World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2014-08-03 08:46 PM

Patch 2.1 - Legendary Item Changes, DH Cosplay Interview, Legendary Gems for Demon Hunters

Weekly News Recap, Deck Spotlight: Crusher's Egg-Watcher, New Hearthstone Feedback Survey Details

Update on Artifacts and Talent Unlocks - Artifacts Being Removed

Warlords of Draenor - Garrison Monuments
Along with all of the other features in your garrison, there is a spot for monuments. These statues are currently earned through achievements and only some of the monuments have faction specific art. You can see the existing statues and achievements required to earn them below.

Warlords of Draenor - Orc Posture
Chris Robinson mentioned that the straighter Orc posture would be optional, if and when it is introduced.

Warlords of Draenor - Black Market Auction House Update
Kalidiar has been keeping an eye out for new BMAH items, and spotted the Kor'kron Shaman's Treasure up for sale. This is the Shaman transmog set from Siege of Orgrimmar.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Garrison Lumber
We're watching the spawns and experiences people are having. It's an easy enough number to tune. The question is: Are you just hanging around one zone or are you moving around? What tier is your LM? At level 1 it's going to be more difficult to fill your work orders since you can only log small timber. Also, timber spawns are much more plentiful in Spires/Nagrand.

Good feedback. Few notes:

  • Lumber Mill level 2 (and all medium plot blueprints for that matter) unlock at level 98 on the blueprint vendor. You can also get a token for a medium building by completing the Spires of Arak building quest chain.
  • Small timber exists in every zone (except Frostfire). Spires is probably the most densely spawned with small timber, with Talador a close second.
  • You can currently use timber to buy a few more things and we'll try to add more. At the very least if you ever manage to get Phylarch you'll likely want a steady supply on hand for Everbloom Seeds.

That said, we'll take a look at the spawn points. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Next Beta Build
We weren't able to get a new full build deployed this week (aside from the minor fastpatch we did on Wednesday to fix some Garrison issues), but we're hoping to get a beta build out to you all early next week.

Thanks for being patient, and thanks for testing! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blood Elf Model Delay
yes but it was expected to be more than one race. Not having half done for the release actually feels better to me than leaving out one.
Yeah I understand that, feeling like the odd one out. But just think about that patch when you do get your updated model. Everyone else's models will be common by then, everyone will have been seeing them every day. But when the new Blood Elf model goes in it's going to be a new thing, and everyone will be focused on you and how fancy you look.

Sounds like the kind of 'fashionably late' style a Blood Elf would appreciate. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warlords of Draenor Theorycraft Discussion
On beta, haste is not affecting Healing Stream Totem nor Healing Tide Totem tics. Is that intended?
Rejoice, for we have rebuilt Healing Stream Totem and Healing Tide Totem. They now will function 100% like any other periodic effect. No more fuzzy haste breakpoints due to server laziness of despawning totems. You even get partial ticks of them due to haste.

Check it out in the next beta build. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

US Connected Realms - Update 8/01
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As previously announced, we’ve been working toward connecting realms to increase the number of players on low-population realms. Here's a continuously updated list that contains currently planned connections, future plans, and completed realm connections, all in one convenient location.

*Please note this list does not encompass all potential future connections. Please check back for further updates.

Next Connections
We will be connecting the realms listed below on Thursday, August 7 during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 5 a.m. PDT through approximately 1:00 p.m. PDT. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.
  • Shadowmoon and Detheroc

We will be connecting the realms listed below on Thursday, August 14 during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 5 a.m. PDT through approximately 1:00 p.m. PDT. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.>
  • Burning Legion and Agamaggan, Archimonde, Jaedenar, and The Underbog

Future Connections
We do not have a date for the following realm connections, but will update this post when we do.
  • Shattered hand and Dark Iron

*Plans for these connections may change at any time, but we’ll provide additional updates on specific dates for future connections here as we can. Please note that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
this is the same for most hybrids, 1 gcd vs scores to throw out rejuvs, healing touches
We absolutely do not balance utility by expecting anyone to switch to primarily healing. (Celestalon)
The fact that a Boomkin could stop DPSing and throw Rejuvs on the raid does not factor into it at all. (Celestalon)
The fact that they could keep DPSing and let Ysera's Gift or Nature's Vigil do a ton of healing *does* though. (Celestalon)
Sorry if I ever gave the impression that we are counting "stop DPSing and Flash of Light" as raid utility. (Celestalon)
Dream of Cenarius, Heart of the Wild? If NV healing is = increased healing from amp magic, that's nice.
Heart of the Wild is a separate beast of its own. It's an option to provide *WAY* more utility, at a DPS loss. (Celestalon)
The availability of HotW is not what Druid utility is based around. (Celestalon)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
In the simplest possible terms, using other abilities other than Frost Strike is punitive and inefficient.
Not if it doesn't cause you to lose Frost Strikes... (Celestalon)
Except it does, runic power becomes runes, runes become RP, it is all connected, inefficient in 1 area affects all
The conversion from RP to Dmg/Runes is better for Frost than the others. But so what? They're balanced around it (Celestalon)
It's a leaky bucket. As long as it never overflows, it doesn't matter whether you pull RP or Runes out first. (Celestalon)

