World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2013-10-17 07:11 PM

Blizzard All-Stars Becomes Heroes of the Storm

BlizzCon 2013 Map and Schedule
The Blizzcon schedule and map have been released!

Blizzcon 2013 Schedule
Note: all times are converted to the timezone your computer is currently in.

by Published on 2013-10-17 10:01 AM

The Future of MF & GF in Paragon 2.0, Diablo 2 Battle Chest for $4.99, Patch 1.0.2 is Now Live on Xbox 360 As Well

New Connected Realms Coming
Realms are being connected faster now! Keep in mind that Bloodscalp, Maiev, and Boulderfist will make the first group of three realms.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As a part of our ongoing Connected Realms implementation, we will be connecting additional pairs of 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 Connection Pairs:
  • Balnazzar and Warsong
  • Gurubashi and Aegwynn
  • Dalvengyr and Dark Iron
  • Garithos and Chromaggus
  • Onyxia and Burning Blade
  • Maiev and Bloodscalp

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.

Maiev, and...Bloodscalp?
You MIGHT want to clarify that it is US Bloodscalp, and Not the EU one. Might confuse some people.

All of the connections announced on the North American forums are for North American realms.

Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: October 16
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
  • Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Class Armor
      • Resolved an issue that could cause the Tier-16 2-piece set bonus Frozen Thoughts to be consumed without effect.
  • Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Holy
      • Mastery: Echo of Light's healing has been increased by 4%.
  • Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Archimonde's Darkness' effect should now be correctly removed when the Warlock switches talents or glyphs.

  • Timeless Treasures: Weekly treasure chests on the Timeless Isle can now grant credit towards completing this quest.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Galakras
      • Reduced the health of ranking officials and foot soldiers in Phase 1 of the encounter on 10-player Normal difficulty.
    • Kor'kron Dark Shaman
      • Ashen Wall, Toxic Storm, Toxic Mist, Foul Stream, and Foul Geyser now deal less damage on Raid Finder difficulty.
    • Spoils of Pandaria
      • Reduced the health of most of the creatures during the Spoils of Pandaria encounter on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Having multiple players start the encounter should no longer incorrectly cause the timer to count down rapidly.
    • Thok the Bloodthirsty
      • Captive Cave Bats on Raid Finder difficulty will no longer incorrectly drop Normal difficulty loot.
    • Garrosh Hellscream
      • Garrosh Hellscream should now use his abilities more predictably when starting Stage Three: MY WORLD.
  • Mogu'shan Vaults
    • Resolved an issue that prevented players from completing the Straight Six achievement.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • [Requires a realm restart.] Silvershard Mines: The eastern mine cart now doesn't spawn in until shortly after the gates open.

  • Cooking
    • Noodle cart chefs will now receive a well-fed buff while serving other players bowls of noodle soup.


Flex Mechanics Scaling
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Thanks for some excellent feedback so far. Boss mechanics inevitably involve some breakpoints (alas, there's no way for Malkorok to create precisely 3.7 Implosions), and they do need to scale in some form, or abilities only targeting maybe 2 players out of a 25-player Flex raid would make some of those mechanics feel completely trivial and detract from the intended experience and tuning. In general, we try to err on the side of rounding down, and making sure that the ratios are never worse for any group size than they would be for a normal 10- or 25-player raid. Norushen orbs are a great example of a place where that logic doesn't quite work, though, since you actually want more orbs, and not fewer. That's something we can adjust.

Personally we have found 11 to be just about the hardest number. The difference in scaling between 10 to 11 is about 11mill HP. Now for a boss like the Iron Juggernaut, that’s fine. You pew pew the boss the whole fight. 11 mill over 5-6 mins is do-able. But, for a fight like Galakras where the boss is a burn at the end. That 11 mill is pretty tuff to make. Especially being flex so the extra members are not exceptional.

TL;DR the boss HP Scaling is a bit over tuned for 1-2 extra players. (on some fights)

A bit of clarification here: Boss health and damage scaling are both completely linear and proportional to group size, but scale up more slowly than raid size does. So, all else being equal, if you add players who are roughly on par with the average gear/skill of your current group, you'll have a slightly easier time as a result.

Thok, for example, has 355 million health with a 10-player Flexible raid. If you add an 11th player, his health will go up to 390 million. I.e., you've increased your raid's damage output by somewhere between 14 and 20% depending on how many healers you were running, but the boss's health only went up by 10%. Adding that 11th player will also make Thok melee for about 3% more damage, which will barely be noticeable.

Wait, what? He has like 440 million on 10 normal.
Whoops, sorry about that. I was looking at the LFR numbers. He has 355 million with 10-player Flex, and 390 million with 11 players. Same general point holds, but I goofed on the exact values.

