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by Published on 2013-12-19 11:55 AM

Design a Legendary - Part 3 VOD Now Available, Qualifications for RoS Beta Invite, J!NX Holiday Sale, Edriel's RoS Suggestions

Patch 4243 Now Live, Disenchant Timeframe for Updated Cards, ManaCast Episode 16

Warcraft Movie Cast Announcement
Legendary announced that Daniel Wu and Clancy Brown will also be joining the Warcraft movie cast. Daniel Wu recently appeared in Europa Report and Clancy Brown regularly appears in and does voices for TV shows. It isn't his first time working on a Warcraft project though, as he was Thrall in the cancelled Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans game.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Warlords of Draenor Music
Is there going to be any new music in WoD? I find it surprising that nobody has asked this question. I love the music in the game and wondering if they've kept up to the scale and quality of previous expansions.
As always, you can expect some new music in the expansion. I couldn't answer as to how much yet, but if you look back over the years, you'll see that we've added many hours of music on a fairly consistent basis. Also, being able to see the Draenei and Karabor in a new light should be illuminating to the auditory system. We'll do what we can to provide any sneak listens or insights we can along the path to the release of the expansion. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warlords of Draenor Timeline
I guess im bothered that actions in this past, wont affect present day. it's considered "separate".
Iron Horde orcs are pouring through the Dark Portal into your home. It will absolutely be affecting your present day... and you were just starting to make a sandwich. Jerks. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Legendary Cloak Effort
The point of this thread is to state.... this is by far the most complcated time consuming Legendary ever in this game.
Hah, well thanks for laying it out visually. I think we like how it worked out in essence, ultimately having something for even the LFR player to work toward over a long period of time is a great goal to have for people. Definitely a lot of lessons learned on how we can make steps feel less grindy, and maybe make the experience more cohesive. But having that kind of Legendary doesn't necessarily preclude us from also having a Legendary that's maybe class specific and more of a personal challenge like Fangs, or something like the Warlock green fire quest. We don't think it necessarily has to be one or the other. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character / Items
That's an answer to a different question. Currently spirit does nothing for mage, but something for SPriest.
We allowed the Shadow conversion in a weak moment, but they had alternatives. Balance and Elemental did not. (Source)

Why the sweeping itemization changes for WoD? Lack of Agi/Str on secondary pieces halves the power.
So we double the amount of attack power on an item? That's an easy tweak, not a reason to dislike the system IMO. (Source)
AGI also increases crit. Without AGI on 1/3 of equipment this a major loss in effectiveness.
Or we could just boost crit chance. Again, these seem to be easily solved details and not a reason to reject the design. (Source)

Unsure you're best to ask this, but: Will all of Draenor be explorable (achievement-wise) at expansion launch? Or not til 6.1?
All at launch. Is this related to flying? (Source)

So since healer armour will be shared with dps, will the "Bonus" random stats affect healers too? Multistrike, cleave, etc.
Yes. (Source)
is the cleave stat going to affect healers and the way they heal?
The idea is it could heal nearby targets like the SoO trinket. (Source)

Simple question. Will secondary stats be random on gear in WoD too? Chest of Awesome always has haste + mastery off 1st boss?
For a raid boss drop, the secondary stats will likely be the same every time. May not be the case of other sources of loot. (Source)

Are Dodge and Parry getting rolled into Armor specifically as a stat?
No. Tanks will have a fixed amount of dodge and parry, perhaps with CDs or procs that buff it temporarily. (Source)

Hearthstone Beta Patch 4243
Hearthstone had another small patch this week with some bug fixes and mana cost increases for Mage cards that Freeze.



Dark Legacy Comics #420
DLC #420 has been released.

by Published on 2013-12-18 02:42 PM

Travis Day on Magic Find, RoS Beta Known Issues, DamienJohn's Advanced Tooltips Suggestion

Hearthstone Beta Patch 4243 - Mage Nerfs, Bug Fixes; Interview with Muffinsssss

Patch 5.4.2 Hotfixes: December 17
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes
  • Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Discipline
      • Resolved an issue that caused Power Word: Barrier's damage reduction effect to not apply properly to players under various conditions.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Paragons of the Klaxxi
      • Melee damage from the Paragons should now be more consistent and less likely to spike.
      • Ka'roz the Locust's Hurl Amber ability should no longer target players that have mutated into an Amber Scorpion.
      • Resolved an issue where Xaril the Poisoned Mind was not using Toxic Injection on the raid as soon as he joins the fight.
  • Terrace of Endless Spring
    • Terrace of Endless Spring now only has an item level requirement of 470 to be eligible to queue on Raid Finder difficulty. The additional requirement for a character to have completed Heart of Fear first had been removed.

Connected Realms Update
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

12-17: Crushridge and Anub'arak/Chromaggus/Garithos/Nathrezim/Smolderthorn have been temporarily delayed due to some additional work that's needed to complete the connections. We will provide an update on when this realm is rescheduled.

We will be connecting the realms listed below on Monday, December 23rd during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 6 a.m. PST through approximately 11:00 a.m. PST. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.

