MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

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by Published on 2014-02-12 02:47 AM

Patch 5.4.7 PTR - Build 17889
Build 17889 will be deployed to the PTR realms soon.

String Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Automated In-game Mail #403 - Character Boost: We've supplied you with a whole new set of high-level gear, but attached you'll find all the old items and equipment you once carried. - The WoW Dev Team



Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Mounts
  • Armored Dread Raven Summons and dismisses an Armored Dread Raven. This mount changes depending on your Riding skill and location. Account wide. 1.5 sec cast.

Shaman (Forums, Talent Calculator)
  • Far Sight Changes the caster's viewpoint to the targeted location. Lasts 60 sec. Only useable outdoors. 3.5% of Base Mana. 1,000 yd Unlimited range. 60 sec cast (Channeled).

Warlock (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Pets
  • Legion Strike A sweeping attack that does 130% of the Felguard's weapon damage divided among all targets within 6 yards. The Felguard's current target is also wounded, reducing the effectiveness of any healing received by 10% for 5 6 sec. (Right-Click to toggle) Requires Weapon. Basic Attack. 60 Energy. Melee range. Instant.

Warrior (Forums, Talent Calculator)
Talents
  • Warbringer Your Charge also knocks pins a target to the ground, stunning rootng it for 4 sec and reducing movement speed by 50% for 15 sec. Warrior - LvL 15 Talent.



Patch 5.4.7 PTR Patch Notes Update - February 11
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes
  • Warlock (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
    • Demonology
      • Felguard's Legion Strike and Wrathguard's Mortal Cleave now reduces the effectiveness of any healing received for 6 seconds (up from 5 seconds) so the pet can maintain the effect without Haste.

The Scroll of Resurrection Retires
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The time has come to bid adieu to the Scroll of Resurrection. It’s served its divine purpose, but like most scrolls, it only has so many charges before it loses its magic and crumbles into ethereal dust. For those who’d still like a chance to use the scroll, you have until February 18 before players are no longer able to send invitations. For those who have an invitation outstanding, that’s still good for 30 days from the time it was sent, after which point the invitation will expire and the benefits can no longer be claimed.

For additional information on the Scroll of Resurrection, please visit our FAQ.

Battle.Net Launcher Update
The Battle.Net Launcher was recently updated to add support for Warlords of Draenor.

by Published on 2014-02-11 06:16 PM

Artcraft - Building a Garrison
Today we are getting a look at some of the art for Garrisons.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Greetings, and welcome to another edition of Artcraft! I’m Chris Robinson, senior art director of World of Warcraft, and for this second entry I’ve gathered a group of Warlords of Draenor developers to talk a bit about Garrisons—specifically, how our artists are working closely with the game designers to ensure that the visuals we’re crafting support their design goals.

We’re not really going to get into the details of how Garrisons work here, like specific mechanics of their design. Think of this more as a behind-the-scenes glimpse into our art process with two of our groups: our dungeon art team, which is responsible for all the Garrison's large buildings, walls, gates, and so on; and our prop art team, which is focused on the profession buildings and all of the awesome details you’ll find inside of them.

Gameplay First
Before we get to that, first we'd like to talk about a few aspects of the art team's relationship with the game designers. We’ve asked Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton to talk a little about how the Garrison works, and how design and art come together to get something as massive as Garrisons into the game. Here’s Cory:

"Hey Everyone! The Garrison feature is going to be a huge part of your core experience in Warlords of Draenor, so it’s really exciting to get a chance to talk about it. As Chris mentioned, it's a massive feature with a lot of different moving parts, one of the biggest of which is the visuals—and that’s where our art team comes in. We knew we wanted the Garrison to feel like a big new feature, but we also wanted to keep it familiar, like bringing a piece of home to Draenor. There is just something about running into Stormwind or Orgrimmar that evokes that sense of faction pride, and that’s exactly what we wanted out of the Garrison. The art team was able to work with us to deliver brand new art that still evokes those feelings from our faction capitals.

