World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2017-02-14 08:39 PM

Blizzard Confirms Changes to Primal Ancients Design

Small-Time Buccaneer & Spirit Claws Are Being Nerfed, Ranked Changes Incoming

Earn a Primal Flamesaber Mount - For Azeroth!
The Heroes of the Storm mount promotion for Primal Flamesaber is here!

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Gather your friends together and play any Warcraft Hero in Heroes of the Storm as a team and you can earn the new Primal Flamesaber Mount in World of Warcraft.

Beginning February 14 through March 13, a new quest called For Azeroth! will be available in Heroes of the Storm. Play 15 Heroes of the Storm matches with a friend from your® friends list, and you’ll be burning a new trail through Azeroth in style.

When: February 14 – March 13, 2017
Where: Play Heroes of the Storm Free
What: Play 15 matches of Heroes of the Storm using a Warcraft Hero while teamed up with a friend from your friends list.

Don’t have a Warcraft hero in Heroes of the Storm already? Don’t worry—each week a new set of heroes will become available to play for free. See the hero rotation schedule and begin planning your path to victory within the Nexus!

World Boss - Withered J'im
DEADLY: Withered J'im is up again this week, rewarding players with Artifact Power and a chance at item level 860 loot.

Bonus Event - Cataclysm Timewalking
Cataclysm Timewalking is back this week.

PTR Build Deploy 2/14/2017
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Greetings all,

PTR realms have begun to spin down in order to deploy a new 7.2.0 build this afternoon. No ETA for today's push but I'll ping this thread if things look like they're going to take longer than usual (~4-6 hours).

I'll leave this thread open for discussion so long as conversations remain civil and adhere to forum guidelines.

Thanks everyone!

Midwinter Ends Progression Raiding
Midwinter is also calling it quits with progression raiding.

by Published on 2017-02-14 06:54 AM

For Honor Launches Today! Check out the Wiki on Gamepedia

Hearthstone Valentine's Day Cards

Patch 7.2 - Death Knight Spell Animations
Death Knights also get a few new animations in Patch 7.2.

Patch 7.1.5 Hotfixes - February 13
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Player versus Player

  • (Hotfix in testing) Corrupted Essence drop rates have been increased for "Essence of Power".

From Scratch Switches to Casual Raiding
From Scratch managed to get world 4th in the recent race, but are dropping to more casual raiding for Tomb of Sargeras.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP Feedback
To give some more context on the comment I made earlier about Rogue/Mage: we think it's fine if RMx comps work well. We don't think it's fine if RMx comps are the only ones that work well. To put it another way: we wouldn't want to nerf Rogue/Mage to the point that no one wants to play it any more, but we wouldn't want to let it be grossly overpowered, either.

I don't have any specific changes to share at this time but wanted to let you all know that we're actively discussing it, and that the feedback we've gotten through this thread (and other areas as well) has been very helpful in isolating exactly what your concerns are. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Class Balance and Player Perception
It really sucks that Blizzard left feral terrible for aoe, and weak overall, and hence bad for mythics for so long. It both makes for regular unpleasant interactions based entirely on preconceived notions rather than performance. It also makes it really hard to get into groups for challenging content as a feral.
I mean sure, but I find it's best to distance yourself from those folks if you have issue with it.

You're a part of this community, too. You have you say in these things as much as they do. Show them what you're worth and make them talk.

If it's a recurring problem, find a casual group of friends or guild to play with. That will help your experience a ton.

I expect this kind of response form a small minority of ignorant players but not from a blue.

The point is that its not about what you can do ... its about spec's being poor enough for long enough that a reputation precludes opportunities for performance ... and just playing with good friends isn't a solution and you should know it. SO 90% of the community can just queue up for content with strangers, but because your spec sucks you can only play with close friends?

For a lark I just checked the 90th % for my ilvl for normal nighthold - feral is dead last.

I can do what I can as an individual to competently play, and flask, and food buff, and pot, but its a small ripple in the ocean when Bliz doesn't bother to properly balance things.