  • Anetheron and Magtherdion/Ysondre
  • Darrowmere and Windrunner
  • Demonsoul and Coilfang, Dark Iron, and Dalvengyr
  • Draka and Suramar
  • Velen and Eonar

We will be connecting the realms listed below on Friday, January 3rd during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 6 a.m. PST through approximately 11:00 a.m. PST. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.

  • Akama and Dragonmaw
  • Executus and Kalecgos
  • Galakrond and Blackhand
  • Shandris and Bronzebeard
  • The Forgotten Coast and Balnazzar, Gorgonash and Warsong
  • Undermine and Anvilmar

*​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
Character
Would love an explanation about what value you believe repair costs have, or lesser charms. Forced value much?
Repair costs make death and gold have some relevance rather than letting you ignore them. (Source)
Lesser charms let players progress their character on non raid nights. (Source)

Items
And just OHs? What about 2Her uses? Will they not miss with white attacks? I'd say make everyone hit 100% now to be fair.
Why? Their damage is balanced around how much hit they use today. The goal is to remove hit gearing, not to buff some melee. (Source)
(That wasn't intended to be trite. I'm interested in the discussion.) (Source)

- best wishes and thanks for you efforts. As to gearing will enchants/gems change with gear and change to off-spec?
Enchants and gems will not swap. Only Agi, Str and Int on armor and set bonuses will swap. (Source)

Isnt not being able to use gear before you get other pieces worse than having to reforge your gear to be able to use it?
Overall no, because reforging can affect every piece while your scenario might affect only a couple. (Source)
Now set bonuses can mess with that, which I tried to address in another recent tweet. (Source)
having to work to make a piece right is fun for some. If it isn't they don't have to.
That's like saying you don't have to equip bracers though. There is too large a penalty if you don' participate. (Source)

Are we going to see any changes with tier pieces? Too many classes on a token, set bonuses that feel needed so you can't break
We discuss that a lot but don't have any changes to announce. The latter particularly feels bad to me. (Source)
It gets into that whole space of having gear in your bag that you aren't wearing. (Source)
We've discussed smaller sets, larger sets, sets that can be made in different ways, and so on. Nothing final though. (Source)
And do remember, our goal is not to let players gear up as fast as possible. Many suggestions seems to have that goal. (Source)

since hit and expertise are going away, what's the point of removing reforging TOO?
It would still feel mandatory but for even less of a benefit than it provides today. (Source)

Strength is now just agility on plate, why not merge them?
There is benefit in knowing that if you're a DK, look for Strength as well as being able to have some items only for DK/war/pally. (Source)

or will every (for example) Paladin T17 helm have identical secondary stats?
Yes. The variation can come from Warforged, sockets and tetiary stats. (Source)
Will tier pieces inherit Warforged/socket/tertiaries from their token? Or added at turn-in?
Not sure yet. It's possible the tier pieces will have no random qualities. (Source)

Russian and European Players to Meet in Battle!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The winds of change are blowing across World of Warcraft’s European Arenas and Battlegrounds. As the next step in what we started with Patch 5.4 and its changes to region-wide matchmaking, Russian and European players will soon be able to face off against each other.

Every player queuing for a Battleground or Arena will still join a team with players from realms with the same language designation – German with German, English with English, and so on. However, this change means that now a Russian-speaking team might be pitted against a team from anywhere in Europe.

Russian players will still be able to join a cross-realm group with their RealID friends from European realms, and queue with them for Battleground and Arena matches.

And finally, so you’ll know who cut you down just as you were capping that flag – players using non-Russian clients are now able to see character names in Cyrillic.

Heroes Development Team Q&A
The Heroes team did a Q&A session on Twitter yesterday. You can find a recap of the important points below:

Blizzcon
  • The line at Blizzcon kept getting longer and longer as time went on, which surprised the team. They had no idea it would get so much attention.
  • Cursed Hollow and another map without tributes were the first maps added, but most people didn't enjoy the map without tributes.
  • Haunted Mines was a last minute addition right before Blizzcon, but the team really did a good job making it quickly.
  • The Blizzcon build is just a small fraction of what the team has been experimenting with.
  • The team showed the talent system at Blizzcon, which they hope will add a lot of depth to the game.
  • There will be more variants of the existing maps, as well as some new map types.
  • There will be at least a few more heroes like Abathur that are different and interesting to play.
  • Since Blizzcon, the team has been adding new skins, new maps, new heroes, new talents, a social system, custom lobbies, replay viewer, a system for rejoining games, a more competitive experience, and more.
  • Some people at Blizzcon said that just jumping in to the demo was overwhelming, so a new user experience is also being worked on as well.