Nailing the look is just one part of the process though. A big part of the feature is being able to increase your Garrison’s power over time, and we wanted to make sure you see that reflected in the art. This means that all of the Garrison buildings have to have multiple, and increasingly epic visual upgrades. The plot system used for Garrisons—which allows you to customize your layout and place buildings anywhere—presented a unique challenge for the art team, since even though a building needs to look more epic at each upgrade, it couldn’t actually change shape at the base. Check out some of the under-development examples below.

- Cory Stockton, Lead Content Designer


The Dungeon Team: Making Old Look New... or Is It New Look Old?
Hi there, I'm Wendy Vetter, lead artist for the World of Warcraft dungeon team, and next I'm going to give you an inside look at how we’re bringing the Garrison buildings into the world.

When working on the Garrison, we decided to start with the Alliance buildings first, and that’s what we’ll be focusing on today. When we first began, we thought, "Wouldn’t it be cool for players to get to have some of the original buildings from back in Elwynn and Redridge in their Garrison? Our resident Concept Wizard (actual title) Jimmy Lo ran with this idea of a “trip down memory lane” by bringing back a lot of those early buildings, and we worked on trying to keep a lot of familiar parts of the buildings intact while updating themwith new textures.

After trying that idea out, we began to notice the buildings were looking too familiar—it wasn't epic enough, and wasn't looking like something you’d expect to see in this big new feature. So we updated the recipe to "extra-crispy"—and that meant going far beyond a new coat of paint on an old asset.


We didn't, however, ignore the past—we built upon it. Keeping the original spirit of the old buildings, we began exploring new designs. We created fresh silhouettes and pushed the individuality of each building, creating visually exciting upgrades as you progressed. This way, when you get that first shack you call a Lumber Mill—an oversized crate with some sticks and a dull saw in it—you're excited, but you know there's lots of room for improvement. As you build your army and finally get that third-tier Lumber Mill though, you feel like a badass ready to fight back against the Iron Horde.


I have to say I love, love—did I mention LOVE?—the Mage Tower. The library invites the player to grab their favorite book of spells (mine is Beatrice’s Magical Exploits Into the Wilds of Wildervar), wrap up in a blanket, plop on a nice soft chair with their favorite pet sitting on their lap, and read till the light of the fire dims to crackling embers. When we’re creating the art, we actually use small stories like that as a way to guide the scene. We use lighting, material choices, silhouettes, and carefully crafted details to invite the imagination of the player to look beyond the pixels and textures, and bring their character into the world. I like to think of the buildings as characters themselves, each with a personality, from the little nicks on a doorway, to the warm hearth in the Town Hall.

We hope you feel right at home when you step into each of these places.


The Prop Team: Showing a Story
I’m Eric Browning, the lead prop artist on WoW, and my team is responsible for props, FX, and initial set decoration. For the Garrison, we’ve put more emphasis on the “set decoration” aspect than ever before, giving us a much better sense of how well a particular kit is working right from the start. I’ll let the three of the artists working on them explain a bit more.


“One of the most powerful aspects of an artist’s mission is storytelling, and working to fill the space in the Garrison has allowed us to really focus in on that. Decorating a particular set or building provides an opportunity to communicate a lot of information about how the space is used and how it was made, and all the pieces come together to help convey an overarching theme. Little nuances and details in the props can help give the player context into what’s happening in a particular area of the game, and ultimately, really help to tell the story of an entire zone.

We approach each of these tasks on both micro and macro levels—evaluating how each smaller piece comes together as a larger whole. This is where the real challenge lies, since we don’t want to visually overwhelm the player—but at the same time, we're giving everyone the visually striking, high-quality level of art they've come to expect from World of Warcraft.”

—Jordan Powers, Associate Artist


“In Warlords of Draenor, your Garrison is your fortress—a foothold in a savage world, and ultimately a place to call your own. One of our main goals with the Garrison was to really bring some life and sense of purpose to the characters who inhabit the world, and to make them feel like they belong in their environment. What that entails for us as artists is to brainstorm, develop, and refine a scenario that not only gives a narrative to a particular space, but helps make the player feel like the world is cohesive and real. We strive to give each set of props—what we call a 'kit'—logical treatment and placement so that the NPCs look as if they truly belong there. In doing so, it hopefully allows for a more visually rich and rewarding journey for the player.”