What would your response be to nixing 2H out of Frost entirely? Would save yourself from further headaches.
Response would be "No." (Celestalon)
May I ask why? I am honestly trying to figure out the need for both, no trolling.
Because that's the defined style of the spec. Changing that now would be gigantic. (Celestalon)

Druid (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
This makes 2 niche talents for Feral at level 100. Are you that confident that the majority of Ferals will be happy with LI?
I don't understand. Shirvallah is the opposite of a niche talent. (Celestalon)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Why not just make the Divine Storm free of cost? That way it's less clunky and people who want DS happy?
That'd make it used for single target. (Celestalon)

I'm curious is there any reason why DS shouldn't be allowed single target? I mean both DK's and Warriors AoE single target.
It's not that it's AoE so much as it's added complication. That talent is intended to be the one with minimal gameplay impact. (Celestalon)
However, I'm not quite sure how the Divine Storm proc from Final Verdict being free would add much more complication.
It adds an additional button to your single target rotation. That's pretty objectively added complication. (Celestalon)
True, but would it not be more confusing to people to see they have a Divine Storm proc that they *Shouldn't* use single target?
A fair question. It's something we're weighing. (Celestalon)

So for AoE you want to weave in Final Verdicts everytime you want to Divine Storm? Or is the proc worth it ST?
Proc will not make it worth it, single target. But it will make it so you want to alternate them for AoE. (Celestalon)
wait...if it's a 100% buff, isn't it a complete wash compared to just using DS exclusively?
Except you can do it ahead of time, and you also got the FV damage too. (Celestalon)

So, Rets had too much raid utility...if that were true they'd be guaranteed spots in raid/wanted a lot more.
No, damage throughput has a lot to do with that too. (Celestalon)

Don't know how I feel about this...I would like to ask you why remove raid utility from a hybrid but give to a pure dps?
Because pure vs hybrid isn't relevant to this. The goal is parity for all. Anyone we removed it from had too much. Some had none. (Celestalon)
Do you value all utility as equal or is there more to it?
The value of utility is very hard to balance; commonly totally subjective. Tough calls to make, but we try. (Celestalon)
You are taking away from a class that sees little play and giving to a class that was already well off.
There are no 'giving from one to the other' things here. And many other changes are involved. (Celestalon)
Remember, the goal is *balance*. Equality. That should be what you want. (Celestalon)
Devo Aura was the only reason Rets were used in MoP. We will be in less raids now.
You lost Devo... Others lost a ton too. Overall raid cooldown utility went way down. Again: *balance*. (Celestalon)

... I understand if offheals are far stronger than live/healers weaker but ret flash of light vs smoke bomb?
Ret utility is easy to overlook because it's not as blatant as Smoke Bomb. (Celestalon)
There is, however, a ton of it. Many are situational, but some subsection is always useful. (Celestalon)
Hand of Sacrifice. Hand of Protection. Hand of Purity. Double all those Hands. Sacred Shield. Lay on Hands. ...(cont) (Celestalon)
Lay on Hands. Level 90 talents' offhealing. Hand of Freedom. Divine Shield. (Celestalon)
So how do you balance this? Do we do more damage than rogues seeing as we trade massive dmg for our utility compared?
What? How do you trade "massive damage" for your utility? (Celestalon)
Considering you count exec sentence as part of our utility, which is a pretty large dmg loss to use that way.
I was mostly referring to Light's Hammer (or Holy Prism, if we tune that better). (Celestalon)
That's still a single target dmg loss to take those...(I assume you wouldn't tune them better single target)
But most fights are not single target. Light's Hammer is the top simcraft DPS talent on many fights, anyway. (Celestalon)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Tremor is not an immunity, it pulses every second to break fears. You can definetly be feread again during Tremor's duration...
It pulses every second. In one way it's better than immunity as it will put you on DR. (holinka)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Even Gladiator Warriors dislike Bonus Armor despite being touted as "Best DPS Stat for Gladiator" By Celestalon himself.
Bonus Armor isn't competing with Strength. Strength doesn't give Armor. (Celestalon)
Stat priorities:PrimaryStats > Spirit/BonusArmor > AttunedSecondary > OtherSecondariesSome flexibility to that, but rare. (Celestalon)

Claws of Shirvallah female model?
It's something we're considering for the future, but didn't have a female equivalent ready in the available time. (Celestalon)

I dont get why the Claws of Shirvallah model has to use all fours. Makes more sense to stand upright but love it regardless.
It runs on all fours, fights while standing (hunched forward a bit). (Celestalon)

I've just seen the warrior elite pvp set. who am i buying drinks for to repay them?
We haven't really assigned the art for the PvP gear yet. The Elite set will share a model with Mythic. (holinka)
wasn't it scraped a few days ago? same model mythic = elite pvp? Thought it was canceled^^
I think some models are getting datamined as elite but we really haven't setup all the armor yet (holinka)

Which gods is the Raven Mother referring to here? Rukhmar and Anzu?
She is referring to Rukhmar and Sethe. (_DonAdams)
Are Rukhmar and Anzu children of the Raven Mother?
No, the Raven Mother is Anzu's consort - a demigod he left in charge of the ravens. (_DonAdams)