Heroes and Other MOBAs
  • Heroes is different from a standard MOBA.
    • Heroes will use map design to change how you play the game. You will evaluate the map, allied heroes, enemy heroes, and then that will change what talents you want to take. This will add a lot of variation and depth.
    • All of the heroes from multiple Blizzard games coming together is also something different.
    • The games will also have shorter (~20 minute) games, which feels better than longer and slower paced games.
  • Some MOBAs are hostile to new users, but Heroes will take steps to address that.
    • Heroes will have shorter games, which will allow new players to lose faster and be less angry at the outcome.
    • There are team experience points, so your hero doesn't end up far behind everyone else.
    • There aren't any kill stealing, as killing enemies is good for everyone on the team.
    • Players can also take advantage of AI and training modes.
    • Toxic behavior in the community is a possibility, so that will be addressed if it is an issue.
    • The heroes are fun to play, even if you are losing!
  • Heroes has an interesting way to handle leveling:
    • Heroes doesn't have any gold, just shared experience for the team.
    • Leveling gives you access to more talents.
    • Anyone on your team that is near a kill will earn experience for the team. This allows for a lot of map objectives and cross map movement, as you can go and help someone in another lane without worrying about losing experience as long as someone is still in your lane near the fights.
    • Just having someone in every lane will earn the maximum experience possible. Abathur can still contribute experience to his team, even if he is off by himself in a lane.

Gameplay
  • The Dragon Knight on the Dragon Shire will be able to kick enemy heroes far away, move very quickly, and has some cool visuals, but it has a limited duration. There are other fun map mechanics like this.
  • There are a few options for dealing with disconnected players. If you disconnect from a game, you will gain nothing from it, including currency. If you disconnect too often, you will earn less from future games. If you actually disconnect from a game, you can rejoin if you can reconnect. AI will take over for players that go AFK. Hopefully there won't be any incentive to disconnect with a short game.
  • The Ultimate breakpoint at level 10 and Storm powers at level 20 is being discussed. People who like it say that it creates strategy, giving the team that is level 10 around 30 seconds to take advantage of this and attack or do something. The other team might back off to avoid the unbalanced fight. If the level gap is too big things may not be fun for the team that is behind, but you can outstrategize the other team even if you are behind. It hasn't been a big problem in fairly balanced games.
  • Some talents are more generic and shared between multiple heroes, but some will have talents that are unique to them. Abathur is one example of a hero that needs unique talents. More talents will be added over time. If there are too many talents in the future, the team can scale the number back down. Some of the unique talents will have unique art as well. Sergeant Hammer will pilot the siege tank, which has different art for the Hover Siege talent.

Esports
  • Heroes becoming a competitive esport will be up to the players. It will have all of the tools needed, and be a competitive game, but beyond that it is up to players. The time limit will also help to keep the game competitive.
  • Heroes will have an Observer mode, similar to Starcraft, as it is built on the same technology.
  • A map editor will be added, but it isn't clear when it will be ready. The team is passionate about giving the community tools to make maps or mods.
  • Heroes is about a great gameplay experience right now, but as they continue working on the game they will take a look at the experience of watching the game. Physics on environmental objects and deaths is one fun addition they have made.

Misc
  • The game is being internally tested now, so beta is coming "Soon™" (when it is ready).
  • Characters from Lost Vikings and other older games will be added. Almost everyone at Blizzcon was asking about Lost Vikings, so design work for characters from that game was started after Blizzcon.
  • Heroes will have emotes, including dancing.
  • Heroes will have a Mac client.
  • The universes crossing over will be fun, so you could have a Demon Hunter in a Hunter skin from WoW, or Nova with a Amazon skin, or Stitches with an Infernal skin.

by Published on 2013-12-17 10:18 AM

2.0.1 PTR Known Issues, Lack of a Rare/Legendary Drop From Bosses Is Not a Bug, Load Testing Update

Weekend Tournament Decklists, EU Technical Difficulties Resolved, Blue Tweets

Winter Veil 2013
The Feast of Winter Veil is here and brings new gifts this year! When you unwrap your present this year, you will find a Crashin' Thrashin' Flyer Controller inside. You will need it for The Danger Zone achievement.

Don't forget to grab the Battle Pets as well, including the new Rotten Little Helper. The Foot Ball and The Pigskin are on vendors this year.



Patch 5.4.2 Hotfixes: December 16
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
  • Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Resolved an issue where From Darkness Comes Light was not activating correctly from Smite.

Creatures
  • [Requires a realm restart.] Resolved an issue that caused Dragonmaw and Wildhammer NPCs in Twilight Highlands to be non-attackable.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • To help smooth difficulty scaling as players are added or removed from a Flexible raid, several raid boss abilities that target additional players as the size of a Flexible raid increases will use weighted randomization rather than strict breakpoints. For more information on the change, check out this thread on the Dungeons, Raids and Scenarios forum.
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Cross-Realm raid browser (located in the Social Pane under Other Raids on the Raid tab) now has a minimum item level requirement for players attempting to list for Siege of Orgrimmar on Flexible raid difficulty.
      • Vale of Eternal Sorrows requires a minimum item level of 510.
      • Gates of Retribution requires a minimum item level of 517.
      • The Underhold requires a minimum item level of 524.
      • Downfall requires a minimum item level of 531.
    • Paragons of the Klaxxi
      • These hotfixes are upcoming, but NYI as of today.
      • Melee damage from the Paragons should now be more consistent and less likely to spike.
      • Ka'roz the Locust's Hurl Amber should no longer target players that have mutated into an Amber Scorpion.
      • Resolved an issue where Xaril the Poisoned Mind was not using Toxic Injection on the raid as soon as he joins the fight.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Legendary Metagem effects (Capacitive Primal Diamond, Courageous Primal Diamond, Indomitable Primal Diamond, and Sinister Primal Diamond) should no longer have a chance to activate while in an Arena, Battleground, or Rated Battleground.

