldn't be as nearly as substantial of a difference between PvE and PvP damage output.

Still, it's a great suggestion, and there will likely still be at least a small difference (due to PvP Power if nothing else), so I'll make sure to pass it on.

Sounds like a good goal but probably to hard of goal to hit.
It's definitely tough, but we think we can at least get things a lot closer than they currently are.

I think he means more along the lines of "Why can I Chaos Bolt for 1.5 million in PvE while PvP I can rarely go above 180k?" kinds of situations, which I think is a legit concern.

If you guys are doing as much number tinkering as you claim I don't know why you wouldn't take this opportunity to rethink pvp power altogether. I'm all for differentiating gear but I find it pretty silly that a stat called "pvp power" exists at all.
We are planning to revisit PvP Power in Warlords. Our current thinking is that, instead of a flat percentage increase to your normal damage/healing in PvP (as it is currently), it'll be a bonus amount of your spec's primary stat (Strength, Agility, or Intellect).

Here's an example with some completely made-up numbers: lets say a piece of gear has 80 Strength and 30 PvP Power on it. In a PvP environment, that would total out to be 110 Strength. Meanwhile, an equivalent piece of PvE gear might only have 100 Strength on it. Again, those numbers are purely hypothetical, but hopefully it illustrates the idea.

That change accomplishes a couple of things for us. First, it lets us keep PvP and PvE item levels closer together, while still ensuring that PvP gear remains best for PvP and vice versa. It also "demystifies" PvP Power quite a bit; a percentage-based increase can be hard to really quantify without a lot of math, but raw stats are much easier to understand.

As to the name, we can talk about it, but part of why we chose the term "PvP Power" to begin with was that it makes it extremely obvious that the stat only functions inside PvP environments. We want to be sure that players who purchase PvP gear know that it's going to be less effective in PvE situations. I'll bring it up, though.

I really like the idea behind that and it's similar to what I suggested previously. Why not something like this (ROUGH numbers) :

PvP Item A has 70 agi/str/int + 30 PvP Power
PvE Item A has 100 agi/str/int
PvP power does not function in PvE "instances", but functions everywhere else.
1 PvP Power = 1 agi/str/int in the open world
1 PvP Power = 2 agi/str/int inside PvP instances

That way both gear types are basically equal in the open world and equally handicapped in the respective instances. I see no reason that PvP gear should be weaker in the open world against mobs. Gear differences are mainly been for instances anyway.

We've discussed a similar idea (and may yet decide to go with something like it), but our concern with it is that it's still somewhat complicated for players to figure out. As I mentioned earlier, one of the issues we'd like to solve is how difficult it can be to figure out exactly what impact PvP Power is going to have on your effectiveness. "1 PvP Power = 1 Strength vs Players" is easy to get across and understand. "1 PvP Power = 2 Strength in Arenas and Battlegrounds, worthless in dungeons and raids, and 1 Strength in the open world," not so much.

One other thing I should mention based on some other comments in here is that, just like today, PvP Power will be active vs players in any context, not just inside PvP instances. So if you're comparing a PvE and PvP piece of the same item level -- for example, a piece of Conquest gear and a piece of Heroic raid gear -- it should work out something like this:

  • The PvE item is stronger in PvE instances
  • The PvP item is stronger in PvP instances
  • The PvE item is slightly stronger vs creatures in the open world
  • The PvP item is slightly stronger vs players in the open world

Once again, I need to be clear that this is all early development thinking and anything might change, but our hope is that whatever we end up doing makes things work something like that. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Battleground Queue Times
Battlegrounds have used region-wide matchmaking since Cataclysm. Battlegroups are only used by matchmaking systems as a preferred set of realms to match you with, but queue times will dictate how fast and far it'll attempt to match you with others outside your Battlegroup. So really there are no longer any Battlegroup restrictions or limitations in the game.

Since your post was made in the morning/early afternoon I'd hazard a guess that your play time could be a factor, as most people play the game in the evening, and queue times are of course mainly going to be about how many other people are in the queue with you.