—Eric Braddock, Associate 3D Artist


“For the profession hubs, we wanted the player to be able to experience leveling up their chosen professions not only with skill points, but also visually through their Garrison. As the player progresses, each profession hub will level up, and the associated building will become more visually impressive. We treated each profession hub as an opportunity to describe the NPC who works there—how neat or messy they are, how they might work, and how they’ll grow with you as you level up your Garrison. We also thought it would be fun to throw in small hints of different races that might be associated with certain professions, such as draenei for Jewelcrafting or dwarves for Blacksmithing, to tie in the many races that give the World of Warcraft its depth and history.“

—Jay Hwang, Senior 3D Artist


One More Thing
Hey there—Chris here again, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this closer look at the buildings for your Garrison. While we focused on Alliance Garrison this time around, we’re definitely making a lot of great progress on the Horde counterpart, and look forward to giving you a more in-depth preview in a future episode of Artcraft. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect. See you soon!

by Published on 2014-02-11 04:45 AM

Transmog Price Lowered To 50K, Blue Posts, Blizzard Stream Awards Winners

Valeera Sanguinar, the Rogue

Upcoming Artcraft Post on Garrisons - Release on Tuesday!

Love is in the Air 2014
Love is in the Air once again, at least until February 24! It appears that nothing has changed this year, but you can still run the Crown Chemical Co. encounter every day for a chance at the Big Love Rocket though!


Level Type Spec Slot Name
480NeckTankNeck Shard of Pirouetting Happiness
480NeckMeleeNeck Choker of the Pure Heart
480NeckSpell SpiritNeck Winking Eye of Love
480NeckPhysical DPSNeck Sweet Perfume Broach
480NeckSpell DPSNeck Heartbreak Charm


Patch 5.4.2 Hotfixes: February 10
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Quests
  • The Battle for Gilneas City: Reduced Sylvanas and Gorerot's hitpoints. Rapier of the Gilnean Patriots no longer heals enemies.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siegecrafter Blackfuse: Significantly reduced the damage of Blackfuse Sellsword's Envenomed Shadowstep on all difficulty modes.

Warlords of Draenor - Casting While Moving
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Casting on the move is something we've talked about a lot, and we're definitely making some changes along those lines. I don't have any details I can share at this point, but I can at least give some insight into our thinking.

We like casting on the move, but not as a default. Spiritwalker's Grace is a good example of something we like; used intelligently, it can be very strong, and it feels good to use. On the other hand, Lightning Bolt always being castable on the move we're less excited about. You don't feel smart or skilled for using Lightning Bolt while you're moving, it's just sort of a free bonus that we're not sure is really needed.

Things like Kil'Jaeden's Cunning fall somewhere in the middle. The effect is similar to Lightning Bolt in that it's always active and you don't really have to think about it. However, you are effectively giving up either Archimonde's Darkness or Mannoroth's Fury in order to take it. Whether or not that's enough of a tradeoff is something we're discussing, but we have seen a lot more Warlocks giving up KJC for something else since Patch 5.4.

It's also important to note that the ability to use a cast-time spell while moving is only part of the issue. In fact, while there's only a couple of classes that can do that, almost everyone has some number of instant cast spells they can use while moving. To really start shoring up the differences here, we need to reduce the number of instant cast spells as well. That includes healers.

We're still iterating rapidly on all of this, so anything can change at any point, but that's what we're currently thinking.