33% Off Winged Guardian Mount—This Week Only
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
For a limited time, the Winged Guardian mount can be claimed and added to your personal collection for 33% off the normal price. You’ll be the talk of Azeroth as you soar through the clouds with this fiery golden-maned lion—but don’t delay . . . this sale ends October 22, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

Get yours now! (US / EU)

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

by Published on 2013-10-16 04:41 AM

Difficulty Discussion, Transmogrification and Legendaries (Part 2), RoS Skill Limit Will Remain at 6, Tyrael Fan Art

Hearthstone Beta Patch 3937

Siege of Orgrimmar Raid Schedule
Don't forget that Siege of Orgrimmar Flex Wing 4 opens this week! The final Raid Finder wing will open next week.

With Garrosh being available on Flex, you can start trying for the Heirloom weapons. Remember that the first one in each difficulty will be for your current loot spec, but after that they will be random.

Level Type Spec Slot Name Modelviewer
561One-handed AxePhysical DPSOne Hand Hellscream's Cleaver
548One-handed AxePhysical DPSOne Hand Hellscream's Cleaver
574One-handed AxePhysical DPSOne Hand Hellscream's Cleaver
574Two-handed AxeMeleeTwo Hand Hellscream's Decapitator
548Two-handed AxeMeleeTwo Hand Hellscream's Decapitator
561Two-handed AxeMeleeTwo Hand Hellscream's Decapitator
548BowPhysical DPSRanged Hellscream's Warbow
561BowPhysical DPSRanged Hellscream's Warbow
574BowPhysical DPSRanged Hellscream's Warbow
548One-handed MaceSpell SpiritOne Hand Hellscream's Warmace
561One-handed MaceSpell SpiritOne Hand Hellscream's Warmace
574One-handed MaceSpell SpiritOne Hand Hellscream's Warmace
574PolearmPhysical DPSTwo Hand Hellscream's Pig Sticker
561PolearmPhysical DPSTwo Hand Hellscream's Pig Sticker
548PolearmPhysical DPSTwo Hand Hellscream's Pig Sticker
561One-handed SwordMeleeOne Hand Hellscream's Doomblade
548One-handed SwordMeleeOne Hand Hellscream's Doomblade
574One-handed SwordMeleeOne Hand Hellscream's Doomblade
574StaffSpell DPSTwo Hand Hellscream's War Staff
548StaffSpell DPSTwo Hand Hellscream's War Staff
561StaffSpell DPSTwo Hand Hellscream's War Staff
548DaggerPhysical DPSOne Hand Hellscream's Razor
561DaggerPhysical DPSOne Hand Hellscream's Razor
574DaggerPhysical DPSOne Hand Hellscream's Razor

A New Age Has Begun—World of Warcraft Now Includes Cataclysm
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Deathwing has been unleashed! Beginning today, October 15, players are able to get the original World of Warcraft, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Cataclysm for only $19.99 as part of the newly upgraded World of Warcraft package (formerly known as the Battle Chest). In addition, all World of Warcraft subscribers now automatically have access to all of the content and features of these expansions at no additional cost.

With these changes, we’re making it easier than ever for new players to begin their epic adventures in Azeroth and join in on the fun.

The new retail edition of World of Warcraft will start hitting store shelves soon, but you can purchase the digital version now.

Upcoming "The Crowd Chose You" Change and Stealth
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Quick update: several of you have expressed a concern about stealth teams staying hidden until late in the game, when Dampening starts to stack. This would require them to grab Shadow Sight orbs as much as possible, which would be tricky but is actually possible (particularly with mechanics like Vanish).

We're not totally sure it would be a problem, as it would require quite a bit of skill and more than a little luck to pull off, but we do see the concern and want to avoid promoting that sort of behavior. So, when the Dampening change goes in, we'll also be changing the Shadow Sight debuff to prevent the player who picks up the orb from using stealth mechanics while it's active. That will also include abilities like Vanish or Shadowmeld.

Mechanic Scaling in Flex Raids
Does your Flex group try to keep a certain size to avoid some mechanics? Let us know your group's magic number in the comments!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Some people have worked out that there are specific break points for specific mechanics of some bosses that change the makeup of the fight. It isn't consistent though from boss to boss, and so no there's no magic number.

Ultimately if you're trying to min/max Flex by not inviting more people that want to go and who would help build a successful team, you're overthinking it.

So if you're trying to maximize your game time by minimizing your time spent in a flex raid that's overthinking it? How do you feel about the rest of theorycrafting?
Some people are going to try to min/max everything because they find efficiency fun. But the intent of Flex is to offer a low stress option for guilds and friends to progress through content without rigid requirements to show up/sit out to maintain a number of participants. Similarly we like that people can PUG it and find some success in a managed group setting. Feel free to ignore the intent of the feature, but my response is still going to be that limiting yourself to some specific number of people is not required to have a successful run, and can be detrimental to the types of people and raid groups that the feature is directly intended for.