Timeless Isle
  • Resolved an issue where rocks from a cave-in blocking the entrance to the Mysterious Den did not have proper collision detection.

Flex Mechanic Scaling Hotfix
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Fun fact: The hotfix has actually been active since just before the weekend, but it didn't get caught in the prior round of hotfix notes. It's no surprise that it went largely unnoticed, since most all of the abilities with actual breakpoints going from 14->15 are things with very minor impact (Protectors' Shadow Word: Bane, Nazgrim's Bonecracker, Hisek's Multi-Shot, etc.). There are indeed a couple of more impactful breakpoints on Garrosh's Touch of Y'Shaarj and Sha of Pride's Imprison, but those both occur at raid sizes well above 14, and randomization isn't the correct solution to either.

The 14-player "magic number" is actually a fairly interesting social dynamic, since there never was anything particularly special about the number, and now there really is objectively no advantage. As we've said in the past, there's certainly nothing wrong with wanting to form a 14-player raid, but if you're turning away strong players or friends because you're convinced that your raid as a whole will have a harder time, you're making a mistake.

Changes to Flex Mechanic Scaling
The previously discussed changes to scaling are now live!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
At BlizzCon, we'd discussed some improvements to our Flexible scaling system that would minimize the existence and impact of any real or perceived "breakpoints." Our design goal has always been for the system to be neutral with respect to group size. Specifically, you should never feel encouraged to turn away interested players whose skill/gear level matches the rest of the group's, basic role composition constraints notwithstanding. But at the same time, you shouldn't feel like you need to go out and grab warm bodies if you have a perfectly serviceable raid already assembled. Clearly we have not yet fully realized those goals.

In general, the existing healing/damage scaling slightly favors larger groups, since boss health and damage scale up more slowly than does raid throughput. To use a specific example, an 18-player raid with 12 damage-dealers will kill a boss slightly faster than a 10-player raid with 6 damage-dealers (assuming equal skill/gear between the two groups). But it is true that currently some specific abilities exhibit breakpoints, where adding an extra player causes an extra add to spawn, or an ability to strike an additional target.

To help smooth out difficulty scaling as you add or remove players from your Flexible raid, we will be implementing one of our planned Warlords changes to the scaling system ahead of schedule. In the near future, several boss abilities that target more players as the size of a Flex raid increases will use weighted randomization rather than strict breakpoints.

An example to illustrate what I mean:

Today, Sun Tenderheart's Shadow Word: Bane ability afflicts 2 targets if your raid size is between 10 and 14, but begins to hit a third target at 15.

Once our upcoming change is in place, if you have a 13-player raid, there will be a 60% chance for each cast of the ability to hit 3 targets, and a 40% chance for it to hit 2. If you add an extra player, and thus have 14, there will now be an 80% chance for 3 debuffs to go out, and a 20% chance for only 2.

In short, with respect to this particular ability, adding an extra player will always give you an average of 0.2 extra Bane debuffs. No more breakpoints!

There will be a handful of exceptions where breakpoints remain necessary. Imprison on Sha of Pride is probably the most notable such example, where you really want to pre-plan who will cover which prisons, and having a random number of targets each cast would cause frustrating unpredictability.

There's nothing wrong with 14-player groups -- 14 players is a great size for a raid. But so is 15. And 19. And 12. And 22. We just want to help make sure that good players aren't being turned away from groups because of the notion that their presence will make things harder for everyone.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mounts Blocking Holiday Questgivers
Grr! Yeah, some people can be jerks. Some people are just oblivious though, too. If you think someone is specifically and intentionally blocking an NPC in a malicious way, that is behavior specifically mentioned in our harassment policy, and something you can report that player for and we'll take a look.

An easy workaround though is enabling nameplates for friendly characters (default Shift+V) and then right click on the nameplate of the NPC you're wanting to interact with.

For me, it's the fact there's a group of around 40 horde, give or take, literally camping the greench and AoE spamming the treats and metzen preventing any alliance from completing their daily. I don't mind some PvP action on a PvP server, but this is ridiculous.
Holiday events tend to be quite active the first couple days, but this one lasts for 2 1/2 weeks, and you can certainly complete most of these things throughout the event and have plenty of time to grab all the achievements/complete all the quests without needing to do everything the first day. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Live Q+A with the Heroes Development Team
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
We revealed all kinds of great details about Heroes of the Storm at BlizzCon last month and thousands of you who managed to attend sank your teeth into the Nexus for the first time. Whether you got the chance to swing by BlizzCon in-person, or followed along with panel discussion on the live stream, we’re sure you’ve still got a ton of questions about the game -- and we’ve got answers.