Million dollar question here. Hunters are arguably one of, if not the most, mobile ranged classes in the game. We can maintain our full rotation while moving. Are we considered a caster for the purposes of this discussion? Being able to do 100% rotation on the move is one of the few reasons I decided to roll hunter.
We like mobility as the Hunter's "niche". I won't guarantee you'll still be able to do 100% of your rotation on the move, but we want to try to keep what we can there. It's something we're likely to do a lot of iteration on.

doesnt really change the fact that they said talents will be the same and wont be getting an overhaul like previous xpac.
We're not going to overhaul the entire talent system again, correct. That doesn't mean we aren't going to change any talents.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Don't you think talents should be spec specific? Fine keep this 3 talents in a row stuff but have separate trees for separate specs
It wasn't in the original implementation but we do have the ability to customize talents per spec now. You'll see a bit of it. (holinka)

Planning to scale back incoming tank damage when we lose the cloak proc? Or should we just deal with it?!
Incoming tank damage while leveling is always really mild for well-geared characters. At 100, content tuned to available gear. (Celestalon)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
i noticed that demo locks with green fire turn into a green demon but when they are getting demonic fury they are purple, fix?
I believe we didn't notice that until the last minute, and getting that art greenified didn't make it in time. Fixed in 6.0. (Celestalon)
hey that's really great to hear, is there any other warlock aren't getting updated for green fire?
I think there was one other super minor thing... Like a glow trail you leave behind you when Demonic Leap, or something. (Celestalon)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Are there any plans to make Fury warriors less complicated?
Rotationally, not significantly. We'll be taking steps to reduce button bloat, just like with everyone else. (Celestalon)

US Connected Realms - Update 2/7
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, and since then have completed several connections. As a part of our ongoing communication, we wanted to provide you with an update that contains a list of completed realm connections, currently planned connections, and any additional future plans in one convenient location.

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

Future Connections
We will be connecting the realms listed below on Thursday, February 13th during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 5 a.m. PST through approximately 1:00 p.m. PST. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.

  • Azjol-Nerub and Khaz Modan
  • Eldre’Thalas and Korialstrasz
  • Farstriders and Silverhand
  • Spinebreaker and Wildhammer
  • Thunderlord and Azgalor/Azshara/Destromath

We will be connecting the realms listed below on Thursday, February 27th during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 5 a.m. PST through approximately 1:00 p.m. PST. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.

  • Alexstrasza and Terokkar
  • Cenarion Circle and Sisters of Elune
  • Exodar and Medivh
  • Frostwolf and Vashj
  • Gorefiend and Spinebreaker/Wildhammer
  • Gundrak and Jubei'Thos
  • Mug'thol and Dragonmaw/Akama

We do not have a date for the following realm connections, but will update this post when we do.

  • Alterac Mountains and Balnazzar/Gorgonnash/The Forgotten Coast/ Warsong
  • Drak'thul and Skywall
  • Elune and Gilneas
  • Eredar and Wildhammer/Spinebreaker
  • Ghostlands and Kael'thas

The connection for Feathermoon and Scarlet Crusade has been delayed. We'll provide an update at a later point in time.

*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.

Connected Realms Update - 10/02
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The following realms are scheduled to be connected this week:

English Realms
  • (PvP) Bloodfeather and Kor'gall/Executus/Burning Steppes
  • (PvP) Spinebreaker and Dragonmaw/Haomarush
  • (PvP) Dunemaul and Auchindoun/Jaedenar

French Realms
  • (RP PvP) La Croisade écarlate and Culte de la Rive noire

German Realms
  • (RP PvP) Die Todeskrallen and Die Arguswacht/Das Syndikat

The following realms are currently scheduled to be connected during the week beginning 24/02:

English Realms
  • (PvP) Xavius and Skullcrusher
  • (PvP) Vashj and Dragonmaw/Haomarush/Spinebreaker
  • (PvP) Laughing Skull and Shattered Halls/Balnazzar/Ahn'Qiraj/Trollbane/Talnivarr/Chromaggus/Boulderfist/Daggerspine

French Realms
  • (PvE) Suramar and Medivh
  • (RP PvP) Conseil des Ombres and La Croisade écarlate/Culte de la Rive noire

Spanish
  • (RP) Los Errantes and (PvE) Colinas Pardas/Tyrande

Any chance of English PVE realms getting some connecting love from you guys as to this date only 2 of these connections have been made versus 15 PVP connections.