If a raid leader is attempting to build a rigid group to attempt Flex and is telling members of his own 25 Normal team to sit out because some lower number is optimal, that person is overthinking it. If someone is building a Flex PUG and is turning down skilled and geared players because of an optimal number he read somewhere, he's overthinking it. It's Flex, let's not pretend you're world first raiding here.

Right now there are some assumptions being made about mechanical breakpoints in Flex, but there are also some valid concerns. The orbs on Norushen for example may need tweaking.

What would be super helpful is if people have examples of breakpoints they think limit them to having a certain number of people, and what those are. It's in everyone's best interests to be able to invite whoever they want, and not feel like they're limited to some number because of mechanic scaling.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Flex Raiding
Greg, any thoughts on making Flex loot tradeable in guild groups? Got a few items I wish had gone elsewhere. Thanks!
that is an utterly fascinating technical problem
We have a long-term solution we like. Just need to see if we can get it built. (Source)

What is the reason that Flex raids have their own ilvl and difficulty? It increases ilvl bloat and feels unfair.
Unfair to whom? LFR players? It is much harder than LFR (minus the social issues). (Source)

now apparently it's more popular than normal what happened?
My hunch is it roped in a lot of groups that were doing LFR but not enjoying it, or maybe folks that had given up raiding. (Source)

What's the min ilvl and max for Flex ? Because I always see people asking for 525+ ilvl.
There is no min or max level, but in my experience, true pugs are ridiculously wary of failure. (Source)

Overall, how happy are you guys with Challenge Modes? Anything you'd have done differently, or maybe add more 5mans?
Very happy overall. One change we would make is that you don't get the best rewards unless you beat all of them. (Source)
That decision made sense since the armor is kind of goofy to wear piecemeal, but the feeling still persists. (Source)
We also understand that it doesn't scratch the challenging heroic itch for all players because of the speed emphasis. (Source)

Dark Legacy Comics #411
DLC #411 has been releaed!

by Published on 2013-10-15 05:00 AM

Giveaway Conclusion, Gamepedia Beta Key Giveaway, Blue Posts

Patch 5.4.1 - Emerald Hippogryph
Emerald Hippogryph is the new Recruit a Friend reward and grants the Friends In Places Even Higher Than That achievement.

Recruit-A-Friend Updates Coming Soon
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
It’s been a while since we’ve updated the Recruit-A-Friend program, but the time has come once again to close the doors for a bit and do a little remodeling. On Tuesday, October 15, we’ll be temporarily shutting down new Recruit-a-Friend sign-ups. Don’t worry though—the program will be back (and better than ever) before you know it.

While we don’t have an official date to share regarding the release of the updated Recruit-A-Friend (RAF) program, those whose accounts are already linked are not affected by this, and any unclaimed rewards will be redeemable once the program starts up again. You’ll also be happy to learn that the current reward will still be available when the Recruit-A-Friend program returns—in fact, players who participate in the upcoming program will have even more reward options available to them. We’ll have more details for you at a future point in time.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Crowd Control List
So I just read the current CC List and noticed that the Demonology Warlock's Carrion Swarm is not on the knockbacks list. I don't know if this was left out intentionally.
Carrion Swarm does not DR, so it wasn't included on the list. There's actually a handful of CC effects like that.

Also, why is the Succubus/Shivarra Mesmerize a fear, and not a mesmerize cc?
This is for balance purposes. That said, we are looking at Seduction/Mesmerize for some potential changes in the future.

If at all possible, could you add a list of all CCs that don't DR?
I'd love to, but pulling that data is a lot trickier. To get technical for a second, the stickied list was pulled from the section of our database that stores info about diminishing returns. Effects that don't DR don't have an entry there, so the name never comes up.

That does mean, however, that if something isn't listed anywhere in that thread, it's either not affected by diminishing returns, or simply doesn't work on players at all. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

CC and Diminishing Returns
As our senior PvP designer Brian Holinka tweeted over the weekend, we've got some pretty solid goals for the future regarding crowd control. We do think it needs to be toned back a bit, both in the amount of CC effects available and in how frequently they can be used.

That said, CC is still an integral part of World of Warcraft PvP. Dealing with it intelligently, both in choosing when to use your own CC as well as reacting to opponent CC's, does have strong gameplay value.

Honestly going to guess they're getting the exact opposite of what they planned from it.
Our only "plans" were to try to make an admittedly confusing system less so. Confusion about which CC effects share DR's doesn't help anyone.