So Terokk and Anzu were definitely presented as evil in tBC. Now they're painted in a much more positive light. So, what happened? Did they turn evil in those 30 years? Or are we missing something?
Sorry if it's not totally clear! It's a story-heavy zone, and we are missing a few events to help explain things. (_DonAdams)
They are both grappling with the curse and on the downward spiral. In BC Anzu is called back by the Sethekk. (_DonAdams)
Terokk was pretty dark in his final days. Ultimately it's the player who sways the arakkoa away from evil in the WoD timeline. (_DonAdams)
Without you they have no champions. They become increasingly dire and desperate. The Sethekk gain power. It just spirals from there (_DonAdams)

did garrosh want to come to our timeline? Or he wanted to come to 35 years ago azeroth (first war) and kairoz changed it?
Yes, Garrosh wants to come after US, in the present. (DaveKosak)

UI / Addons
I know was investigating combat log working in all phases. Maybe he can comment. I deferred merging because of that.
There are a number of technical issues still to work through; wouldn't count on it for 6.0, alas. (WatcherDev)

Why not work on both cities? Maybe patch Bladespire and Karabor later on to fortify our presence on Draenor?
If we had infinite time might be a fun thing to return to in patches for sure. (Muffinus)

I'm also not a fan of how the Ashran hubs use 100% Garrison assets. It doesn't feel unique or fun. It feels forced and stale.
Happy to report that lots of level design work still being done here! (Muffinus)

There is level 100 content in all the Draenor zones. We gotta portal to get back there. Boy, Ashran bases sure are near the fun.
Your garrison is the centerpoint between all of these things, and is really your main "hub," filled with many races/factions. (Muffinus)
I really don't get why "Garrison 2" is better than interaction between the garrison and the important location it is defending.
Totally agree with you, needs to feel important to the world, lots of work still being done on this! (Muffinus)
You CAN'T make it important to the world. It's a second, public garrison. All it does is make YOUR garrison feel LESS important.
Oh, you meant Ashran, I meant Garrisons in general (Muffinus)

Uhh... I've seen Stormshield, and I've seen Karabor... You tell me which is more aesthetically pleasing.
Karabor will have vendors, and you can go there and do w/e you want, it's not going anywhere. Not sure why the anger on this. (Muffinus)
I just think players are tired of the Orcs and Humans thing. It'd be really cool to see Kara/BSF actually being used by players.
TBH If I had infinite time, I'd rather do a shared hub in Auchindoun or somewhere new/cool that has that Shatt/Dal vibe. (Muffinus)

Poll - Orc Posture
Which posture would you use for an Orc?

Dark Legacy Comics #450 - Climb Every Mountain
DLC #450 takes a look at how the clones are keeping busy while waiting for the next expansion.

by Published on 2014-08-01 05:02 PM

Update (5:45 PM EST): Added the latest beta patch notes update

The Alliance Chopper Is Riding into Azeroth!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Due to popular demand (and a few shady back-alley deals in Stormwind’s Old Town), the Alliance bike built for Azeroth Choppers will be rumbling its way to a vendor in Azeroth sometime after the launch of Warlords of Draenor. This mount will cost a pretty hefty sum of gold, however, so you might want to start saving up now if you want to ride around in style on this masterful machine. As a reminder, once the winning Horde Chopper is added to the game, it will be available for free to players who log in between now and September 30, 2014.

Remember, only characters of the associated faction will be able to ride each bike, so buyer beware!

Warlords of Draenor Beta Patch Notes Update - August 1
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Crowd Control and Diminishing Returns
  • Paladin
  • Shaman
    • Tremor Totem is no longer usable while under the effects of Fear, Charm, or Sleep, but its duration has been increased to 10 seconds (up from 6 seconds).

Class Changes

Death Knight
Ability Pruning

Frost Changes
In Mists of Pandaria, Frost Death Knights suffered from rotations that were designed to allow flexibility in ability usage, so that you could pool some resources in order to make decisions about which ones you spent and in which order. Dual Wield vs Two-Handed had different rotational priorities, with different strengths and weaknesses. However, tuning ended up such that you reached a point where you just had to spend all of your resources as fast as possible to avoid wasting any, and all of that depth went out the window. For Warlords, we’ve adjusted the tuning of several abilities and passives, to ensure that that doesn’t happen again, and the rotational decisions and skill are maintained.

The goal is that Two-Handed Frost Death Knights favor their physical damage, slicing through their enemies with heavy Obliterate, whereas Dual-Wielders favor blasting their foes with frost damage, but both overlap considerably to maintain a cohesive specialization.

  • Frost Strike’s damage has been increased by 100%, but its Runic Power cost has been increased by 5 (up to 25 Runic Power in Frost Presence, and 40 Runic Power in other Presences).
  • Might of the Frozen Wastes now increases the damage of Obliterate by 50% (up from 40%) while wielding a two-handed weapon, and increases the damage of Frost Strike by 50% (up from 35%) while dual-wielding.
  • Razorice now deals 4% additional weapon damage (up from 2%), and increases Frost damage by 4% per stack (up from 3%).
  • Obliterate damage has been increased by 30%.