Top of my head I would say Bronze Dragonflight & Hellfire are in dire need for a love connection to be made sooner rather then later.

We've nothing against PvE realms at all, there just happened to be more low pop PvP realms, which is why the list is a little PvP heavy right now. We're trying to help some of the smallest realms first, then work our way up to the bigger ones where possible.

Even if this is an exception, it does bring about the question how it will be handled that rp(pvp) have additional policies that are likely to conflict with policies in place on pve/pvp realms.
This is indeed an exceptional case for Spanish realms, due to the fact there was only one RP and one RP PvP realm. We asked the players on these realms what they would prefer, and this was the option they went for.
by Published on 2014-02-10 12:33 AM

Login Issues Should be Resolved, DatModz' First Look at Uber Diablo, Diablo 3 Caramelldansen

Weekly News Recap, Top 5 Plays of the Week

Battle.Net Website Update - Warlords of Draenor Preorder Preparation
Blizzard made a small update to the Battle.Net website on Friday to add design elements for the Warlords of Draenor preorder and Digital Deluxe edition upgrade. No preorder date has been announced yet. The level 90 boost feature is part of Patch 5.4.7, and the latest PTR Build is flagged as a Release Candidate.



Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
My upward 50-100K dmg differential on an attempt to attempt basis as Ele begs to differ...
If you meant 50k-100k DPS, I'm very dubious of that being due to RNG. If you meant 50k-100k damage, that's negligible. (Celestalon)
http://t.co/NfMQmjh909 Logs to back it up. Look at both malk attempts. Almost same length, 40k+ difference. Not first time.
You died on the parse you did 10% less DPS, and spent significantly less time casting. That 40k difference is not all RNG. (Celestalon)
Your recent comments like this one about rng make me feel like devs don't raid competitively or heroics at all
I've killed every single 25H raid boss when it was progression, since AQ40. From BC to Garrosh. We raid. (Celestalon)
The true question is : do you arena ?
I dabble in it. I've gotten to 2200 once before, I think only like 1700ish the last few seasons; don't recall exactly. (Celestalon)
I'm much more of a PvE focused player myself, but we have other team members who are equally focused on PvP. Team effort. (Celestalon)

I think making more abilities talents that you can choose: active vs passive. Would be a good way to keep/trim at same time.
Yeah, an interesting point. How would everyone feel if that ability we wanted to cut but you want to keep became a talent? (Celestalon)
Abilities you'd want to cut are NOT worthy of being talents unless you put them on a non role increase row.
Of course, we wouldn't put a utility spell on the same row as throughput talents. (Celestalon)
We're keeping in mind that cutting abilities people don't have keybound anyway doesn't buy us as much. Far Sight, Mind Vision, etc. (Celestalon)
Not promising that any ability you don't have keybound is safe, but it's less likely. (Celestalon)

what happens to the current talents we love? Or the blizzcon ideas...
We may also cut some existing talents that aren't working; could replace them with these abilities. (Celestalon)

I'm afraid you'll cut too many and turn this game into GW2 or another 8 button action bar game (which I can't stand).
We're keeping feedback like this in mind, very much. The goal will be to remove unneeded buttons, not dumb down the game. (Celestalon)
I'm afraid you won't cut enough buttons.
I'm certain that some people will say we cut too much, some will say we cut too little. Very difficult to balance. (Celestalon)
(Or, we cut to little, but what we did cut we shouldn't have.) (Celestalon)

Art
Which race for the model update is proving to be the most artistically or technically challenging to implement?
currently the Orc female is giving us a hard time - never realized how much her mouth looks like Homer Simpson's mouth. (artofcgrobinson)
Hm wasn't that the orc female in the trailer? Or you mean in general with customization?
trailer version was an earlier take of the model, wasn't completely happy so iterating more on the face/body texture (artofcgrobinson)

PvE
I could really use one right now, undermanning SoO. Need alcohol to deal with all these 1-tank strategies haha
Craziest one I heard of was 1-tanking Spoils. /boggleReminds me of 1-tanking H-LK. What a rush! (Celestalon)
I've 1-healed Spoils before, that was fun actually. I'm not sure I understand 1-tanking! How does it work /headtilt
They all do one quarter, then swap sides, do both quarters, then swap sides, do last quarter. Lotsa teleports back up top. (Celestalon)