I understand what you're trying to say... but then the top and bottom of the log you are showing me are ~10 points apart. That seems rather normal, and not much of a swing to really try to claim that those players deserve to be sidelined or kicked (especially when talking about the 90th percentile).

I get that balance will always be a concern (and we're still working on it!), and, yes, there will always be a class in "last", but a lot of the response to these things are community constructions around players treating other players as if nothing but DPS meters and "flavor of the month" specs matter. It's our job as members of the community to correct that kind of attitude when we see it, as it seems we generally agree it's not constructive.

If OP finds a group of people who don't focus on the minutia (ie., non-hardcore/elite/etc players), he'll have an easier time avoiding "insults" over his spec choice, and that's what he seems to want.

Is your argument to underpreforming specs seriously "join a casual guild" since no top guild would want one? lol
Nope! My argument is that the community has poorly built, ingrained expectations based on perceptions of class balance that should be reformed.

Joining a casual guild is an easy one-off solution, I guess. The bigger solution is us continuing work on class balance while engaging in conversations like these.

Edit: For clarification, it's fine for high expectations to exist for harder content, just as it is for expectations to exist that content should be able to be cleared with any spec/class in tow. I just disagree that the scrutiny placed on folks who aim to be more casual or just going about their day is well-placed.

Joining a casual guild is an easy one-off solution, I guess. The bigger solution is us continuing work on class balance while engaging in conversations like these.
I'm not trying to hardball or anything, but the truth is there's zero reason to bring a feral druid or an unholy dk right now.

Sure people can have fun and play the spec they want, but the reality is when unholy is literally behind frost by 150k, no one in their right mind would recruit an unholy dk when frost is just preforming so much better.

As for Feral, the game has 4 classes, 7 specs that all wear leather. Feral Druid brings nothing extra to the table. Windwalker brings raid wide move speed aura. Rogues and Demon Hunters bring huge damage, Boomkins bring versatility of being a strong cleave ranged with decent single target. Feral has no single target and low AoE and no utility worth mentioning.[/i]Like I said, and it was a bit vague there, but I agree insofar that balance isn't necessarily where it needs to be - and again, because these things run off numbers, there /will/ always be a "bottom" of the barrel. In that note, if you are running an operation based off that alone, then sure - but the vast, vast majority of our playerbase would never be in a situation where that is warranted, and is instead a community machination.

I personally always thought the better solution was diversification, with classes bringing more than just DPS to the table, and their DPS adjusted because of that. But I'm not a class designer.

Like . . . you guys can't change human nature. Some of your responses Ornyx are asking for the entire community to up and change their behavior in a pretty significant way.

It's one thing to work towards less toxic behavior in terms of aggression/name calling and such, but expecting people to fundamentally change ingrained human behavior is kind of a bit much don't you think?

Also, just to point out, 10% difference between top and bottom isn't bad per se, but when you're measuring dps by the hundreds of thousands that 10% is pretty alarming when you see it in game.

And not to put too fine a point on it, but you (blizzard) are the ones who design the content. If you eliminated any and all dps checks, then you would see the playerbase soften their attitudes. You guys are the ones putting stuff like Krosus, Tichondrius, enrage timers, immediate threat adds, etc in the game. As long as these exist, people will default to "only top performing specs are good" mentality.
I don't really think that's true. The behavior here is very much learned, and didn't exist before folks were staring at damage meters and 'gear score' to try to gain leverage over others. It's a bit much to ask that we divulge from that entire path, as its very much a part of WoW these days, but I don't think its much to understand that low DPS may not be the players fault, and that they don't necessarily deserve the blame or treatment they may get.

But yes, we (Blizzard) as designers also have an obligation and a hand in on the bargain here. Again, feedback is being sent along relative to this. Most of the watched discussion on balance topics now it happening on the Class Development forum so I suggest chiming in there if you get a chance. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Fan Art - Stormwind in Planet Coaster
Steeldragon has managed to recreate Stormwind in Planet Coaster. You can find the map here and some screenshots here.

by Published on 2017-02-13 06:42 AM

Top 5 Witch Doctor Builds for Season 9

Hearthstone Championship Tour: Europe Winter Playoffs - Results, Decklists

Patch 7.2 - Assault on Broken Shore
Khadgar will have a new quest for you once Patch 7.2 is live, sending you to the Broken Shore to fight the new Legion presence. This quest sends you into the Assault on Broken Shore scenario, where you head down to the Broken Shore, fighting your way through the Legion presence on the beach, island, and up to their ships.