I'd recommend spending your wait-time doing something to pass the time that also works toward a goal, maybe an achievement, or even something more PvP focused like the 5.1 rare spawns that drop Honor tokens - probably a bit more fun that staring at the queue time anyway.(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Are you going to continue updating Brawler's Guild in WoD? It's a cool feature...
Side/flavor content like that usually happens & evolves whenever the designer can squeeze time into the schedule. So, maybe? (Source)

what is happening with quivers in WoD?
Dunno. They never quite 100% worked. Needed new/better tech. They looked awesome, though! (Source)

you guys maybe work Kara into a 5man or scenariopost WoD launch ?? Pretty please :-)
I'd be surprised if something didn't happen w/ it eventually. It's too cool a place for just solo mount & pet runs. (Source)

I think people should be able to transmog their items to look like their banked Legendaries. But only that.
Yes, internally, there's a range of opinions on what's valid for it. Can't say if it's changing anytime soon. (Source)

Any chance for Silvermoon city guard armor to be added as transmog gear? Was suggested a while back that it'd be implimented.
There's no armor. That guard asset is one solid piece, shield and weapon included. Also... *whispers*'s actually a night elf! (Source)
Aw... that's a real shame. That weapon and shield are beautiful. Any chance for them to be added? Maybe along with glaives?
Shield too big & glaives discouraged internally, but maybe! Ideal time would've been back when BE warriors were introduced. T_T (Source)
Can we ask why glaives are discouraged?
Some decisions, old & new, are flavor, or lore, or art; just "gut"/feels stuff. Sometimes they change, sometimes not. (Source)

Speaking of funky gas masks... any chance of making that thing transmoggable? With or without the backpack.
A chance, perhaps, but it's not quite in line w/ current item/reward philosophy. (Source)

Oh! Oh! Any chance for more flowers like Forever-Lovely Rose? One of my favorite flavor items!
Would be cool! That one was a character artist's GF's idea. I was like, U MAKE DAT ART, I'LL MAKE DAT ITEM <3 (Source)

UI / Addons
Will we ever get better combat log support for encounters that have an "upstairs" and "downstairs" (ex: Gara'jal)
While we can't guarantee 100% coverage, this is a problem that we recognize and are going to make an effort on going forward. (Source)

Pet Battles
could the Everlook goblins develop the robo cub/chick technology more, and train engineer hunters to craft their own mech pets?
Engineers & mechanical pets, jewelcrafters & gem/figurine pets, etc. etc. It's all come up many times over the years, yes. (Source)
i was meaning for hunter pets not companion/battle pets
So was I. *queue dramatic music* Jade tigers, mechanical tallstriders, robo-apes, that sort of thing. (Source)

like Eye of the legion is undead and not magical?
Battle pets are a totally different animal, pun intended; more a balance/ability call. 100% flavor thing w/ Hunter pets. (Source)
There is no Demon BP family, so demonic BPs are tossed into either Undead or Magic as current design need/flavor dictates. (Source)

Do you think we could get bunny rabbit mounts from Noblegarden
Even I am not that silly. Well... wait. Yeah, you're right. Maybe. But probably not! (Source)

where did Prince Malchezar come from? Why does he mention time and space? sure doodads...
Medivh's meddling/experiments weakened barrier between realities, thus warp creatures etc. (Source)
This doesn't jive with the Eredar Prince's claims of being able to control time and spice.
It does; he sensed a weak point and drilled thru the infinite Twisting Nether to open it! (Source)
Prince Malchezaar basically drew the tower top "up" into infinite chaos. And floaty rocks. (Source)
and Midevh was cool with this? Was he looking for a roommate?
Totally; he posted a craigslist ad and everything: pets/smoking/drama ok, must like opera (Source)
sounds like a chill guy. He looking for more?
Only if you don't mind being a crazy ghost! (But seriously, Medivh was long gone by then.) (Source)

Upcoming Hearthstone Beta Patch
Blizzard posted the changes coming to Hearthstone in a patch later this week today. If you are interested in the reasoning for these changes, see the full post on Hearthpwn.

by Published on 2014-01-13 02:05 AM

A Brief Look At Transmogrification, Suggestions for Fixing Current RoS Beta Issues, Eat Game Live: Reaper of Soles

Hearthstone: Top 5 Plays of the Week, Weekly News Recap

Armory Stats - Siege of Orgrimmar Progression
Today we are taking a look at the Siege of Orgrimmar progression of players in each difficulty. Now that achievements are account wide, we can group characters by account and get an idea of what percentage of players (not characters) have defeated a boss on any difficulty at least once, based on progression data.

The data used today is a sample made up of 6.9 million characters from 2.5 million accounts, with at least one character active after November 1. The sample is slightly biased, as players who are not in a guild are much less likely to appear in our sample.

The second chart uses the number of players that killed Immerseus in each difficulty as the base of participating players for that difficulty. Each difficulty can be toggled on and off by clicking the name in the legend.