Join us at Twitch.tv/BlizzHeroes for our first live Heroes of the Storm Q&A panel on Tuesday, December 17 to get your questions answered. The panel will kick off at 11:00 a.m. PST and features the following members of the Heroes development team:

  • Dustin Browder, Game Director
  • Phill Gonzalez, Senior 3D Artist
  • Kevin Johnson, Senior Manager, Community Development

We’d love to hear all of your most burning questions about Heroes, so be sure to tweet them to @BlizzHeroes now using #HeroesQA and we’ll get to as many as possible during the hour-long live stream.

Thanks, and we’ll see you on Twitch!
by Published on 2013-12-15 10:23 PM

What's New in the Closed Beta

Armory Stats - Player Achievement Points Distribution
Today we are taking a look at the achievement points distribution of Level 90 players. There are 7.6 million characters and 2.9 million accounts that make up this sample. Main character is defined as the character with the most achievement points on an account.

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!
Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Warlords of Draenor Item Stats
Depends on if you are a class that benefits from all stats, some don't... and wish to reforge the bad stat.
Truly bad stats (and they do exist) are on us to fix. When one stat is 5% better and still considered mandatory = tough to fix. (Source)
Miss a break point by few hundred haste? Stuck with wasted stats until perfectly itemized piece drops. Back to BIS lists.
"Miss a break point by a few hundred haste" and "wasted stats" implies a level of min-maxing not necessary for almost all players. (Source)
Barely missing a break point? That's a rounding error for most of us overcome by better use of abilities and movement in a fight. (Source)
haste breakpoints for DoTs and HoTs are important. missing by 1 point means 1 less tick, and they are noticable.
There won't be break points on hots and dots any longer. (Source)
does this mean haste will increase the duration? instead of reducing time between ticks
Haste will increase the number of ticks, possibly resulting in a final fractional tick. (Source)

Please keep Reforging in. Now that hit and exp are gone, I don't see the reason for it to be removed.
It would mean you still have to reforge everything to your best secondary stat according to someone's website. (Source)
Reforging being gone won't stop min-max-ers to min-max their characters, at all. It will stop players defining their style.
I find that a bit contradictory. Whose style is it to do less damage by reforging into the wrong stat? (Source)
It is probably possible to get secondary stats closer, but not possible to get them all within 1% of each other in all fights (Source)
Maybe they meant: "want secondary stats to affect play style, not dps". Would be cool (hard as hell) to do that
Yeah it's hard because there will always be a mathematically-solvable right answer for DPS. Not so for tanks and healers. (Source)
We try to get around that by varying the situations a lot. Some fights need burst. Others need AE. Others need movement. (Source)
My dream: lots of abilities for dps, you pick and choose what your rotation uses due to what stat you favor. works in theory?
In theory. Might mean balancing a whole lot of different potential rotations. (Source)

It would mean you COULD reforge everything. You're taking AWAY choice. Now, a crappy piece of gear is a dud.
It's not really a "choice" though when the choice is play more effectively (reforge) or less effectively (be lazy). (Source)
a statment like that caterning for the people that dont give a shit about playing the game is a ..
I think you misinterpreted the statement. I was arguing reforging isn't really a choice because most players don't want to be bad. (Source)
(They may be bad anyway, but they likely aren't trying to be bad.) (Source)

Bringing back AP/SP is a bad idea. since stacking Agi/Str/Int we get even more from the 5% buff. Plz, dont hate us.
That is solveable. The idea is to make sure jewelry etc. can be shared more easily, particularly between Str and Agi users. (Source)
Another idea is rings swap Str and Agi (but not Int) the way armor does or something similar. (Source)
if I'm getting this right. There will be no primary stat on non-armor pieces?
Possibly on weapons, just because weapons are fairly iconic and don't have as much class overlaps as say rings can. (Source)
Obviously, this is all stuff that's in flux as "we" work through it all. (Source)

The post doesn't make this clear, but are they getting rid of Tier tokens?
We haven't decided. There is still some benefit in dropping paly-priest-warlock instead of just warlock. (Source)

Tertiary Stats
New loot system will make loot distribution a PITA. I'm not looking forward to dealing with more loot related drama.
Overall we find sharing fewer items to be better for morale even if the pieces that do drop are highly coveted. (Source)
I meant "Overall we find SHARDING fewer...." That changes the whole context. (Source)

Think tertiary stats dramas organized raids? Chest drops, give to tank. +lifesteal chest drops, give to tank again. 1st wasted
That will happen on rare occasions. But what if a chest drops with Lifesteal but a secondary the tank doesn't like, say crit? (Source)
My point is that overall the landscape will have more answers than just "Is it BiS? If not, pass." (Source)

Ridiculously powerful items being very rare and random like D3, w/o the ability to grind for these as much as you want. Why?
We want the long tail to be exciting. Otherwise you earn BiS quickly and shard everything else for weeks. (Source)

Why does WoD loot seem like Diablo loot system with a 1 week lockout and huge party requirement?
It's not nearly as random as Diablo. We just want to keep that 14th Immerseus kill somewhat exciting. (Source)
Lots of people will not see that as something cool or amazing dropping. To them it will feel like the other drops are shit.
Then they're going to go weeks and weeks without a new item if they pass everything that isn't BiS. MC loot style wasn't that bad. (Source)

If Tertiary stats aren't 'common enough to build a set around', then where's the gameplay? Who cares about +0.74% run speed.
Since we don't have to balance around the case of a run speed set, we should be able to make the effects much larger than 0.74%. (Source)
Run speed might be a bit too BiS for casters as a tert. stat dont you think?
Run speed will still be pretty rare and on some fights it's totally useless. Seems like a fine position for it overall. (Source)

Computers - Setup of the Month (by chaud)
Each month or every 2 months, depending on the hardware evolutions, the lovely chaud will work on a couple of hardware setups for those of you who are thinking of upgrading their computer!