  • Level-60 rune regeneration talents can now be triggered by all Runic Power spenders. the following abilities at a rate proportional to their Runic Power costs: Breath of Sindragosa, Conversion, Dark Simulacrum, Mind Freeze (glyphed), Outbreak (glyphed), and Raise Ally (unglyphed).
    • Blood Tap now generates one charge for every 15 Runic Power spent.
    • Runic Empowerment now has a 1.5% chance to trigger per Runic Power spent.
    • Runic Corruption now has a 1.5% chance to trigger per Runic Power spent.

Hunter Pet Abilities
  • Rylak (Exotic) replaced Hook Wasp (Exotic)
  • Updraft (Rylak) replaced Flutter (Hook Wasp)

Ability Consolidation and Refinement
  • Uplift now follows standard area-of-effect capping rules, diminishing in effectiveness beyond 6 targets.

Ability Consolidation and Refinement

Elemental Overload and Molten Earth
Chain Lightning and Earthquake were also improved significantly to offset the fact that Elemental Overload was a massive buff to it, but Molten Earth is not.

Ability Pruning

Stance Changes

Arms Changes
  • Battle Stance for Arms Warriors now generates 115% 67% more Rage from auto-attacks and Critical Strikes now generate double Rage.
  • Arms Warriors now generate Rage from taking auto-attack damage. Each 1% of health taken as damage will generate 1 Rage, up to 5 Rage per hit.
  • Rend is a new ability for Arms Warriors.
    • Rend causes bleed damage over 18 seconds, and a final burst of bleed damage when the effect expires. Costs 5 Rage.
by Published on 2014-08-01 09:37 AM

Sanctuary Sunday Talk, Jakarro's "Arctic Zoo" Demon Hunter, PTR Cold Demon Hunter

Icecrown Season Five Begins August 1st, Versus Series: AcB Fire vs GC Jirachie, Naxx Patch 6141

Chen Stormstout Sneak Peek at ChinaJoy

Warlords of Draenor - Auchindoun
Today we are taking a look at the Auchindoun dungeon, located in Talador.

Warlords of Draenor - Mage Tier 6 Recolor
One of the recent beta builds added a nice recolor of the Mage Tier 6 armor set.

Warlords of Draenor Features
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The OP appears to be a copy/paste from a forum reply on MMO-Champion, which is unfortunate as almost everything listed is just incorrect, if not intentionally misleading. Reading it I'm tempted to say it's a well crafted troll because ... I'll say: because of the outlandishness of some of the claims, but the fact that it has so many upvotes here tells me that either people didn't read it, or they're agreeing with something that promotes their general feeling without counting on any of the specific points being made.

Being wary of a feature or direction is absolutely warranted, being unhappy or even upset about something is something we want to know about, providing feedback and telling us how you feel about something is critical to us so we can create an excellent gaming experience, but it's so absolutely important that everyone be curious, and research, and want to learn, and become knowledgeable, and use that knowledge to empower what they themselves think and say. I see a lot of people here are being critical of the points listed, which restores some of me, but so many are assuming the things they're told are true, and that's a poisonous way to ... hell, to go through life, let alone how to feel about a video game.

Simply repeating what someone else said is so very easy, and especially in this case, a good way to undermine your own voice. Have a voice, be critical, but do it because you have something to say. That is what is helpful, and that is what we want to hear.

For those in the thread attempting to inform people of what is accurate, we appreciate your effort. We'll try to step it up to help you out.

Sorry Bashiok, but OP is right about a number of things, including the massive amounts of cuts to content on launch, low number of dungeons, and extreme dumbing down of PVE. Look at the forest from outside of the trees. You and the rest of the devs.
Massive cuts of what? Faction hubs being in a different place? There are 7 dungeons + an updated max level UBRS. What does extreme dumbing down mean? This kind of response is the exact point of my previous reply.

Ability pruning for one.
After 10 years of adding more and more abilities, there's a point when we need to take a critical look at all that we have wrought. We can't just constantly add more and more and more abilities to the game forever and expect it to hold up under the weight of itself. Our intent as a company is always to design simple systems with lots of fun gameplay depth. Easy to learn difficult to master is our motto. Having tons of abilities does not necessarily make a game deep or fun, just complex. We've posted these exact points many times. If you disagree with Blizzard's core design principles, or any specific changes being made, we'd be happy to hear specific feedback, but saying a game is going to be bad because there are less class abilities is not particularly helpful, or even accurate.

This thread is getting a lot of attention, which is unfortunate, as it's chock full of misinformation. Let me clarify what I can:

-Black Temple and Frostwolf keep no longer hub cities, just quest locations you visit once.
They won't be hub cities, true. They're a bit more than "just quest locations you visit once," though.

-New faction cities are copy pastes of the 4.1 krasarang wilds faction bases in ashran, an island in nowhere
Even in their current state in Beta, this is false. They don't look anything like the Krasarang bases. Also, they're nowhere near complete in the current build. They'll look closer to what we're aiming for in the next one.

