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by Published on 2013-11-30 08:31 AM

Reaper of Souls Highlights: Enchanting, Transmogrification, Crafting, Crusader Thorns Build

Leveling Rewards, Beta Key Giveaway, Events This Weekend, Warrior Beatdown Deck

Warlock Solo - Immerseus 10 Normal
Today we are taking a look at clever use of boss mechanics that allow warlocks to solo Immerseus.



Addon - BossesKilled
The BossesKilled addon is a nice addition to the Raid Finder and Flex Raid UI that quickly shows you how many bosses you have killed in each wing, without having to select each one to check. Clicking a button will select that wing and the buttons will highlight if you are queued for that wing.



Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character / Items
Is your intent for hybrids to have to carry spare gear or can we get a glyph or something that makes armor/spirit boost dps?
Less extra gear than you do today for sure. (Source)

In Warlords of Draenor, are crafted items likely to be able to acquire the bonus stats/socket?
Considering that just so they can compete. (Source)

A little confused what tanks will gear for on normal items? Mastery/Haste?
Yes, and even crit and other stats. (Source)

I'm assuming gems and enchants will still have spirit options, even though we're paring down. Correct?
Gems, yes. Still debating exact enchanting mechanics. (Source)

you can literally double your dps from one pull to another with different trinket rng right now. Not fun.
That's all a problem with the pull though. Otherwise RNG variance evens out over the course of a fight. (Source)
We want to make the "line up all CDs do do 50% of your DPS in the first 10 sec" thing go away. (Source)
I feel like Stormlash, Skull Banner and Prepot are huge contributors. Would be ok with all of them disappearing.
Except for prepot, none of the CDs offend us alone. It's the synergistic effect that is out of control. (Source)
Yet rules about X not working while Y is active can also be annoying, so it's not a simple fix. (Source)
Sure it is! Just don't add so many cooldowns to the game! If you see two spells too similar on 1 class, axe one
That pitch would mean no Recklessness for Fury or GoaK for Ret. Think there would be no outrage? (Source)

Shouldn't DPS roles in raid be rewarded for following trinket procs? I default UI still and have no problems being in top 98%+
Yeah, totally. That's the point of having them proc. The pendulum just swung too far the other way. (Source)

and all trinkets/CDs on the pull is fun/interesting, not having anything proc in the opener is boring and lowers skillcap.
Again, disagree that it's skillful. It might be fun to see big numbers but it's frustrating when you don't get the big numbers. (Source)
We then get pressure to basically insure that you get the big numbers, at which point pulling them off isn't exciting any longer. (Source)
Fixing things like snapshotting and less "on the pull" emphasis can keep it exciting without failure being debilitating. (Source)

PvE
Possible to give pets 15% exp/remove "always behind" in pet AI? Causes many issues that this easily solves
We don't really want pets standing on top of tanks. (Source)

Not sure right person to ask, but will there be any change about asia's different lockout and ilvl things in WoD?
Our hope is Asia can use the same model now. It will support multiple raid lockouts, which the current system does. (Source)

So is 1 in 50 players having their guilds merge/disband acceptable casualties? A "courageous" idea
That argument is an easy one to swing around. There are players who liked downranking or spell components. (Source)
But sometimes the game needs to change for the good of the game as as whole, even if individual players don't agree. (Source)

I'm confused on how loot lockouts will work. do normal, heroic and mythic all share a loot lockout?
No. A loot lockout only applies to one difficulty level. Mythic works mostly like heroic today. (Source)

Cant you keep difficulties same as now, adding Mythic on top of it? People wont careas much at that level is all about progres
It is possible to have too many difficulty levels. Aren't you asking for a 7th? (Source)

But do you PREFER to let them decide that? It's often 1 person thinking for the group, w/o consulting them.
That seems like a social issue if you mistrust your guild or pug. (Source)
Even pugs need to have some teeth, or they are just back to LFR's level of no responsibility for anyone. (Source)

Misc
You overuse "depth" like players overuse "clunky."
I'm a former scientist, so I try to use words precisely. "Depth" to me means that there is more going on than first appears. (Source)
That's a useful feature of game design because it plays into easy to learn / difficult to master. (Source)
The problem with "clunky" is many players just use it to mean "I don't like this," which lacks precision. (Source)
Our original, internal use of clunky, which likely spilled out onto the forums, had a precise meaning. (Source)
We originally used "clunky" to mean something that was unintuitive and required extraneous steps to achieve. (Source)
An example could be old Berserker Rage for a tank -- stance dance out of Defensive, break the fear, stance dance back. (Source)

Yes, I agree, swing the nerfbat much much harder at removing cooldowns with dumb visuals :P
Thinking something like GoAK for Prot, wings for Ret, Divine Favor with a better visual for Holy. (Source)
I like it. Guardians should "guard" after all. Does that change Divine Favor mechanically for Holy at all?
I don't know. It was raw idea more than a design. (Source)

Black Friday Sale List
Most of the sales are over now, but there are still some decent deals on leftovers!