We looked at absolute percentage numbers for Heroic difficulty a few days ago and included those numbers in the charts here, but keep in mind we used a different date for the cutoff then, which can change the percentages slightly. You can leave suggestions for future stat posts in the comments!

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Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Since Ogres are getting a new model in Warlords, is that a model just for Warlords or for all Ogres?
Draenor Ogres less devolved than Azeroth won't be the same model for each, would like to update both eventually (Source)

Need a rework of all npc's in WoWand a rework of the classic mounts
npc's will update with new player models. Have heard a lot about mount updates, something I would like to do eventually. (Source)

For later on additions to the game. Can druid forms wear certain parts of armor? Give the forms more uniqueness/flavor etc.
we've played around with this, but it's nigh impossible to make shoulder/helm/belt attach. look good on that model (Source)

Can we expect more class-unique animations? Dual throw for fury storm bolt, shuriken and glaive toss? Hunter looks dull btw
I know our animators are fired up excited about doing this, it's on the wish list. (Source)

Is MoP just going to be forgotten or are you going to work to keep the artwork alive in future content?
most likely we'll find ways to bring Pandaren culture/art into Azeroth now that the veil has been lifted. (Source)

Could we see the return of simple cloaks in WoD? The latest expansions brought a lot of incredibly overcomplicated designs.
we did get a little crazy on a few, I'll keep it in mind. Had a few thoughts on capes on last WoW Source if interested. (Source)

So is it you we ask for glyphs? Can Monks get one that turns Rising Sun Kick into Flaming Dragon Punch?
Glyphs mostly class/system (& to lesser extent profs) but anyone on team can suggest & help out. But new anims = unlikely glyph! (Source)

will we see heavenly blue cloud serpents? i can understand no green though look at it! look at it!
Probably eventually? Hopefully not w/ green drake level delay! (Source)

Character / Items
Can you make it a policy (if you already haven't) to de-associate fun cosmetics and trinkets?
I don't make policy, though I can suggest them. I'm not certain that'd be a good policy, though. I can see arguments for either way. (Source)
I'd be curious to hear arguments in favor of trinkets with toys. I honestly can't think of any.
Some are less freedom for item peeps to make fun player power rewards & intentional mudflation. Note that I am not making any args. (Source)
I dunno, above all, I'd expect that you design a toy with the intent of having it played with. Trinkets contradict that.
A toy is a toy. A trinket is a trinket; whether or not one thinks it's fun enough to qualify as a toy. Diff. items, diff. purposes. (Source)
What about things like Super Simian Sphere and Piccolo of the Flaming Fire, which are trinkets w/ no trinkety purpose?
PFF is an OLD item from a different time & SSS is copied from one (Orb of D). Always going to be a few odd exceptions! (Source)
Can we make Time-Lost Figurine a toy? I'd love to keep the form in end game content.
I don't know if items peeps have plans to modify old drops. I do suspect they're trinkets out of tradition. (Source)

Entirely separate question is all the trinkets/toys/tabards that provide teleports/hearths. Toybox y/n?
Toy box turns items into spells (e.g. current pets & mounts). Unlikely for equipped items, but maybe. (Source)

Warlords of Draenor Stats
So say if i have a Cleave gem inside im DPS and when i switch to my Healing kit will the Cleave gem still be there?
Cleave is a tertiary; not gemmable. But if you meant Crit, yes. (Source)

Will pet classes/specs benefit from Multstrike as much as petless? Currently f.ex multstrike isn't good for BM but is for SV.
Yes. Pets benefit from all of the new stats. (Source)

Any chance WoD can reduce the ridiculous item level jumps from season to season? 496 to 522 is just too big a difference.
Unfortunately, I think that gap is going to continue to exist. Something has to give when trying to keep up with PvE ilevels. (Source)
does that mean the gap between pvp and pve ilvl will be as big as it is right now in current wow?
No the plan is to improve that gap. (Source)

On a scale of 1 to 9000, how cool is Ashran ?
It's really coming along. Big challenge is it's tough to iterate on something that requires 200+ players to play like live. (Source)

Any worry that glad-range players will "tank" their alts below whatever cutoff you come up with in order to up their main's rank?
Spit in the ocean to be honest. They could have done the same with teams. (Source)

people give you shit but with the name change i expect a good christmas present. are you fixing 2v2, the most played bracket??
Feel it would benefit more from an earlier start to dampening than 3s, especially when both teams have a healer. (Source)
That seems like a really good point, a good place to go from. would seperating double dps and healer dps be an option balance wise?
No we don't think it's necessary or good to segregate healer teams in that way. (Source)