This month
New GPUs from AMD are here, at least on paper. Finding any AMD GPUs is hard now, as is finding some of the Nvidia GPUs. Prices for many GPUs went up due to demand and the older GPUs being discontinued.

The current SSD prices are stable, with most SSDs under $1 per gigabyte when on sale.

The Haswell CPUs run a little bit on the warmer side. Depending on how much you want to overclock, you may need to spend a bit more for a better CPU cooler like the NH-D14 or H90.

Unless you are doing a lot of video rendering or something that is similarly multithreaded, you do not need the 4770K and should spend that money elsewhere.

Make sure to keep your AMD and Nvidia drivers up to date.

Don't hesitate to post any feedback in the comments of that news post, and don't forget to visit the Computer Forum for any extra questions! If you are interested in Folding@home, take a look in our team's thread.


Peripherals/Monitors
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorASUS VS228H-P 22-Inch Monitor - $126ASUS VS248H-P 24-Inch Monitor - $180
KeyboardKensington Pro Fit Media Keyboard - $18Cyborg V.5 - $45
MouseLogitech G400s - $40Razer DeathAdder 2013 - $53
SpeakersCreative A220 2.1 Speaker System - $28Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $35
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorAsus VE258Q 25-Inch Monitor - $233HP ZR2440W 24-inch - $356
KeyboardLogitech G510s - $97CM Storm QuickFire XT - $101
MouseLogitech G500 - $76Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $50
SpeakersLogitech Z323 2.1 Speaker System - $52Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $93


Puppy and Dolphin
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Puppy and Dolphin.
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT Source 210 - $35NZXT Source 210 - $35
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 - $50XFX Core Edition PRO 550W - $70
CPUAMD FX-6300 - $110AMD FX-8320 - $140
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $26Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $33
MotherboardASUS M5A97 R2.0 - $95ASUS M5A99FX PRO - $115
MemoryKingston HyperX Blu 4GB 1333 - $438GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $85
Graphics CardASUS 7770 - $93Sapphire 7870 OC or ASUS GTX 660 - $185 / $170
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $57Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $89
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$531$759 - $774


Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn.
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master HAF 912 - $60Corsair Air 540 (Special Layout) - $150
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $105Corsair 750HX - $130
CPUIntel i5-4670K - $222Intel i7-4770K - $320
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $62Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $80
MotherboardASUS Z87-A - $140ASUS Z87-PLUS - $163
Memory8GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $8516GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $166
Graphics CardASUS GTX 760 - $250ASUS R9 280X OR EVGA GTX 770 - $380 / $380
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $89Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $89
SSDSAMSUNG 840 128GB (Review) - $120
OR
Plextor 128 GB M5 Pro (Review) - $119
Corsair Neutron GTX 120GB (Review) - $130
OR
SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB (Review) - $130
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$1154 - $1165$1619 - $1630


Icy Veins Christmas Contest
Our friends over at Icy Veins have acquired some very nice prize packages for their contest this year, with Collector's Editions of WoW, J!NX Apparel, AskMrRobot and Curse Premium accounts, mounts, pets, and more. All you have to do to enter is reply to their post with a WoW-themed Christmas Card.

by Published on 2013-12-14 10:14 AM

Closed Beta and PTR Hotfixes, Load Testing Underway, New and Changed Set Item Bonuses

State of the Meta, Weekend Tournaments, Hearthstone Legends Week 7

New Game Job Listing - Lead Producer
An interesting job listing was added earlier this week for a Lead Producer to work on a new game. This game is apparently also using a small team, just like Hearthstone did, as the listing mentions following in the footsteps of the small and nimble game team.

According to his most recent tweet, it looks like Michael Booth is also on this team. He was lead on Left 4 Dead and worked on Counter-Strike, but started at Blizzard in May and is currently Game Director.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Free Character Migrations
Firstly, I appreciate your efforts to remain constructive while clearly feeling frustrated by the topic.

This time around, we opened up FCMs to the minority factions as well, so they can move away from realms with queues if they want to, as you suggested. The main reason for FCMs right now is to relieve queues, so it makes sense to allow as many people to move as possible.

Previously, we tried to help with faction balance on realms with queues by only offering FCMs to players on the dominant faction. To help with faction balance on the destination realms too, these FCMs would generally place people on a realm where they would now be in the minority faction. This wasn't working. So, to make FCMs appeal to more people, in some cases we're now opening FCMs between realms with similar faction balance, e.g. from a horde-dominant realm to another horde-dominant realm.

We're keeping tabs on the situation, people still may not take the offer, but we'll see how it goes. As I said, our current main goal is to reduce queues so people can actually play.