Familiar faces such as Velen and Illidan will fight alongside you. Completing the scenario unlocks the outdoor Broken Shore area and rewards an item level 855 helm and item level 860 Order Hall Armor Set upgrade item.

Exorsus Nighthold Interview
Method has a nice interview with Exorsus about the recent race and more!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
We're planning to make the Vicious and Prestigious mounts account-wide! Hoping for 7.2, but it might have to wait a bit longer. (WarcraftDevs)

Can you guys make all of these engineering mats crafting reagents so they'll go in the reagent bank?
This should be fixed in Patch 7.2. Thanks! (WarcraftDevs)

Ghostcrawler - Reaction to Players Unsubscribing
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Unsubbing is often seen as the only ‘real’ way by players to express their displeasure in a way that affects the devs. However, one thing I’ve never known is how devs themselves react to this. Do you double down? Scrap plans? Abandon the game?
There are a couple of different ways to answer this.

Developers do care if you stop playing their game and they want to know why. However, for games like WoW and LoL, the answers are almost always “I have less time to play now (job/school/family” and “My friends don’t play anymore.” (I’m basing that on having seen a lot of data - it’s not super open to debate.)

Dropping a game because of a specific design change (despite what you might read on forums / Reddit) is actually pretty rare. I know it happens, but if you’re stack ranking the reasons why people quit, those specific responses end up being so far down the list that it is hard for a development team to take actionable feedback. It’s really rare you see “Wow, that change we made cost us 10,000 players. Let’s revert it!” So overall, I would not advocate boycotting a game as a way to make a statement, especially if deep down you still love the game. You’re just not likely to drive change as a result.

(As an aside, the best way to drive change is still to try and clearly articulate your concerns in some public forum and hope that the developers take it seriously. I have talked to plenty of players to know how frustrating that answer might be, because at the end of the day, there just isn’t some kind of magic key that you can use to 100% guarantee that you will unlock that lock. Nevertheless, it’s still the best hope you have.)

Now, there are long term trends in the lifespan of a game. At the end of the day, I have really only worked on three games (Age of Empires, World of Warcraft, and League of Legends). All three are games that have lasted for many years, but there are macro trends of engagement, meaning sometimes you’re gaining players and sometimes you’re losing players over the course of a few months or a few years.

And it’s interesting. When you see a lot of players leave over the course of say half a year, it usually spurs two diametrically opposed views on the development team. You will get one faction of “Players are getting bored - we must be bold and innovate!” You get another faction of “We are changing the game so much that we’re losing our soul! We need to get back to basics!”

Like with so many things, it’s rarely so cut and dried that you must pick one of those directions over the other. Often the answer ends up being that you need to innovate in one direction, while still making sure the game is easy to return to, and perhaps even getting back to something familiar or even nostalgic in yet other designs.

My perception has been that the players and developers in the “We’ve changed too much!” camp tend to be those who are less engaged with the game than they once were. Losing track of change usually happens to players who once played every day and are now playing once a week or once a month. They remember being super engaged with the game and knowing everything that was going on, and so the dissonance of that no longer being the case for them is really striking, perhaps even alienating. On the other hand, players who are still really engaged are the ones most likely to need something fresh and new so that they don’t run out of stuff to do.