Dark Legacy Comics #417
DLC #417 has been released!

by Published on 2013-11-29 04:44 AM

Reaper of Souls Highlights: All Class Changes

Beta Key Giveaway, Blue Tweets, Druid Force of Murloc Deck, Hearthstone Team Job Openings

Patch 5.4.2 - In-Game Store
The latest PTR build updated the new in-game store yet again, making use of more of the category icons by adding pets and mounts to the store. Purchasing anything now requires you to input your Battle.Net password.








Gear Changes in Warlords of Draenor
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I read this all, and I like it, a lot. Good stuff. However, my fear is how this plays out for PvP. For PvE variance in performance based on RNG stats is super cool and creates a sense of non-uniformity, but in PvP you need to be able to expect that class X generally has Y capabilities.
PvP gear will have more stats to choose from, and less worrying about hit caps! PvP Power will likely still exist to make sure PvP gear is powerful without being more powerful than PvE gear in PvE. Additional PvP changes are beyond the scope of this discussion, but we do want to make sure PvE gear doesn’t outstrip PvP gear for world PvP.

Can I just ask what will happen to Spirit for Shadow Priests, where it is now a go to stat because it gets converted to Hit? With Hit going away, will it convert to something else, or will Spirit now be useless for us.
Healers will have increased baseline regen on their character, and each point of Spirit will have higher regeneration effects. As mentioned in the last couple paragraphs, Spirit will be useless to DPS specs, so min-maxers will want to get alternate gear for the few slots they have Spirit in.

One more thought on this...please extend this system to crafted gear, not just boss drops.
Okay!

So what for the peoples who spent a fortune on gems an jewel crafting just to have a useless pro now.
Despite this being a bit beyond the scope of this discussion, we can say that we don’t want to keep a flawed gear design just to ensure revenue for Jewelcrafters. We are, however, considering additional types of things that they could make to offset the need for so many gems.

I dislike the idea that we're going to have to pray to the RNG gods to get gear to drop, and then pray again that our gear has bonuses. I'm not invested in world first content so it likely wont affect me much, but I can imagine world first guilds getting a little peeved because guild X got extra lucky on their drops and had more tertiary stats which helped them progress faster, while guild Z got mostly normal epic drops.
Philosophically, having a random element to gear helps to keep loot feeling exciting instead of reducing it to a checklist you just tick off. We understand that too much randomness can be frustrating, which is why we implemented things like the bad luck streak protection on personal loot and bonus rolls. Do note that secondary stats on gear are not random (other than some random suffix items, which are in the minority). The additional qualities (e.g. Warforged, sockets, tertiary stats) are random and are intended to provide gearing with a long tail. Rather than deny you an important item slot like a weapon, we can make sure you get an item in a reasonable amount of time. However, getting the perfect item is not a foregone conclusion and might take a lot of effort and luck.

The only system where this loot style could work is in the personal loot like lfr. I find it hard to believe that you think that this could realistically work in a normal raid group that uses any type of loot system other than rolling.
LFR will always use personal loot. Normal and Heroic difficulties have the option (raid leader’s call) to use personal loot, or to drop a variable amount of loot based on the number of players. As you add players to a group, the chance of an additional piece of loot dropping will increase until it reaches 100%, at which point there will be a chance for an additional piece beyond that. There should not be any break points at which you are hesitant to add more players. Mythic has a set raid size so will work much as Heroic does today.

Random Player:Will these changes to stats only affect items in Warlords of Draenor, or will older items from, say, Burning Crusade also change?
At this time, changes to gear are planned for drops in Warlords of Draenor. We are, however, considering modifying Siege of Orgrimmar gear to help players make the levelup process as smooth as possible, but aside from the removal of Hit and Expertise from all gear these changes will not be retroactive.