PvP
how about you try better. Give us blue collar guys a Friday treat. New season ilvl perhaps..?
550, happy friday! (holinka)
How about new ceiling?
It will steadily increase over the course of the season to 540. (holinka)
Are you implying that 6.0 will come 28 weeks after season 15 starts? Or doesn't the 1 item level/week rule apply?
Yeah, not implying anything of the sort. It will reach 540 at a point when we think many people have 550 gear. (holinka)

How are you going to avoid damage being way too high in the next season when people will have 550 ilvl ?
We've increased resilience. We can increase it again if necessary. (holinka)

Any word on how crafters will obtain the patterns for the next line of crafted PvP gear next session?
There will not be a set of crafted PvP gear for the new season. (holinka)

when will we get to see the new armor for S15 arena?? Wanna see how good the priest will look??
Season 15 armor is a color shift of Season 14 armor. Unfortunately, we weren't able to create new models for the season. (holinka)
PVP S15 Conq Gear, so the gear will look like the opposing factions Grievous in game now? (Ex: Ally get red)?
Yes (holinka)

is the elite gear for season 15 still going to be the same color?
Unfortunately yes. (holinka)

Will we get a new pvp mount for S15?
Unfortunately, no. (holinka)

s15 pvp dropped from celestial? what about a new content pve with this season??? (raid tier etc)
Dropping another tier of PvP gear is a trivial time investment for us, compared to a whole new raid tier. Focusing on WoD. (Celestalon)

Fan Art
Breathing2004 has created art in his usual style for Warlords of Draenor.

by Published on 2014-02-08 07:03 AM

Diablo 3 Sells More Than 15 Million Copies, Closed Beta Hotfixes - Updated 2/7, TESO Beta Key Giveaway, Curse Is Hiring!

Hearthstone Haikus, Jotto's Tournament Review, Legends of Hearthstone - BS3W1

Warlords of Draenor - Upcoming Artcraft Post: Garrisons
It looks like the next Artcraft won't be featuring another character model, but Garrison models!


Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The level of detail we're approaching with Warlords of Draenor means that these are going to be some-of-if-not-the-best looking sets, props and buildings ever seen in the World of Warcraft. Creating just one set of buildings for each faction (as well as their individual upgrades) is a huge amount of work, and they rely on most of the same artistic resources as the expansion's dungeons, raids, quest hubs, and cities. Creating any additional buildings would quite literally translate to less content for those other parts of the game. We are incorporating some elements of other races into the individual Garrison buildings, but the themes are largely of Durotar and Elwynn. We'll be offering a sneak peek at the Garrison buildings in the next Artcraft, which is currently slated to be posted next Tuesday--written by the art team and formatted by moi--so be sure to keep an eye on the front page next week.

Not at release but do you think eventually we might be able to buy racial specific themes later sometime? Or is this design set in stone? I loved the way Lotro did their housing, each race got their own theme for housing.
Certainly there will be updates and changes as the expansion progresses, but I don't believe there's any current intention to add full sets of additional buildings. If we were to work on those for an expansion patch it would quite literally come at the cost of a raid tier. That is where that work would come from. We have to make decisions on how to spend our time.

I think if the Garrison becomes a long-term persistent feature there's certainly a possibility for larger additions, but we're focusing on it being a feature for Warlords of Draenor as your fortress against the Iron Horde. I think we'll have to see how it goes.

Patch 5.4.7 PTR Patch Notes - February 6
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes
  • Druid (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Heart of the Wild now provides the following benefits from PvP Power when activated.
        • Restoration Druids now receive 50% of their PvP Power applied towards damage while the ability is active (down from 100%).
        • Feral and Balance Druids now receive 100% of their PvP Power applied towards healing while the ability is active (down from 120%).