Overall as a developer, I tend to advocate being bold and innovating. This depends a lot on your business model. Some games really want to create new players as a fast as they can because they can’t hold on to current players for very long. (That’s not a holistic criticism - it’s just a different model.) But a game like League tends to be more reliant on keeping current players than it is on attracting new ones. (Example: if you’re a young man in Korea, chances are you either play LoL or have decided it’s not for you. There probably isn’t a young man in Korea who has just heard of this new LoL thing and wants to try it out.) For League, we weigh most of our decisions on resonance with active players. Yes, it is entirely possible to change so much that you drive players away, but we think the risk of stagnation is greater. So for League, the answer is usually double down. YMMV. (Source)

Mythic +25 Vault of the Wardens
A group recently managed to clear +25 Vault of the Wardens in time!

UnderWatched - Ep 5 Valentine's Day Special
Another episode of UnderWatched has been released.

by Published on 2017-02-11 08:24 PM

Top 5 Witch Doctor Builds for Season 9

The Designing a New Reno Card for Standard Card Design Competition

Patch 7.2 - Mage Order Hall Campaign
Patch 7.2 continues the Order Hall Campaigns! You can check out all of the quests on the WoWDB PTR site: Death Knight, Demon Hunter, Druid, Hunter, Mage, Monk, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior.

Completing the new part of the campaign rewards a follower and Champion's Salute.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP Feedback
Specific questions are generally easier for us to answer than broad "please talk about "-style posts, but this one actually gives a good opportunity to share some of our general thoughts about PvP at the moment.

Regarding overall class balance: in Arenas, we're overall pretty happy with it at the moment. We've been hearing a lot about the prevalence of Rogue/Mage comps lately, and may end up making some changes, but we're more likely to focus on buffing some underperformers than specifically nerfing anyone right now. To put it another way: Rogue/Mage is (and should continue to be) a strong comp, we just want to make sure there's a good number of other strong comps as well.

We made some changes not long ago to Random BG matchmaking to help with healer balance, and have been very happy with the initial results. There's still some edge cases we're looking to iron out (specifically, we're sometimes seeing games where one team has 2 healers and the other has none), and so we're still working on some additional improvements. So far, though, there's been a very noticeable difference overall.

Lastly I'll mention that we're planning another PvP-focused Live Dev Q&A, probably sometime around early to mid March. We'll get a proper announcement out once we've finalized all the details. (Official Forums)

Patch 7.2 - Heirlooms
Will 7.2 add the ability to upgrade heirlooms to 110?
No. (Official Forums)

Battle.Net Facebook Integration
To each their own on this topic. Many folks want to connect with their real-life friends and have a way to share their achievements and moments with others easily.

The forum community really isn't who these features are targeted towards, so the sentiment you'll see around here will more than likely agree. In that vein, if you don't want to use social features, good news: you don't have to! You can go about your day as normal. (Official Forums)

Balance Of Power ....
Personally i would like it if they would upgrade the drop chance on the friggin essences from EN
Swithed character in november (was a feral druid and the RSI just wasnt worth the output) But now ive had 2 essences drop per full EN heroic clear. Just make it 100% from EN heroic that way even alts can speed it up a tiny bit.

Good news, we're looking into increasing the drop rate of Corrupted Essences in the future, to avoid having players stalling out for too long on this step. I don't have an ETA right now, but it's definitely something on our radar. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
This question is strictly asking about during your time at blizzard. On a scale from 0-10, 0 being useless and 10 being perfect, how useful are player-made tools like simcraft. For myself, I use them because even though I feel like there could be glaring mistakes/oversights, we have no other way to determine the difference between gear sets. Do you think tools like simcraft are good or bad for the game? I ask you because you have mentioned before that you had the actual data instead of sim.
I’ll answer using WoW as a reference point, but this is relevant to other games as well.

Sims were originally a tool players used to try to solve problems like itemization choices, optimal rotations, or even talent selections. For answering those problems, the simulations can be really powerful tools. They are very sensitive to having good input though. If the theorycrafter misunderstands how a particular mechanic works, or just introduces a bug somewhere, the sim may come up with bad results. Because they are generally a bear to work with, it’s often hard to get peer-reviewed results, so sometimes a player would do a ton of hard work, and it would be taken as gospel. Other times there was a strong enough community of theorycrafters to challenge assumptions and offer improvements. It just depended on the spec/class at that point in time.