Is there going to be arena system that there is now + the special Trial of the Gladiator, or the classic rating is removed?
We're still discussing it based on a lot of negative feedback about the idea of rating disappearing from the existing queue. (Source)

Thought about making crafting an endgame option in same vein as PvE and PvP? Revamping, making crafting epic (as per leg cloak)
That & many other variants on what crafting could be have come up over the years. Not sure what their plans are for WoD now. (Source)

dave, can you shed some light on Wod archeology? Will we have new race types? Or more orc and dreanei stuff?
Don't know much about current plans aside from proposed QoL improvements. I'll probably help make some toys for it, though! (Source)

Any plans to bring the other Professions to the late game model that Blacksmith/Mining/Herbs has? (ie: easier leveling path)
Not heavily involved w/ professions. Archaeology is likely to get a similar treatment for WoD. Can't speak for the others! (Source)

Dark Legacy Comics #423
DLC #423 has been released!

by Published on 2014-01-11 09:19 AM

Vendor Items No Longer Salvageable, Work On Patches Still Going, Curse Weekly Roundup

Possible Beta Account Flagging Next Week, MLG/ManaGrind Tournament #11 Review

Patch 5.4.2 Hotfixes: January 10
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
  • Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Necrotic Strike now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).
  • Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Hunter Pets
      • Core Hound: Lava Breath now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).
      • Fox: Tailspin now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).
      • Goat: Trample now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).
      • Sporebat: Spore Cloud now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).
  • Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Arcane
      • Slow now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).
  • Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Mind-numbing Poison now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).
  • Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Curse of Enfeeblement now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).
    • Demonology
      • Aura of Enfeeblement now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).

  • [Requires a realm restart.] Winterfin Commerce: Resolved an issue that could cause players to be unable to collect Winterfin Clams.

Free Character Migrations Next Week
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We'll be offering Free Character Migrations next week for realms currently seeing high queue times at login. Those looking to avoid waiting to log in can take advantage of the free transfers to a set destination realm.

We're targeting the middle of next week for these Free Character Migrations to become available, and they'll remain open for approximately one week, or until a destination realm fills up. If you're looking to transfer with others we recommend setting up plans early to avoid any stragglers being left behind.

  • Area 52 => Turalyon
  • Stormrage => Turalyon
  • Tichondrius => Blackrock
  • Illidan => Blackrock
  • Bleeding Hollow => Korgath
  • Darkspear => Korgath

The transfers will be announced on the front page once available.

Blizzard Customer Support Callback
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Over the last few weeks, we’ve launched a new callback-based system for players who need phone support. This is a big change from our traditional phone support, so we wanted to provide some details about this service.

How does the callback system work?
  • Instead of calling a number (and potentially waiting on hold) for support, you’ll use the support site on to request a callback.
  • You’ll enter information about your issue, along with your phone number.
  • A Game Master will give you a call back.

How does the callback system benefit me as a player?
  • You won’t have to navigate a phone menu or spend time on hold.
  • Since the support site collects critical details in advance (like the answer to your security question), you’ll jump directly into problem solving.

What’s happening to Blizzard Customer Support’s existing phone numbers?
  • We’re transitioning to a point where our phone lines will no longer present a menu system, but instead play a brief message directing users to the support site.

We hope you enjoy using the new service to get help when you need it!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Question: Visually, what was your favorite race pre-update, and has this changed whilst working on them?
Man, it's like picking your favorite kid - you curse the rest with low self-esteem and counseling bills (Source)
Draenei for the women (it's a tail thing) Dwarves for the drinking and beards, Goblin when I'm being honest (Source)

What tools/programs are most commonly used at blizzard and which is ur fav ?
Photoshop, Max, Zbrush, and Maya. I'm a Photoshop fan for illustration/concept/texturing Max for modeling. (Source)

Do Blizzard artists come with that art style already somewhat in place or develop it in house? Cheers 0/
awesome question, 80% pre-installed, 20% learned (very roughly) it took me a few months to adopt the style. (Source)

By that I mean an item stored in the new Toy Box feature that you use an angel wings appear in your back.
Angelic wings are currently kind of a paladin thing. But who knows; lots of crazy toys get made! (Source)

with character models/ possible subraces, any chance I can make a dwarf or panda that's not overweight? Or a fat Belf?
Dwarves & pandaren are JUST the right weight for dwarves & pandaren. How dare you, sir. HOW DARE YOU. (Source)