US Connected Realms - Update 2/7
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, and since then have completed several connections. As a part of our ongoing communication, we wanted to provide you with an update that contains a list of completed realm connections, currently planned connections, and any additional future plans in one convenient location.

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

Future Connections
We will be connecting the realms listed below on Thursday, February 13th during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 5 a.m. PST through approximately 1:00 p.m. PST. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.

  • Azjol-Nerub and Khaz Modan
  • Eldre’Thalas and Korialstrasz
  • Farstriders and Silverhand
  • Spinebreaker and Wildhammer
  • Thunderlord and Azgalor/Azshara/Destromath

We will be connecting the realms listed below on Thursday, February 27th during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 5 a.m. PST through approximately 1:00 p.m. PST. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.

  • Alexstrasza and Terokkar
  • Cenarion Circle and Sisters of Elune
  • Exodar and Medivh
  • Frostwolf and Vashj
  • Gorefiend and Spinebreaker/Wildhammer
  • Gundrak and Jubei'Thos
  • Mug'thol and Dragonmaw/Akama

We do not have a date for the following realm connections, but will update this post when we do.

  • Alterac Mountains and Balnazzar/Gorgonash/The Forgotten Coast/ Warsong
  • Drak'thul and Skywall
  • Elune and Gilneas
  • Eredar and Wildhammer/Spinebreaker
  • Ghostlands and Kael'thas

The connection for Feathermoon and Scarlet Crusade has been delayed. We'll provide an update at a later point in time.

*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 Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Connected Realm Forums
This is actually something we hope to implement. Would appreciate any feedback you have about it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Character Customization
The game isn't built to support variation of height or weight. It's not likely to happen either as it would effect the way armor is scaled to characters.
That's a good point.

Just for fun, if you could pick your top three character customization options, in order of preference, what would they be? For me:

1. Scars/tattoos/warpaint
2. More facial hair options for males
3. Racial 'variants' for those who have them

These would make a lot of people very happy...
Perhaps. One of the things that's tricky about customization options is that, as fun as they are, so much of a character's visuals are expressed via armor, weapons, and abilities. We spend comparatively little time seeing a character's face up close.

Don't get me wrong. I like them, and I always carefully make each character just so. I personally feel that a personalized character increases my personal connection to it. Still, it's a hard argument to ignore. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character / Items
Is it intended that Kor'kron Spire of Supremacy has 108 more secondaries than Trident of Corrupted Water (same 580 ilvl)
Yes. Skewing the stats more into one of them costs more of the budget. (Celestalon)
Single stat items from ToT (Bracers of the Midnight Comet) a counter example of this policy? Thought it wasnt a thing since mop
Those we give the full effect of the split to, so that they're not supremely suboptimal. (Celestalon)

I was wondering if you got my tweet about adding immerseus trinket to MW table loot?
It's not intended for them. A bug allows it to work for them, but we decided to leave it so we don't hurt existing owners. (Celestalon)
speaking of trinkets, any reason behind no agi amp trink? using a str one as a BrM is a weird choice & its bis in normal w/o WF
I'd be suspicious of whatever theorycraft found it to be optimal to use that. (Celestalon)
I guess that brings up the discussion. is the AMP effect worth ditching your proc.
Commonly forgotten: Amp increases crit damage, not crit chance. So won't increase Elusive Brew uptime. (Celestalon)

Warlords of Draenor Stats
Is the item squish only to solve combat system problems with big numbers or are you using it to retune the ilvl power curve too?
Both. (Celestalon)

In 6.0, Will we do MoP raids as we can do now with lich raids?I said that because it is going to be 10 levels of difference.
In WoD, MoP raids will be similar in difficulty to how Cata raids are now in MoP. (Celestalon)
I would think the squish would leave them a lil harder.
.The squish *will not* make old content harder. Really. (Celestalon)
will old raids become easier? Ex: cata content will be as hard as wrath is today. Or will difficulty stay the same as today?
Leveling up and higher level gear will make old raids easier. (Celestalon)