Sims struggle a lot more when they’re trying to represent reality. They are good for answering relative questions (”Should I choose a dagger with haste or crit?”). They are weak at answering absolute questions (”What will my damage be on boss #2?”). The reasons for this are probably obvious, but sims generally assume low lag and player perfection. Furthermore, they struggle to capture things like high movement, lots of adds, target switching and so on. They also tend to provide an answer (usually “What is my DPS?”) when DPS isn’t actually the real question on some fights, say one where it’s easy to pad meters, or killing / controlling the adds is the trick to the fight instead of the boss, or when DPS during Phase 1-3 isn’t important, but it’s critical in the brief Phase 4.

Where sims are terrible and cause developers a bunch of pain are when they are used to compare the (already inaccurate) absolute numbers from spec to spec or class to class. When a player would email me a stacked rank table of simulated DPS and ask me when they were getting buffs, I admit that my eyes would sometimes roll. The accuracy of the sim (which I’ve already argued is not accurate) is really dependent on the quality of simulator. If one player is simming Fury Warriors and another simulator is simming Shadow Priests, there is no way to tell if they are handling data the same way or even making the same assumptions.

Developers have enough on their plates just building the actual game, so when presented with data that seemed odd to us, it was easier for us just to say “Something seems off” than to try to debug a third party tool or process.

Logs (i.e. what actually happened in a fight) are generally much more useful than sims in answering questions like “How important is my class for this particular fight?” There are a lot of things you have to consider with logs too (”Did the group overgear the encounter? Is this encounter even a blocker for progression?”) but they are better than sims, unless you’re just asking a question about stat weights. (Source)

Curse is Hiring!
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  • Front End Developer - Help oversee our ad partnerships, publisher partnerships and business relationships.
  • Site Reliability/DevOps Engineer - Help with the architecture, design setup, deployment, management, and troubleshooting of our mission critical infrastructure.
  • Designer - Create high quality custom graphical assets for our websites, mobile apps, and advertising.
  • Product Coordinator - Define, execute, and deliver product roadmaps, reports, and business plans for our sites.
  • Marketing Manager - Develop and execute our go-to-market strategies for new and existing products and feature releases, driving ongoing growth and user engagement.
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For more information on working at Curse, please head to our Careers page.

FinalBossTV #127 - Restoration Shamans
FinalBoss covered Resto Shaman this week!

by Published on 2017-02-10 02:16 AM

Greater Rift Design Philosophy, Careers at Curse

Shaman Meta, Hearthstone Championship Tour & Prelims - Value Town #107

Activision Blizzard Earnings Call
The quarterly Activision Blizzard earnings call was today:

  • Activision Blizzard had 447 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs) in the quarter
  • Blizzard had its highest annual MAUs in 2016 at 36 million, up 37% from 2015 and up 87% since 2014.
  • Blizzard achieved record fourth-quarter MAUsA of 41 million.
  • Overwatch became Blizzard’s fastest game ever to reach over 25 million players globally.
  • Overwatch broke the previous launch year record for unit sales set by Diablo III in 2012 and received 55 “Game of the Year” awards.
  • Overwatch had its second and third seasonal events, Halloween Terror and Winter Wonderland, each one driving new records for engagement with the game.
  • World of Warcraft MAUs grew 10% in 2016 and over 20% year-over-year in the fourth quarter on the back of the successful third-quarter launch of Legion.
  • World of Warcraft saw an increase in total play time for the quarter, surpassing the Q3 expansion launch quarter and all non-launch quarters in the last four years.
  • Hearthstone had its highest annual MAUs in 2016, growing more than 20%.
  • Blizzard’s fourth-quarter play time surpassed the previous record set in the third quarter.
  • Blizzard had record levels of quarterly and full-year in-game revenues, driven by World of Warcraft in-game content and continued strength of Overwatch customization items.
  • Activision Blizzard revenues from in-game content reached a record $3.6 billion in 2016, more than double the $1.6 billion in 2015. Excluding King, revenues from in-game content grew 30% year-over-year.