There's a lot going on at the moment, what with Connected Realms happening. Populations and faction balances are fluctuating across the board. Right now, our focus is making sure as many people as possible can get online to play without having to queue. However, when things have settled, we hope to be in a position to help with other factors. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Revive Pet Hotfix
I'm seeing the Revive Pet hotfix active on my Hunter. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP
Really? Getting rid of factions is the only solution to imbalanced pvp realms I can think of.
Arenas and BGs already ignore realms and the world PvP zone in Warlords will use a partial connected realm solution. (Source)

S12 community outcry "FFS LOWER PVP BURST!" A: "Okay we'll buff PvPower on all weapons", and you still wonder why we hate you?
I don't wonder. I just don't take people who hate other people because of a *video game* very seriously. (Source)
Ok "hate" might be a strong word here, however those kind of nonsense decisions are the reason why people are happy you quit.
If we hadn't buffed PvP power on weapons, people would have used PvE weapons. The DPS would have been there anyway. (Source)
That's why the PvP community suggested to buff resilience accordingly, you didn't listen and subs were cancelled, go figure...
Players can make stronger arguments by just arguing fun, which will resonate more with the devs you're presumably trying to reach (Source)
You can't admit those mistakes and that's another big reason why PvPers dislike you. Whatever, you finally left, take care man
We admit PvP mistakes all the time, which is why we constantly change the way gear and resilience work and are again for 6.0. (Source)
We're in pretty close contact with many great PvP players. They may not agree with every call we make but they know we hear them, (Source)
But your original argument IIRC was that we didn't listen to PvP players, which just isn't true. (Source)
Nothing has bene done about RMD and WMD. People want quick changes if something is broken. PvE gets hotfixes.
So does PvP, though to be fair, it is easier to test and predict the result of PvE changes. PvP ultimately needs to be played. (Source)

Spirit on Items
if spirit is limited to non-armour pieces, won't it cripple healers early on before they get those (somewhat rare) items?
Base regen will be higher. (Source)

Spirit is a buffer. More of it helps those who have no understanding of mana efficiency.
That is the intent for sure. Some healers grab Spirit the way a rogue would grab Agility, which detracts from it being a choice. (Source)
so as a DK I can us all my Items for Tank and DPS, since Tank also uses Haste/Crit. But Elesham still need Healgear?
Tanks also need bonus armor and trinkets that proc on damage taken. The difference should be about the same as swapping to heal. (Source)

You probably already considered this, but having Spirit "replace" Intellect as a primary stat might work?
We like Spirit being a choice though. Agility can never really be a choice. More Agi is always better. (Source)

But why do this back and forth stuff? Spirit is important. Now it's not as important. Ok, now it's important again.
We have often had a problem where regen is too tough in blues and too easy in endgame epics. MoP was a big improvement though. (Source)
The problem with spirit is that it's a quality of life stat at the expense of a through-put stat.
We disagree. It's not quality of life -- it's how many expensive spells you can afford to cast. (Source)

Why exactly do healers get their own stat, but you refuse to make dps-only items? (short of certain proc trinks)
Largely because there are a lot more DPS players, both in a group and across the population as a whole. (Source)

Spirit is always important to healers. We're not changing that philosophy. Important and maxxed out aren't the same thing though. (Source)

Having hit on a healer set is a wasted stat. I'd even buy having your worst secondary stat on every piece might be a waste. (Source)

Dark Legacy Comics - #419
DLC #419 has been released!

by Published on 2013-12-13 11:40 AM

Reaper of Souls Closed Beta Now Available, Diablo III PTR Patch 2.0.1 - v.2.0.0.20847

Hearthstone Puzzles #4, Three Competing Resources, Known Issues Update, Opt-In Update

Patch 5.4.2 Notes Update
A few last minute changes that didn't make it into the PTR notes were added to the final Patch 5.4.2 notes earlier this week.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Shop Now Available
  • You can now browse and purchase a bevy of mounts and pets directly from within World of Warcraft through our newly added Shop interface.
  • We’ve made it possible for you to receive your new pal right in your inventory (or via mail if your inventory is full). Just click the Shop icon on the menu bar once you’ve logged in to a character, and you’ll be able to pick out a new friend to add to your collection and start your adventures together right away.

Classes

Quests
  • Noodle Time: Resolved a situation that may cause players to be immediately removed from the scenario.
  • The Secret Ingredient Is...: Resolved a situation that may cause players to be immediately removed from the scenario.

Achievements

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Low Population Realms and Character Transfers
I think Blizzard arn't focused enough on this issue, surely giving characters on full realms a free transfer to a medium or low realm would be better instead of trying to shove players onto dead realms
All FCMs currently on offer are to medium/high population realms, as it was clear no one wanted to move to realms with low populations, we've been saying this for some time. Low and many medium population realms are in the process of being connected with other realms. We're proceeding as quickly as we can while making sure things continue to run smoothly and no new queues are created in the process.