Hit rating is gone. Hit mechanics are staying for >3 levels. Miss chance debuffs gone from encounters / mobs too?
Sorry, I don't understand the question... Do you mean the occasional hit chance debuff like Putricide's Choking Gas? Unchanged. (Celestalon)
I meant 'will they ever be used in future encounters again'. I can't remember any since Wrath.
It's a tool in our toolbox that we use from time to time, but not often. Potentially in the future, yes. Not common though. (Celestalon)

With reforging gone, will stat weights be balanced a bit more, so some gear isn't so terrible for certain specs?
Yes. (Celestalon)

New secondary stats are meh, 1 guy who gets lucky will always have a raid spot even if the other guy is better cause more dps.
Misconception. There are no significant changes to how much luck impacts gear and then DPS in a raiding guild. (Celestalon)

PvE
Will 6.0 boss mechanics regarding tanks be more dynamic and creative than current ones? Like changing how we play, tank, I dunno
We want to have significantly less time that you're taking turns tanking, and doing nothing in between. (Celestalon)
But does that mean more "multi-bosses" like Fallen Protectors, add spawns like Blackfuse or something entirely new?
Not any one specific thing, just much less time doing nothing but DPSing. (Celestalon)
if you keep using quick taunt swaps, should review immunity timer. seeing "immune" during garrosh sucks.
Agreed. (Celestalon)

PvP
an we stop drinking in arena please, you can't drink half way though a raid boss so you shouldnt be able to drink in arena
Drinking in arena has been around a long time. Not sure what the reaction would be if removed (I'm guessing mixed) (holinka)
not a big fan of precedence arguments in game design. Either it adds fun and depth or it doesn’t.
In a 9 year old game, precedence does matter. People have a lot of attachment to "how things are" and change can be quite jarring. (holinka)
counter argument is lack of change creates boredom. Talents are a good ex of how systems need a fresh look regardless of history
Certainly. Don't disagree that change has to happen, but it doesn't mean we should ignore history. It's one more thing to balance. (holinka)

More details on CC revamps, talent revamps, honour changes, tertiary stats in PvP, and so on.
We are writing one about CC changes. Not sure when it will be released, but prefer it comes out before you see a list of changes. (holinka)

does the 1000 rating floor count for RBGs, too?
Yes (holinka)

Do you think changing crits to 150% is good? I feel 200% makes them worth it, having big hits are what makes crit fun..
It means we have to tune damage and resilience around those numbers which makes sustained damage feel like nothing (holinka)

RBGs need to be removed, you can't split the PvP community anymore,Qs are longer than the time we spent inside a BG.
RBGs have little to no impact on random BG queue times. (holinka)

Do you think ret needs some passive defense, like 10-15% dmg reduction or cata sacred shield ? It feel very squishy for a melee atm
They have a major glyph that provides just that (holinka)

big fan of the original Alterac Valley, days long matches and all! Will Ashran have the same variety of objectives? 1/2
That's the plan. We want to pepper a lot of stuff throughout the zone. (holinka)

Professions
Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask, but for WoD, can we Archaeologists expect new digsites on Draenor too?
Yes. (Celestalon)

The Elder Scrolls Online Beta Key Giveaway
Curse has 500,000 beta keys for TESO Beta! Curse Premium users had the first chance to grab one, from February 4th through 5th. The giveaway is now open to everyone else from February 6th to 10th.

You can find more details about TESO on the official site and the wiki. Preorder details and beta support are also on the official site.

You can grab your key here! Keep in mind that the beta is still under an NDA.



Curse is Hiring!
Due to continuing growth, Curse is looking to fill many positions in the near future! If you're looking for a chance to get into the industry, this may be the opportunity you've been seeking. Open positions are on site in Huntsville (AL), San Francisco (CA), and London (UK). Only a few positions are listed below, please see the full list on Curse.


For more information on working at Curse, please head to the Jobs page.
by Published on 2014-02-06 09:18 PM

WoW Up to 7.8 Million Subscribers
Blizzard has their Q4 2013 earnings call today, announcing that WoW is up to 7.8 million subscribers. This is up 200k from the Q3 2013 call that listed WoW at 7.6 million subscribers.


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