Patch 7.1.5 Hotfixes - February 9
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Dungeons and Raids
  • The Nighthold
    • Star Augur Etraeus
    • The following abilities’ damage have been lowered by 33%, and scale up to 1.5x their new values for Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic difficulties:
      • Coronal Ejection
      • Shatter
      • Fel Impact
      • Comet Impact
      • Iceburst
      • Felburst
    • Developers’ notes: These changes are aimed at reducing the difficulty of the Star Augur Etraeus encounter for smaller raid groups, which may have fewer tools to deal with the damage output of these mechanics, without significantly changing anything for large groups.

  • All versions of "Crushing the Crown" should now grant the achievement "Dangerous Love."

Player versus Player
  • Monk
    • (Hotfix in testing) Incendiary Brew will no longer be removed after a Breath of Fire cast.
    • (Hotfix in testing) Dragonfire Brew's area of effect now matches Breath of Fire.
    • (Hotfix in testing) Double Barrel now gains the benefit of the Smashed artifact trait.

Developer Communication Improvements
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We've been working extremely hard to improve communication. I'm sorry that you're not seeing all of it, so here's a short off-the-top-of-my-head rundown of what we've done in just the past month:

1) Increased Blizzard presence on the PTR forums at least 10-fold compared to 7.1.5
2) Added the Class Development forum to discuss changes that aren't necessarily tied to the PTR
3) More than tripled the frequency of responses via WarcraftDevs compared to the 7.1.5 timeframe
4) Re-introduced the PTR Patch Notes
5) Started posting PTR Development Notes to give insight into what each build is bringing
6) Made significant changes to Community team structure, and formed a team dedicated entirely to developer communications (on the PTR and Class Development forums, that's Kaivax and me)
7) Revamped several of our internal feedback delivery processes to make sure that when you post something, the developers see it
8) Significantly increased the rate of communication between our Community and development teams, so that CM's can be much more informed on the changes to the game (and take on more of the burden of communication ourselves)

On the list to still do in the next month or so:
1) Significantly increase CM presence on the forums, now that we're more able to answer questions ourselves
2) Begin posting more direct requests for feedback, as 7.2 development has begun to reach a state where we're testing more than just stability (I'll be posting a thread asking for 7.2 Artifact Trait feedback later today)
3) Dramatically increase the rate of live developer Q&As as we get closer to 7.2 release (similar to what we did leading up to Legion launch)
4) Explore new methods for communication, especially for complicated topics like Class Balance or often-overlooked topics like RP, both of which don't fit well into a standard live Q&A
5) Improve our internal knowledge tracking resources so that everyone posting in blue text is on the same page (this sounds a hell of a lot easier than it actually is at a company the size of Blizzard)

Again, I'm really sorry and disappointed that the work we're doing isn't always coming across to you. I'm confident that things will continue to improve, especially as we grow more accustomed to our new processes. A huge part of this is also identifying pain points - you're absolutely right that there are several specs that deserve answers, and we haven't been doing enough to say "yes, that's an issue, we'll talk about it" or "no, we disagree, for these reasons."

I just wanted you to be aware that this is absolutely a priority for us, for the WoW development team, and for Blizzard as a whole. We've been working our butts off to make it happen. I'm sorry it hasn't happened as quickly as all of us may have liked, or possibly in the way that everyone was expecting, but I do think we've improved fairly dramatically since 7.1.5, and we will continue to do so.

After over a year of feedback from people talking about how much people dislike Vulnerable, we should never see a tweet like this one from Muffinus:
To clarify this - Muffinus is a great guy who does a lot of really important work on WoW, but is not on the class design team. What you saw in that tweet was him just trying to find out what the issue was so that he, as a swell dude who wants to help, could ask the class devs about it. It was very much not "the guy who makes Hunters didn't know what Hunters were upset about."

Also a quick suggestion to add to new patch notes: Stealth Changes. NEVER DO THIS. EVER. We will find them and call you guys (the devs) out on them. Please do document ALL changes, even if it's a 0.01% change; at least put them in an "extened patch notes" that are readily available.
This is absolutely, categorically, unfailingly and without exception, NEVER intentional. Most commonly, it happens because something simply got missed (see my previous note about revamping internal communication processes). Other times, it happens because a simple bugfix has unforeseen consequences.