Random Player:How will these changes affect mastery?
We may make changes to specific masteries as part of the Warlords of Draenor review, but don’t have any sweeping changes planned.

From Twitter: Nathyiel: What about off-hand/shield?
They are considered "weapons" for the purposes of these system changes.

Are more tertiary stats being considered than the 5 we've been shown thus far?
This list we have at this time is not set in stone, but currently includes: Leech (heal on damage dealt), Inspiration (heal on damage received), Cleave (extra damage to additional targets), Sturdiness (reduced durability damage), Speed (movement speed), and Avoidance (reduced area effect damage taken).

Getting gear is fun. We like getting gear and we like the feeling that on any given boss, there should always be something that you would want. What we’re doing with items in Warlords is just an evolution of the Thunderforged version to make it a little more interesting. You’ll probably see more bonus pieces than you did Thunderforged in the past, but getting an item that has all 3 bonuses will be very, very (very!) rare. Remember, you’ll be just fine with the baseline pieces of gear, and most of your character will be made up of this gear. But each and every time you kill a boss, there’s that chance of getting something slightly better.

One of our other goals is to reduce the amount of work an item takes. Currently, the amount of work (math! MATH!) you have to do in order to even put on a piece of gear takes away from the enjoyment of the actual item dropping. We want you to spend more time killing creatures and getting better gear and less time figuring out how that piece that dropped effects specific stat levels (hit, expertise, haste, etc.), what gems you need cut, and what enchant to put on it. We’re not removing all of those choices, but we’re drastically tuning down the amount of required work. Get your boots, put them on, next boss!

Another reason for these item changes are to bring hybrids closer to fulfilling their off-spec role. Part of the fantasy of being a warrior is that you can take the punishment when you need to (tank), or dish it out if you want to (DPS). However, collecting two entirely different sets of gear, plus gemming, enchanting, reforging… it’s all different and it’s just a lot more work. In most cases, it was too big of a barrier for some players to even consider. With these changes, we’re bringing your off spec closer to the performance of your main spec. You won’t have to collect the same Chest set piece twice, or say, get a different set of boots. However, if you want to be optimal, there will still be items to collect.

Question, will the gear's secondary Stats from raids be static when they drop or are they rng and be random generated stats?
The vast majority of raid gear will continue to to have pre-determined secondary stats, just as it does today. We may still put in a few alternative pieces with randomly-generated stats, much like we did in Throne of Thunder, but those will be rare exceptions.

This extends to other types of content as well. Every once in a while, when there's a compelling reason to, we might let gear randomly roll secondaries. Timeless Isle is a good example of a situation in which that style of gearing makes sense. Again, that's the exception, not the rule. Under normal circumstances, secondary stats will still be pre-determined, not random.

Black Friday Sale List
We put together a thread with some of the better Black Friday Computer Component sales which will be updated until the end of Cyber Monday sales, if you are looking to grab some more parts or a new monitor, take a look!



Black Friday Sale - Save up to 75%!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Avoid the (zerg) rush at the mall and go digital with your holiday shopping. For a limited time, you can save up to 75% on digital copies of select Blizzard games:

SAVE up to 75% on World of Warcraft

SAVE up to 50% on StarCraft II

All of these digital offers are now fully giftable in the newly revamped Battle.net Shop, making it easier than ever to hook up your friends, family, and zerglings with a new Blizzard game this holiday season.

Sale ends December 2 at 11:59 p.m. PST.


P.S.—Our treasure goblin scouts have also sighted a few special deals on Diablo III for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC/Mac, but only at select retail locations. Check with your local retailer for details and availability.

The Daily Blink - He Fought For The Users
The Daily Blink made a special comic for Ghostcrawler. Click through to see the full thing, it is too long to include here.

On the other side of the screen, it all looks so easy.
by Published on 2013-11-27 10:30 PM

Contest winners have been PMed. Please log in and check your PMs, as you only have 48 hours to reply.

Ghostcrawler - So Long, and Thanks for All the Spectral Fish

Warcraft Movie Release Delayed - March 11, 2016
You can see what we learned about the movie at Blizzcon here.

by Published on 2013-11-27 08:17 PM

So Long, and Thanks for All the Spectral Fish
Ghostcrawler confirmed the news on the official forums.
Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
You know that part at the end of raid night when the final boss is dead and you’re done handing out loot and everyone kind of goes their separate ways? Yeah, this is one of those times.