-Garrisons only in one zone now, no longer customization, no longer lets you name npcs, no longer has skill boosts, is just a daily quest hub phased to you.
True, false, true, false, extremely false.

-average class goes from 40 spells to 7
I'd double check your math. We pruned some abilities, but in even the most extreme cases it wasn’t nearly that many.

-no new skeletons or animations, literally every creature in the expansion is a remodelled creature.
False. Even the new character models are getting re-done animations.

-portions of entire zones are copy pasted from the BC devset
False. Everything has been built from scratch.

-the rest are not flying compatible and have 2d jpg mountains -now you know why shamans had far sight and hunters had eagle vision removed.
False. Every zone is built to be capable of flying, and I have no idea where you're getting "2d jpg mountains" from. Also, Far Sight and Eagle Eye were not removed.

-now only 4 dungeons from level 90-100
There are 4 dungeons from 90-99, and 4 more that open at level 100.

-client code for garrison cash shop functionality discovered, quickly removed along with tweet mentioning it from cory stockton
This never happened and such functionality is not planned, please don't spread false rumors.

-less raid content at launch than any expansion
False. The first tier of Warlords raiding contains 17 bosses.

-less dungeons than cataclysm had in PATCHES
False. Cataclysm added 3 brand new dungeons in 4.3, and 2 updated dungeons in 4.2. Warlords is launching with 7 new dungeons and 1 updated dungeon.

-no flying
True, at least at launch.

-story is a barely canon side timeline alternate dimension just to give another enemy to fight while trying to lure in veterans with nostalgia and a 'veterans first!" beta access program
Story opinions are subjective, but I’m sorry to hear you’re not as excited about it as we are. We've had tons of requests over the years for veteran perks.

-almost all CC removed in pvp. totally removed in pve
False and completely false.

-adding healing and tanking npcs in quests
I don't know what this is referring to. Maybe the occasional quests where you rescue someone and they help you fight for a brief time? Is that a bad thing?

-Heirloom and tabard storage tab just cut until "later"
True, though they haven’t been cut, merely delayed.

-replacing quests with "dynamic, interactive world experiences" that appear once and when you do them disappear leaving huge swathes of zones empty.
Questing hasn't been "replaced", and the "appear once and then disappear" bit is just false. Maybe you’ve just encountered an unfinished zone in Beta?

-new models have a single face and the cosmetic choices in almost every model but undead simply adds a new texture to said single face.
False. Have you seen our recent ArtCraft on the topic?

-homogenized healing to the point that its all just different colours now
False, but if you have specific feedback on why you feel that way, we'd love to hear it.

-guild levleing removed
True. We think this is a good thing.

-talents auto fill per spec to avoid confusion.
False and I have no idea why you'd think this was the case.

-80% of announcements from blizzcon for the expansion are confirmed cut or extremely truncated in some way.
We've made some cuts since Blizzcon, yes, but not nearly that many. We try to be as open as possible about what we’re dreaming up when we first announce an expansion, but a lot of things change and evolve from those basic concepts as development ramps up.

Regarding Twitter: it's a medium we're still kind of trying to figure out how to utilize most effectively. It's an extremely powerful way to talk to and engage with the community, but it's not great for everything, and we've certainly made some missteps. We're learning, though.

This feedback is what really discourages me about the direction WoD is heading. "Story opinions are subjective" is not a helpful thing to tell players who are dissatisfied with the way you're telling a story. It more or less brushes them off and tells them that their opinions are worth less than other players.
Definitely not my intention, and I apologize for being unclear if you've taken it that way. I only called it subjective because, while I would call it false, opinions don't really lend themselves well to true/false answers. I'm excited about the WoD storyline, but that may not be the case for everyone (and feedback on why you're not is very useful!)

But really, it's indicative of an even larger problem: you say you like feedback, but you don't respond to it unless it's positive. When something is brought up that the playerbase doesn't like, you don't talk about it and then sit back and wait for us to accept it.

It's like what you want to say is "we love feedback, but only if it validates our current ideas about where we'd like to go."

One extremely important thing I want to get across here: when we're not talking about something publicly, that means we're talking about it internally. We're discussing the feedback and trying to determine what, if any, action needs to be taken. And until we have a solid answer, we don't want to tease people with a "we read this, but don't have anything to share just yet" response. Aside from the fact that it would slow us down dramatically (we read a LOT of feedback every day), we just don't think a non-answer is a great one.

That said, we're always aiming to improve how we communicate, and definitely get the message that we can do better. We'll keep aiming to improve.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Targeted Feedback Request: Quest Bottlenecks
Beta is a crucial time for players to make their voices heard and give feedback to help make Warcraft the best game possible. While all constructive feedback is appreciated, one specific type of feedback that is uniquely valuable to us are examples of things that slow you down while questing out in the world: there's a lot of words to describe these types of situations, but perhaps the best word is "bottlenecks".

Bottlenecks are basically the term we use to describe situations that stop players from questing at their normal pace. Players tend to progress through zones and quests at different rates, but if a quest target (object, drop rate, or mob spawning rate) is too rare, it can really slow players down. The fastest players will run into this first, and they might get through without too much of a reduction in their speed, but just like a traffic jam on a highway more and more people will pileup behind them.