I just wanted to be clear that "lets nerf this spec and just not tell them" is not a strategy we employ. As you said, even if we wanted to, it wouldn't work anyway.

Can Healers please receive dev attention?

Everything we see, everything we read, all feedback, all dev posts, it is always about DPS.

Why do the devs ignore Healer feedback and focus only on DPS?

You totally read my mind. I've lately been asking this same question.

The answer seems to be kind of simple: with activities like healing or maintaining aggro or crowd control, a spec either has the capacity to do enough, or it doesn't. There's a sort of binary "working or not working" aspect to it. Yes, healing is much more complicated than activating a taunt every time it's up, but in general, you don't see many healers pointing at healing meters and feeling bad. They have the capacity to do enough healing. Also, there's constantly a cap on how much effective healing you can do.

But there are some concerns, and we're keeping an eye out for them here and elsewhere. I've observed discussion among our class designers about all six healing specs at some point over the last month, and of course, it was abundant during development of patch 7.1.5 (November and December).

Here are some threads in this forum that we've been following:

Class Changes in Patch 7.2
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We're planning to have relatively minimal changes to core class design in 7.2. This is for two primary reasons:

  • The 7.2 changes and additions to Artifact Traits will have a lot of impact on classes, and so we'd like to keep core functionality relatively stable
  • We just made a very significant amount of changes to most specs in 7.1.5, and don't want to pile another heap of changes on the community just yet.

That's not to say that there won't be any class changes in 7.2, just that it's not a major focus of the patch the same way it was in 7.1.5. As someone mentioned above, our strategy for Legion is to keep those sorts of heavy class changes to 7.x.5-level patches.

I should add, however, that we're already getting fairly deep into discussions on what might happen in one such future patch, so please keep the feedback coming. Kaivax alluded to some of those discussions regarding Unholy in an earlier post, for example.

I also wanted to address this specifically, since it's the sort of thing that hasn't really been visible outside of here at the office:

Their class team egos are way too large to realize that they aren't all knowing and haven't created the perfect classes that exactly fit the class fantasy and play perfectly.
We have conversations literally every day about things that could have or should have been done differently, and things to want to change in the future. Just because we're overall happy with class balance as a nebulous concept at the moment doesn't mean we don't recognize that there are still issues to address.

Does this mean no tuning changes are imminent? If so that's heartbreaking to some classes like mages. We need to know soon so the rerolls can commence.
Tuning changes are done primarily via hotfix these days (excepting the ones that need to be done after core mechanical changes are made). So no, that's not what that means.

I already gave up on expecting a major revision to Hunters this expansion.
We are not planning to completely re-design Hunters this expansion.

We are, however, regularly discussing the feedback we're seeing on things like Vulnerable with the intention of finding ways to improve the situation.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
WoW Token to Battle.Net Balance Live in EU
This service is now live in Europe, so you can convert your WoW Tokens into Balance (€13/£10). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Talent Choices
In my opinion talents from the tree should provide interesting choices. I don't really see how Rune of power, Incanter's flow, Erosion, Lonely Winter, Bone chilling and Arctic Gale are supposed to be fun or interesting.

In most cases you just pick these talents to improve a different talent: for example you always pick Rune of power together with Overpowered.

Why not just buff spells or talents that are used with flat damage talents, remove those talents and replace them with actual spells or effects that are fun to play with?

I'd actually argue that the Mirror Image/Rune of Power/Incanter's Flow row fits in line pretty well with how talent rows (at least those focused on throughput) should work. You've got:
  • One option that's tough to use but highly effective when used well (Rune of Power)
  • One that's pretty straightforward but still allows for a little bit of optimization (Incanter's Flow)
  • And one that's very simple and reliable, even if it doesn't always have the same maximum potential as the other options (Mirror Image).