It's a shame the connected realms aren't having more of an impact
Not many are connected yet, things will be different. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Dismiss Pet Change
Quick comment to clarify since I've seen this suggestion come up a lot:

could have just made RoS share a cooldown no matter which pet one has out.
We'd considered doing something like that, but there's actually major technical hurdles with the way Dismiss Pet works that make it a much bigger task than it sounds. We'd have to make some pretty scary changes to the way pets work (in the underlying code, at least) to be able to implement a shared cooldown on pet abilities. We may end up revisiting the idea sometime in the future, but we simply did not have time for it in the 5.4.2 development cycle. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Boss Must Die Weekly Quests
How about bringing this back for max level? Old raids are pretty dead now outside of alts LFR. Bringing this back will encourage people to use the old raids some more rather than gathering dust, especially HoF, even LFR is fairly desolate in there.

Instead of giving valor (emblems of frost + triumph), which aren't really important right now due to the rep required to buy 522 gear on alts, why not give a warforged seal? (or whatever is its equivalence later on).

The Gods of Warcraft are a bit busy right now working on WoD… You know, that whole thing about creating a world in 6 days? Well… maybe for a very, very tiny world, not Draenor for sure!

So, this is a pretty good idea but it's not going to happen for Mists of Pandaria. It might be something we could do later on in Warlords of Draenor though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Warlords of Draenor
i keep going through the dark portal to get to WoD but its not working. Any ideas?
Keep trying every single day IMO, and some day (hopefully not far in the future), it will suddenly work. (Source)

By subtly, I mean the format - getting back to the adventure of it all. The fun of an unravelling story line.
The hope is that Warlords feels old-school without all the really old stuff that feels archaic now. (Source)

Why aren't there any new races/classes in WoD? New races/classes are like the bread and butter for a new expansion
Adding a new class is very disruptive for all players and on top of that, Monks are the least played. Boost to 90 may help that. (Source)
For races, there wasn't a slam dunk new race and we wanted players to be able to play their redone current races. (Source)
ghost, i really hope you can reply with your opinion, i think that a new class is un-do-able. It's all been done
I think there are plenty of ideas for classes. But WoW doesn't need 30 classes so they need to be added sparingly. (Source)
don't you feel like it would get ab bit repetitive? Unless new elements are introduced
But I feel like the monk did s good job of bringing fresh approaches to those mechanics. (Source)
An aside, but Monks BM/WW (idk MW) feel exquisitely designed as far as how they feel to play right now imo. Good job!
They didn't come up with years of baggage like existing classes. (Source)

In short, what was the reason for going back to the 10 lvl system vs 5 lvls we have had for cata and MOP? more content?
It feels more epic. It lets the rewards come more frequently. It unasks the whole "what happens next expansion at 100?" (Source)
Previously, we felt constrained because of the desire to add new buttons every level or so. But everyone has enough buttons. (Source)

Garrisons
did you guys consider making the garrison an entire zone and guild specific instead of just individual?
Our fear was only the guild leader would get to have fun. Everyone else would just show up. (Source)

Professions
any chance professions could go back to what they were? ie bs = sword / axe / hammer / armor spec with unique, BoP crafts?
The problem we had back then was every plate melee felt the need to go BS to make Stunherald. Should BS be mandatory? (Source)

Raid Finder
Raid finder is just in a sad place nowadays. No one I know likes it, although some people on the forums say they do.
Originally we thought some players could just have an LFR endgame instead of a raiding endgame. (Source)
Our current thought is that LFR is a way to see the content and maybe some gear but not a great way to spend weeks or months. (Source)

Free Character Migrations (FCM) 12/12
The list posted yesterday has been updated with new destination realms.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The following Free Character Migrations are scheduled to be available until December 17, 2013:

Horde
Kazzak (PvP) -> Tarren Mill (PvP)
Kazzak (PvP) -> The Maelstrom (PvP)
Ragnaros (PvP) -> Tarren Mill (PvP)
Ragnaros (PvP) -> The Maelstrom (PvP)

Alliance
Sylvanas (PvP) -> Tarren Mill (PvP)
Sylvanas (PvP) -> The Maelstrom (PvP)

Both
Draenor (PvE) -> Magtheridon (PvE)
Outland (PvP) -> Burning Legion (PvP)
Silvermoon (PvE) -> Magtheridon (PvE)
Stormscale (PvP) -> Ravencrest (PvP)
Twisting Nether (PvP) -> Frostmane (PvP)

Please note: FCMs are opened based on realm population tracking and analysis, not by request. If you’re looking for a specific migration (from realm A to realm B), you should in most cases use the Character Transfer service.

Character Transfers (CT)
All realms follow the regular CT rules, found here:
http://eu.blizzard.com/support/artic...rticleId=20416

Guild Transfer: Although Free Guild Master Realm Transfers are not possible at this time, the Free Character Migration will allow you to retain your guild membership and reputation, provided that the guild master completes a Guild Master Realm Transfer first and the faction remains the same as that of the source realm.

Please note that the FCM service can be closed at any point in time.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Closed Beta Begins
The Reaper of Souls Closed Beta has started, so be sure you are signed up and keep an eye on Diablofans for updates!



TCG Art Update
Blizzard has updated the TCG art gallery to feature ten new pieces.


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