This type of testing is super important for you folks to look for while leveling through zones in the beta. While my Quality Assurance (QA) team works to find and report issues like this in our testing, we're not able to easily replicate the large numbers of players hitting quests and zones at the same time.

In an effort to keep things organized, I've made one thread for each Draenor Questing zone. Please click on the appropriate link below and post in that thread with any examples of situations where you were slowed down by questing due to a bottleneck of some kind.

Quest Bottlenecks in Tanaan Jungle
Quest Bottlenecks in Shadowmoon Valley
Quest Bottlenecks in Frostfire Ridge
Quest Bottlenecks in Gorgrond
Quest Bottlenecks in Talador
Quest Bottlenecks in Spires of Arak
Quest Bottlenecks in Nagrand

Thanks! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Beta EU Character Copy
EU character copies are coming. We're hoping to have them functional in the next major build.

To give a little insight: the beta realms are located in one of our North American datacenters. European characters are, obviously, located in European datacenters. For a number of obscure technical reasons, getting those datacenters to securely communicate with each other to transfer character data has been a much larger challenge than we expected.

We think we've got it solved, though, so (fingers crossed) you should be able to copy your characters soon! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Stat Squish Status
Just a quick update here: all old world content should now be properly scaled.

If you want, go on some transmog runs, go do old content like you do on live, etc. In general, everything should be similar or easier than it used to be. Please report any issues you encounter here.

Known problems:
  • Damage reflect effects like Reliquary's Aura of Desire will cause excessive backlash damage.
  • Boss fights that rely on healing NPCs (e.g. Valithria, Sinestra) will be very difficult to complete due to the bonus vs. lower-level targets not applying to healing.

These two problems should both be fixed next build. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

"Premade Groups" / Group Finder Feedback
There's a known (major) issue with the tool currently, where the server handling the group matchmaking can crash and fail to recover, breaking the tool for everyone. It should be fixed next build, but I'll provide an update if anything changes before then. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

EU Connected Realms Update - 31/07
P.S @ Tak, I'll ask once again, please stop drip feeding us information. We deserve better and for a community facing representative tasked with keeping the playerbase up to date on something that is important to them your performance has been pathetic at best. This has been a work in progress for Blizzard for almost 6 months. It's just not good enough.
We can only pass on information that we actually have. The schedule is worked on and updated constantly, and once we know which realms are to be connected, we share it with you guys. I understand everyone is keen to see their realm connected, believe me I do. I play on these realms too. Connecting realms is not straightforward though, and we're progressing at the speed that we're able to when all the necessary steps and precautions have been taken. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Whichever dev thought giving Hunter/MagesRogue huge raid utility while taking away Tranq/HTT/Devo/etc from hybirds is making a mistake. #WoD
Do you disagree with the reasoning, or the strength of the relevant cooldowns? (Celestalon)
I think it is neutering hybrids too much. Example:Why bring a moonkin over another pure if they are even remotely on par w/ dmg?
Hybrids and pures will do the same damage, and bring the same utility. That's the goal for Warlords. (Celestalon)
Roar/HotW/Vortex isnt in the same ballpark as Smokebomb, Raid raid movement, Amp Magic, etc.
[Roar+NV/HotW+Vortex/Typhoon] vs. [Smoke Bomb] seems like a fair choice to us. (Celestalon)
Roar/Vortex/Typhoon are extremely situational(eg AE DeathGrip). Amp Magic/Smokebomb are used(required) on almost every fight.
NV is useful in every single encounter. Roar is useful in 90+% of encounters. (Celestalon)
You think NV is going to be as strong as Amp Magic? I don't think it will be.
Depends on what you stack it with. NV plus Ysera's Gift, or the constant healing of Dream of Cenarius... It adds up. (Celestalon)
Small heals dont have the same weight as bulk heals (in most situations). I just feel hybrid cds should be stronger.
For sustained, they may, in Warlords' healing world. (Celestalon)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
You miss the point, Blood no longer has any choice to it. F/U/D on DS, B on Pes, RP on DC. Thats it.
Or D on Blood Boil. (Celestalon)
You guys got "a little" carried away. WoW with Diablo III skills is not a good way to go... Sadly
You don't need to have a dozen rotational abilities in order to have good gameplay. Less can be more. (Celestalon)

A nerf to Necrotic Plague doesn't fix the problem of what makes it so attractive. Sorry folks, number tuning isn't going to solve this.
We're planning one tweak; making only ones directly applied be contagious. (Celestalon)

Druid (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Does the druid claws use the ZG tiger shapeshift graphic? That would be awesome.
No, though both of the ZG Tigons had some sweet looking animations that we wished we could use, but they just weren't... (Celestalon)
...compatible with modern models, unfortunately. (Celestalon)

now if Feral could use Fist Weapon off-hand also that would be #savage
One of our in-progress designs was actually that it let you have an offhand attack, but turned out not to be... (Celestalon)
...very compelling. You already alternate hands that you claw with, and attack fast, so you couldn't even tell a diff. (Celestalon)