Is Trial of the Gladiator just 3v3 and RBG?
Yes just 3v3 and RBG (Source)

what's your personal stance on separating pvp and pve entirely?
Hear this a lot & curious how people think it would work. So I'm killing a quest mob one second & a rogue jumps me, what happens? (Source)
We already separate them to a large degree. PvP CC durations, base resilience, battle fatigue, PvP nerfs on specific spells, etc. (Source)
But in WoW, how my character behaves is my constant. It is just a question of what activity I'm doing with my character. (Source)

And they would only be used in Battlegrounds and PvP settings and "World PvP" would just happen in PvE specs and wouldn't matter.
Based on the response to how gear and World PvP has shaped up this expansion, I can't agree it wouldn't matter. (Source)
But I strongly dislike the idea of a PvP spec that only works in instanced PvP. That's a totally different game at that point. (Source)
I personally don't believe WoW is or ever was the right medium for PvP competition. That's not to say it can't be or hasn't been.
WoW is a big game & it's easy to become laser focused on a single part of it. PvP is quite broad but many only focus on arena (Source)
I'd love it if WoW Arena was a separate game. There would be no excuse then not to make it as good as it can be.
It's debatable how many players you'd gain versus the ones you'd lose. I don't think we'll find out in WoW. (Source)

agree.. Very disappointing. You need to ahange your ‘last season/patch means no more major changes policy’
There is no such policy (Source)

you guys dun goofed with baseline resilience on PvP servers. Have you and come up with any improvements for 6.0 ?
Base Resilience isn't the problem. PvP gear ilevels couldn't keep up with all of the new tiers of PvE gear in MoP. (Source)
We've changed our opinion about where PvP ilevels should fall next expac (i.e. relatively higher). (Source)
Can you please ellaborate on that? Will PVE gear still outshine PVP gear in wPVP but lesser, or be equal or
Hard to elaborate on twitter. Think it would be better to get a blog or forum post to provide more info (Source)

So you could log onto a character and play while waiting for your other character's queue to pop?
I definitely see the appeal of that, but it comes with significant design and technical challenges that we'd have to solve. (Source)

What you guys think about Scaling down to old dungeons? Or old dungeon challenge modes?
I think it'd be amazing (raids, too), and have been hoping we'd get it in for years. I still hope we get it in, ASAP. (Source)

Warlords of Draenor Stats
if parry and dodge are gonna stop existing as status, what will happen to items gemmed with those statuses?
We'll likely replace dodge/parry on gear/gems/enchants with other stats. (Source)

Doesn't this mean the exponential scaling will continue and we'll need another squish? Why not all linear?
Linear power growth doesn't feel rewarding to players. You feel 100->120. You don't feel 500->520. You do feel 500->600. (Source)

What do you think about removing the cooldown on dispel in the near future?
We don't plan to remove it. (Source)

Any chance a votekick system similar to LFR can be put into random Battlegrounds? People who just troll chat sucks the fun out.
Yes, it would be a good addition going forward. It isn't planned for WoD release but it is something we should look into. (Source)

Okay, a (more) serious question for do you have any plans to adjust the WSG/AB rep grinds for the loss of Marks turnins for rep?
I'll have to investigate the reputation situation. In the age of Random Battlegrounds, I don't think it has been a priority. (Source)

Any chance that we can someday mail Honor and Justice between alts so an advanced main can help an alt gear up?
Prefer to do something like BoA "boost potions" or something that still requires you to play the character, just more efficiently (Source)

Why bring a hunter over a warlock? Less DPS, Less utility, less AoE, less survivability. Any extra utility in WoD for hunters?
What you just described is a problem with Warlocks, not Hunters. (Source)

Account-Wide Repuation, Sound like a good idea ?
There's internal debate. In the words of Nicol Williamson's Merlin: "A dream, to some. A NIGHTMARE TO OTHERS!!1!" (Source)

Is Blizz happy with the social aspect of WoW? I sometimes find guilds are very lacking.
Specific opinions vary, internally, though everyone would like the social aspect - and every other aspect! - to improve. (Source)

Heroic Siege of Orgrimmar Progression
There is an ongoing topic on the forums about the number of players that have killed Heroic Garrosh.

Mini Armory Stats - ~9% of players active since Nov 26 have now killed Garrosh on Normal or Heroic difficulty and ~46% have killed him on any difficulty.

Watcher also commented on progression today:

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