We just came off of a great BlizzCon. We had so many different games to talk about, and we were thrilled at the reception of Warlords of Draenor. It was great to meet or reconnect with so many of you. I love BlizzCon dearly, which makes it so hard to tell you that this will be my last one, or at least my last one up on stage. An opportunity has come my way, and I have made the very tough decision to move on from Blizzard.

I wanted to thank all of you for being a part of this grand quest. I have said a hundred times that having passionate gamers, including the angry ones, is a far better place to be than having a community that doesn’t care. You all care. Like us, you want the game to be the best that it can be. So I ask you to keep on providing your feedback. I promise (and I rarely promise!) that the developers care very much about what you have to say.

I’ll be out there, and I can’t imagine it will be that hard to find me.

Hugs,
Ghostcrawler

P.S. No, you can’t have a pony. Or a moose. Or a mantis shrimp. Or a tardigrade. Or a crab. Keep trying though.

P.P.S. I play a Holy Priest.
by Published on 2013-11-27 06:26 PM

Ghostcrawler to leave Blizzard Entertainment
Ghostcrawler announced this morning on Facebook that he will be leaving Blizzard Entertainment to pursue a "great opportunity for something new and exciting". I don't usually share my opinions in news post, so there's a tweet with my full thoughts on the subject.

by Published on 2013-11-26 07:44 PM

Gear Changes in Warlords of Draenor
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Now that BlizzCon is over and Warlords of Draenor has been unveiled, we’ve been getting some additional questions about the gear changes currently planned for the expansion. To help shed some more light on what you can expect, we thought we’d take a bit of time to clarify a few things.

Keep in mind that as with anything still in development, the information we share now will likely change as we progress, but this should help give you a good understanding of our goals and thinking.


Armor Pieces: Head, Shoulders, Chest, Legs, Gloves, Belt, Boots, and Bracers

Primary Stats

One of our main intents for primary stats is to make sure that higher Item Level (ilvl) pieces from new content are almost always superior to items from older content. Further, the changes we’re making to primary stats will help make pieces more universal, so groups will find gear drops more useful more often. This means you’ll be disenchanting less Intellect plate (only usable by Paladins today) or Agility mail (only usable by Hunters and Enhancement Shamans today). As we discussed at BlizzCon, we’re accomplishing this by making it so primary stats for a given piece of gear will change based on your current spec, though it’s likely that only new gear added in Warlords will work like this, as it might be impossible to implement this for all existing gear. Here are some additional points to know regarding the changes to primary stats:

  • Armor pieces will always have some amount of Stamina and Armor value.
  • Armor pieces always have Strength, Intellect, or Agility as a primary stat. Plate has either Strength or Intellect. Mail and Leather have either Agility or Intellect. Cloth has Intellect.
  • In the cases of Plate, Mail, and Leather, the primary stat will change depending on your current spec. Specifically, casters (including healers) will get Intellect, and melee or tank specs will get Strength or Agility.

Secondary Stats

Our intent for secondary stats is to differentiate pieces that occupy the same slot, allow for player customization, and to further differentiate specs within a class. Here are a few important points regarding the changes that are currently planned for secondary stats:
  • Secondary stats don’t change based on spec on armor pieces (or any piece).
  • Secondary stats on armor pieces can still include Haste, Crit, and/or Mastery.
  • Secondary stats on armor pieces will no longer include Hit, Expertise, Dodge, or Parry. These are being retired in Warlords, and will likely be removed even from existing gear.
  • Secondary stats on armor pieces will also no longer include Spirit, nor will they include Bonus Armor, which are reserved exclusively for non-armor pieces (which are explained below).
  • In addition, secondary stats on armor pieces may include several new stats we are exploring such as Readiness, Amplify, and Multi-strike. Technical Game Designer Chadd “Celestalon” Nervig has been sharing more details about these on his Twitter account.

Additional Properties

Armor pieces may have three other properties at random. First, items may be higher Item Level than normal. For sake of this discussion, we’ll call these items Warforged for now.

Second, items may have gem sockets. Unlike gem sockets today, gem sockets in Warlords of Draenor will be rarer but more powerful. There will be no socket bonuses, but we are strongly considering requiring the right color gem for the socket. All gems will grant secondary stats, including Spirit and Bonus Armor (see below).

Finally, items may have tertiary stats. These include things like a bonus to Movement Speed, Sturdiness, Life Steal, Avoidance (less AoE damage), and Cleave. Because of the rarity of tertiary starts, stacking them to produce (for example) a Movement Speed set will take enormous effort.