Cats have been asking for Claws of Shirvallah for years. Wow, good job
We basically looked at that row, and thought, "there needs to be something more exciting here." It's getting late in the process... (Celestalon) design a whole new talent, but we tried to come up with the most exciting talent we could, with our limited time. (Celestalon)
Will you get rid of the perk that makes rejuv castable in cat form to make the talent more attractive?
No plans to do that, no. (Celestalon)
Nice, really excited about lunar inspiration and the kiting cat aspect. Opens up a whole new gameplay for feral.
Yeah, Moonfire in Cat Form is actually pretty neat too, I'd say, but it just doesn't have that 'new shininess' to it. (Celestalon)

Don't think Worgens are the Snow Leopard Type....Maybe like a Black Striped Cat...or you know..a wolf >.>
Limited options. It's subjective. It's black and white, which fit Worgen best to us. (Celestalon)

Uhh, what happens when you Incarnation in Claws of Shirvallah form?
Back to Incarnation form. (Celestalon)

.the shivarrah models look pretty bare boned. Any plans to add racial tweaks? Nelf ears/bull horns/druid tatoos/etc?
It's something we're considering for the future, but not for 6.0. Gotta get this game shipped! (Celestalon)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Is Aspect of the Hawk going to be on the GCD? Please say no.
You mean Fox? No. (Celestalon)

I assume at this point we won't be seeing Kungchong or Sand Reavers this go around?
Not this round! (Muffinus)
How about Teroclaw and Teroclaw Chick (Mainly the chick!) as Birds of Prey?
Yes! Though considering their story, maybe closer to Carrion birds or... dare I say... raptors? (Muffinus)

Mage (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
wait, where IS ice block. That's one of the iconic spells.
I'm guessing you took Evanesce. (Celestalon)
If one takes Evanesce, does one become unable to benefit from Glyph of Regenerative ice?
No, it should work with Evanesce instead (likely at a reduced amount). Not sure if it does, yet. (Celestalon)

are you happy with how prismatic crystal/frost bomb/frozen orb/ice lances interact right now? Crazy combos ensured!
Tentatively. It'd be weird if they didn't interact. Helps make up for the fact that Squirt can't hit the Crystal. (Celestalon)
also favoring frost bomb being the best 75 talent when used properly, high skillcap with brain freeze, FoF and squirt timings.
Why would that favor Frost Bomb? All 3 talents on that row do cleave. (Celestalon)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
1.5s GCD for MW monks, makes me feel so slow, can you explain why? i understand haste will reduce GCD but [email protected]
It's important that haste remain a valuable stat, and so its effects need to be attractive. (Celestalon)
Renewing Mist and Uplift are inefficient and weak on 5 targets, when compared single target heals, is this intended?
You're probably looking at the version with the bug where they scale from AP, not SP. (Celestalon)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
How will a protection paladin deal "slightly less damage "than retribution in WoD when it doesnt have a burst CD ?
They can talent into some cooldowns. And a cooldown alone doesn't make up the difference between a tank and a DPS. (Celestalon)

Priest (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Install time long enough to explain why Void Shift is going away? >.>Please don't take it!
Simply because it was underused, and we are cutting down on cooldowns, and Priests already had enough. Bloat. (Celestalon)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Thoughts about Sub Rogue dot snapshotting? Given how it calculates the dot, effects still snapshot trinkets/procs.
Can you clarify what you're talking about? (Celestalon)
Crimson Tempest in particular, when using, appears to still snapshot effects for the duration like on live.
Well, that's not so much snapshotting as the basic design of the skill. There's nothing to be dynamic there. (Celestalon)

Sub will end up using its own version of Affdots due to snapshot synergy with the blade twisting passive on Sinister Calling
It's something that we're concerned about and keeping an eye on. Our hope is that an addon will be pointless, and that all... (Celestalon)'ll tell you will amount to "keep all the DoTs up, Backstab as filler." That may be wishful thinking; we'll see. (Celestalon)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Do you think that lava burst w/ improved lightning shield will be enough to account for no rolling thunder procs thru overload?
No, all the Multistrikes triggering it will. (Celestalon)

Currently see no changes for Shaman mobility in this build, getting worried, anything planned?
Surge and Echo procing at the same time is fine, they don't conflict. (Celestalon)
That and Molten Earth can be maintained via Earth Shock alone, which I don't think many are considering.
Yep, Molten Earth is effectively a large buff to mobile damage as well. (Celestalon)

Any reason why the arctic wolf glyph was removed?
Shaman are using the new wolf model now. It's pretty badass. (DaveKosak)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
So how do we math out on the fly just what sort of procs are needed to eat the debuff and make it worth the cast?
It may sound complex from that description, but there's no "on the fly" math needed, generally. (Celestalon)
Either it's better than Soul Fire (damage numbers make that obvious, 0 or 1 stacks), or it's not (only use for burst) (Celestalon)

will Ashran have destructable structures WG-style?(still waiting for that invite, btw xDD)
We explored some ideas with destructibles but decided against it. (holinka)
I'm curious: What steered you away from destructibles?
It wasn't the gameplay we were going for. (holinka)

will skirmishes only be implemented at max level? Pls revive 70 arena
No they'll be at all levels, but rated arena will only be at max level. (holinka)