Not all rows are designed that way - sometimes it's a choice between single target and AoE, sometimes it's a choice between different types of movement, and sometimes we mix several types of options together to try to create tough choices - but in general, we like that sort of interaction.

One thing we haven't always gotten across clearly is that we don't expect all types of players to enjoy all types of talents. If you're a top-tier Mage running Mythic Nighthold, and can use Rune of Power effectively (finding opportune moments to drop it and saving procs, cooldowns, etc for those moments), it's okay if you're using it on every encounter.

We try to make sure there's at least some variation in the tree somewhere (e.g. maybe you prefer Arcane Orb instead of Overpowered on a fight like Skorpyron), but it's okay if you settle on a set of talents you feel are the "best." Chances are high that they're not the best for everyone, and that's the sort of character customization that systems like the talent tree can do well.

I agree with variation and I think mostly it works fairly well, however....

What about where a talent is still mandatory, and you won't ever see anyone Raiding using anything else* Isn't that a case of a design flaw, and something that you'd think would of been corrected by now by adjusting the other two talents (I say adjust, rather than just nerf the current best one, so its useless, and the others become good by comparison)

I'll throw an easy example out there, Marksman Hunter, Lone Wolf...

I wouldn't necessarily call it a design flaw. There's a few talents that we don't expect people to take in PvE, but are very popular in PvP (Mistwalk comes to mind, although it might be TOO strong in PvP at the moment). There's some talents that a top-tier Mythic raider might find mandatory, but a more average player might be better served taking something easier to use. Rune of Power is a good example there, I think.

That said, when nearly everyone (in all aspects of gameplay, not just raiding) is taking a talent, then yeah, there's probably something wrong there. Occasionally it's that one talent is too good, and occasionally it's that the others are too weak. Those are -- usually -- the places we look at when making talent changes.

Lone Wolf is kind of a unique snowflake. Early on in Legion development, we actually removed pets from Marksmanship Hunters entirely. We got a lot of feedback from players excited to have the "pet-free" playstyle, but there were some who still wanted to be able to play Marksmanship with a pet. There were also some secondary concerns about the leveling process; at lower levels, a Hunter without a pet is just at too much of a disadvantage.

We still wanted Marksmanship's "default" playstyle at 110 to be petless, so we brought Lone Wolf back in as a talent, and tuned it to be slightly above average in its row. Players who really wanted to play Marksmanship with a pet could opt into it, but most would lean toward the pet-free playstyle, without feeling like they were "nerfing" themselves for it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Unholy Deathknight Feedback
Also remove the rune cost from Army of the Dead so we can use our 10 minute DPS cooldown without gimping our rotation, thanks.

This would be amazing; also that cd needs to be a 5 minute not 10. Putting your idea in OP.

These threads have been read and re-read many times, and I've observed a lot of developer discussion about Unholy, and the suggestion above sticks out as one that really doesn't fit with the rest of the feedback.

Army of the Dead is intended to be the most cool moment for an Unholy Death Knight. It's supposed to be powerful (and it is) and put on a big show where the UDK shines (and it does). Its cooldown and cost provides a lot of that.

I just wanted you to know-- with concerns like Gargoyle feeling too weak or Virulent Plague not doing enough, there are discussions here and potential for something that we might address --but AotD seems too fun to make it less of a big deal for the player.

Thank you for all the feedback and we hope you keep it coming! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Retribution Paladin Feedback
Just wanted to thank you for the productive discussion and useful feedback here.

Something to remember is that we really like the unique mechanics of Retribution. We think the spec provides a lot of flavor and makes for good stories. There's nothing quite like the strong emotional reactions people have to situations where Ret shines in a way that no other spec would have. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Retribution paladin descent in PVE
Just wanted to note, since I've seen a lot of discussion about the Retribution passive lately: we consider that to mostly be a fun extra perk for flavor, and not a core part of the Retribution toolkit. By that I mean we wouldn't, for example, say: "when everyone's alive Retribution is low, but sometimes people die, so Ret is fine."

Just wanted to give some clarity there! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

WowCraft - Ep 33: Get On My Level
Another episode of WowCraft has been released.

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