Regardless, you may want to take another look at that list. Not all of that information is correct.
What do you feel is incorrect? The info in that thread is taken directly from our database. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Dampening Effect
As a heads up to those that have raised concerns for the Dampening effect in regards to the affect it will have on Necrotic Strike and double Rogue; we're going to be taking another look at the way in which Necrotic Strike's healing absorb is affected by Dampening. We get that the absorb is the bulk of the ability's "damage", but there is still some concern that it would be too strong. We're also currently discussing the concerns that have been raised for double Rogue.

What about reflective shield? The glyph is supposed to reflect 70% of the damage absorbed. Since dampening should affect healing/absorb only, would it reflect the correct amount of damage?
The damage that's reflected won't change, it will still reflect 70% of the damage that's absorbed. The only difference is that the shield will reflect less overall damage due to the amount that can be absorbed being decreased. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Darker Nights
Darker nights aren’t simply pure aesthetics, they have a huge potential to affect real gameplay, it affects players’ reaction time, mood/emotions, and accessibility… and probably a few other things that we don’t even consciously take notice.
We know how everyone here feels about this, and while in theory “darker nights” sounds like a great idea, it all comes down to design.

Here’s a fresh quote from Mr. Crab himself:
The artists are aware of this feedback and want to try and address it in the future. Too dark is hard to play of course.” (source) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Next Connected Realms- Updated 10/14
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As a part of the ongoing realm connection process, we are currently planning to connect Black Dragonflight and Skullcrusher during the maintenance on Tuesday, October 15. We will provide an update should there be any delays or issues in implementing this connection.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
What is the intended difference between Major Glyphs and Talents? It feels like one toon customization interface with 2 UIs.
It's often the degree. Many of the major glyphs are interesting but would feel too lame claiming a precious talent spot. (Source)

f.ex I love in SWTOR that you MUST weave ST heals in even during AoE bc of CD; "spam AE" literally cannot be a solution.
We agree at a high level. Forcing that without being big jerks is trickier. For example CDs on all AE spells works, but ugh. (Source)

GC why don't you provide more insight into your method of balancing healers?
I don't really like to do this as a rule. The insight is interesting to some. I get that. (Source)
But my experience is some players just use any info for how we balance to lobby for buffs. (Source)
So we try to share philosophy more than specific heuristics or targets. (Source)

We still have input lag! This has not fixed it!
Fixing the input lag is extremely important and is a high priority right now. (Source)

I think players need smart heals because you designed encounters that way. Maybe if there was more single target damage...
Encounters are designed around class capabilities, not the reverse. (Source)

I've been playing since BC, but have yet to see hunters at the top of any sim dps...any chance of that ever happening?
Sims are generally bad at comparing class DPS since different authors of varying skills work on different components. (Source)
They are better when a good author can predict gear choices or rotations for your particular class. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
So you can show a shield model for warriors during shield wall and spell reflect but you can't show quivers for hunters again?
It's not that simple. Our animation system isn't built that way. (Source)
Small idea for Hunters: while under Deterrence, we wield a random 2h melee weapon (or dual wield a 1-h weapon) from our bags.
Minor glyph idea maybe? (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Just look at WoL for 25 man and then say Paladins are fine.
Are we caught in a time loop here? My original reply was "meters are a terrible way to assess healer potency." (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Disc have too many advantages, again, yes. And Chakra.. dont want to get started on that one.
Actually, I'd like to. What would you ultimately want to see in Chakra? (Source)

CoH is even weaker than PoH in hps/hpm? The only benefit is its smart/rarely overhealing. So definitly agree here to.
If PoH is a better heal than CoH than how can you account for Holy using CoH nearly on cooldown? (Source)
Not hard. CoH is a smart heal and has no cast time. Not rocket science?
Then PoH isn't in fact a better use of a click than CoH, which was the conjecture. (Source)

5% nerf to my Mastery. Why? Do HPriests -really- need a nerf? And we still have input lag! This has not fixed it!
It's too early to declare (especially from the outside) that any specific change did or did not do anything. (Source)
But if we decide the Echo change stays, we can consider buffing in other ways since we agree there isn't a balance need for it. (Source)

Do you think Discipline might be easier to get a handle on balance-wise if Spirit Shell was axed and auto-Aegis POH returned?
I think it's the flexibility of Atonement plus the penchant for sniping heals. I think they look better on meters than they are. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
thougts on raging blow doing more damage then execute atm? 4p is not viable as a fury warrior, and execute is just not used.
You spam Raging Blow? Or you just don't want to use any rage on Execute? (Source)
Looking at some parses, I see Execute as 6-7% of damage for heroic Fury warriors. Seems like they are using it? (Source)

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

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