The design intent of these additional qualities on items is to make itemization more exciting and to give it more longevity. Rather than waiting weeks to get a breastplate, you might get one pretty quickly—but to get a true “best-in-slot” item will take much more effort and a bit of luck. Here are a few more points to consider for these properties:

  • We haven’t decided on exact numbers yet, but for the current discussion, assume something like a 10% chance for an item to have an additional property. It’s possible for one item to have all three of these properties, but the chance of that is very small.
  • The properties are determined at the time an item is looted (and possibly even includes crafted gear). For example, if an ogre boss drops two copies of the Bracers of Crithto, one might be a normal version, while another might have a tertiary stat.

Being Warforged, having a socket, or having a tertiary stat do not count against the stat budget of the item—they are strictly bonuses. The item will not have reduced primary or secondary stats in order to have these additional properties.

Set Bonuses

Similar to primary stats, set bonuses will also change depending on your current spec. This means a Paladin may only need one tier set rather than one for Holy and one for Retribution. It also means that set bonuses can be more tailored towards a spec. For instance, Marksman Hunter set bonuses can have different bonuses or different numbers than a Survival Hunter set. Like today, not every helmet, chest piece, or other piece of armor that drops will be part of a tier set.

Non-Armor Pieces: Weapons, Rings, Cloak, Necklace, and Trinkets

Primary Stats

In general, most of these pieces will not have Strength, Agility, or Intellect. Instead, they may have Attack Power or Spell Power to make sure they are more universal. However, our current thought it to keep primary stats on weapons so that they continue to feel iconic and special. Many of the items will have Stamina as well.

Secondary Stats

The information about secondary stats on armor above also applies here. In addition, Spirit and Bonus Armor can appear on these items. Spirit is only useful for healers. Bonus Armor is generally only useful for tanks. A Spell Power piece without Spirit may be attractive to healers or may be attractive to DPS casters instead.

The intent of including Spirit and Bonus Armor on these pieces is to make sure some items are still valuable only to healer and tank specs, helping to make sure they don’t have too much competition for gear against the more numerous DPS players in a given group. These are also stats we consider interesting, because how much of each of these stats a tank or healer might want is more subjective. For example, one tank in a group might prefer more Bonus Armor while another might prefer more Haste.

In the case of Spirit, imagine that stacking Spirit on every non-armor slot will give you more mana regeneration than you would reasonably need. That is to say, you likely won’t need Spirit on every single spot in order to function as a healer.

In the case of Bonus Armor, this stat fills the niche that Dodge and Parry fill today. We like tanks avoiding attacks as a mechanic, but it hasn’t proven to be a particularly interesting gearing strategy. However, we still want a dedicated damage-mitigation stat, and Bonus Armor will be it.

Additional Qualities

These items will also have a chance to have one of the additional qualities discussed above (Warforged, gems, and tertiary stats), and the information related to these qualities on armor still applies here.

Examples

A Holy Paladin has a raid tier set from the Blackrock Foundry. If she switches to her Retribution spec, the tier set is still functional, as the primary stats and set bonuses change. However, if she prefers Haste for her Retribution spec and Crit in her Holy spec (and is someone who enjoys the min-max game), then a single set of armor may not be optimal.

For her healing set, let’s assume this player also has one ring with Spirit, a shield with Spirit, and a trinket that procs on heals. The trinket is almost useless in her Retribution set. The shield is also useless, since Retribution is designed to wield a two-handed weapon. The ring will be sub-optimal because Spirit is useless to a Retribution Paladin, but if it has another valuable stat (e.g. Haste), it may still be worth using—again depending on how min-max-focused the player is.

A more casual player would probably be fine just using the trinket anyway and using a lower Item Level two-handed mace when she plays Retribution. A more min-max player would probably want separate rings, cloaks, trinkets, neck pieces, and weapons to use in the different specs. A very min-max player—such as someone competing in world-first Mythic raid progression—might even want different heads, shoulders, chests, and so on depending on the mix of secondary stats. This player might even swap out gems between the two specs.

This may seem like a lot to take in now, but we’ll continue to watch feedback and answer any additional questions where we can. And again, keep in mind that as with anything still in development, this information or some of the details will likely change as we progress.

As always, we welcome your constructive feedback, and we look forward to reading what you think.

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