Can you share or hint anything about plans for S15 closure or balance tweaks? Anything you can will go a long way for arena players
Looking into exploits but no balance changes planned. (holinka)
What about S15 closure? it's been extension of Grevious and feels like it has been a 50 week season since virtually nothing changed
Nothing to share about the end of season 15 but there won't be another season before Warlords. (holinka)
Holinka last question.. Not a single person likes the Prideful Serpent. Would you ask the Devs to do a color swap for us? Please?
There are no plans to change the look of the S15 mount. (holinka)

Will Elite PVP gear models be obtainable with honor in seasons after it's current?
Probably not. We'll have to discuss options there. (holinka)

With so many portals in WoD's story, why don't the Iron Horde just use them to invade Azeroth without the Dark Portal?
They don't have Khadgar. And after the Tanaan intro, they don't have Gul'dan either. (DaveKosak)

How hard lore wise is it to open a portal from Azeroth to Draenor post expansion launch?
Lore-wise, extremely hard! For gameplay, there are a few in-game. Khadgar mentions how difficult it is. (DaveKosak)

Is there any in-game lore behind "Claws of Shirvallah"? And if so are these "renegades" inherently evil?
Almost no in-game lore. What do you guys think? Should we create a faction of crazy cat people? (DaveKosak)

Beyond The Dark Portal, Turalyon and co went to Blade's Edge Mountains(BEM). In WoD BEM's don't exist to my knowledge. Wut?
Blade's Edge was formed when parts of Frostfire crashed into the main continental plate when Draenor exploded. (DaveKosak)
But this was before the explosion, correct me if I'm wrong.
Oh I see what you mean. Same area. You can see a hint of Blade's Edge in the rocks of Frostfire. We just didn't use the name. (DaveKosak)

Does the Choice Between Lumbermill & Fighting Arena in Gorgrond Effect which quests you get? Ty
Yes. (_DonAdams)

Wowcraft Episode 9 - Warsong Gulch (Part 3)
Another part of the Warsong Gulch miniseries of Wowcraft is here!

by Published on 2014-07-30 06:37 PM

Update (7:30 PM EST): Added new information about Blood Elf and Troll models.

Blood Elf Character Models Delayed
It looks like Blood Elves will not be ready for Warlords launch, but Draenei will be.

Artcraft - Updated Facial Customization
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Hello, and welcome to Artcraft! I’m your host Chris Robinson, art director of World of Warcraft, and today we’re going to tackle something I know a lot of you have been looking forward to: facial customization options.

When we began working on the updated character models, we knew it would be a huge project, and we weren’t sure we could do it all at once. The idea originally was that a few races would be available at launch, and all the others would be patched in throughout the course of the expansion. While it wouldn’t have been ideal to see a mix of lower-quality and higher-quality models running around side by side, it did seem like the most realistically achievable solution at that time. Since then, though, we’ve committed ourselves to getting all of the original character models in by launch. It’s been a monumental challenge for us, but we think the effort is worth it, and the finish line is nearly in sight.

Our next big focus is doing justice to the facial options. With the original models and their simplistic geometry and low-resolution textures, a lot of facial expressions were simply painted on. Now that we’ve moved to higher-polygon models with lips, teeth, and fully articulated faces—not to mention higher-resolution textures—recreating those same facial options isn’t as simple as painting them onto a flat surface. Previously, to get a sneer out of a model, you’d just paint a sneer on its face, and that was that. To do it correctly now—and make it look great—we have to fully pose a sneer, create a custom texture, and mesh that base pose with all of the existing emotes and animations.

These more detailed face customization options were also originally part of our earlier “update-as-we-patch” rollout plan. Our initial idea was to release the new models with their base face, and then add additional options in updates over the course of the expansion. Again, that plan was based on the sheer amount of work involved in creating what are effectively all-new races (art-wise) on top of all of the art a big expansion like this one generally requires. But stepping back, we came to the conclusion that it just wasn’t going to be a good experience to have everyone playing with the same face geometry and a slight texture change, not knowing what their character would really look like until some later patch. In the end, we decided it would be best to tackle all of a race’s facial options at once. Up to this point, you’ve seen one facial geometry set, but very soon you’ll start seeing more finished products for each option in upcoming beta builds.

The original Dwarf model (left) has his teeth painted directly on his upper lip to give him a snarl. With the new models, which have fully modeled and textured teeth, a simple paint job just isn’t an option—it would look terrible. In the middle, you can see what that same sneer looks like right now in the beta test; on the right is what you’ll see in an upcoming beta build.

On the left, we have a pair of original Orc faces. The second column represents what you’re seeing right now in the beta build, showing texture variation but the same facial geometry. The third column shows a posing rig to demonstrate how we’re customizing each of the face appearances further. On the far right, you can see the final product.

We’re working hard to ensure all of the updated character models have the high level of quality you expect from us, and that we expect from ourselves. This revamp is a truly enormous project that we care deeply about, and we know you feel the same. We’re looking forward to seeing all of these new, high-quality, awesome-looking models running around Azeroth, and we hope you enjoy seeing the characters you know and love in a whole new light.

Thanks for reading, and see you next time!

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