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by Published on 2014-01-14 04:55 AM

RoS Among 2014's Most Anticipated Games, Blue Posts, MannerCookie's RoS Itemization Introduction

Changes in the Next Patch, Blue Tweets, MG Decklist Round-Up, Legends of Hearthstone

Warlords of Draenor PvP Stats
Blizzard recently shared some more information on the plans for PvP stats in Warlords of Draenor.


Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
We are looking at reducing or completely removing baseline Resilience, but it's a big change and requires other larger changes to go with it. Changes that big we tend to wait until an expansion (Warlords) to make - as well as a lot of testing and feedback from y'all during beta. We do have some changes with Season 15, but they won't be a huge departure from where we're already at, mainly tweaks to existing numbers.

Bashiok, I made a suggestion in a thread i created a few days ago, as well as again earlier today in a new thread someone made.
I think in-general we like to avoid piling on more systems when we can achieve the same or (ideally) better results just through intelligent use of the ones we already have - to be entirely vague about it. In any case, I think it'll be something we can really only come to a conclusion on through a ton of testing during the Warlords beta. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Can we get a pvp dummy?
Great suggestion. I'll be sure to bring it up with the team.

That said, we're doing a lot of retuning of how health works in comparison to incoming damage in Warlords, with the hope that we won't need (or can significantly lessen the effects of) things like Battle Fatigue or Base Resilience. If all goes well, there shouldn't be as nearly as substantial of a difference between PvE and PvP damage output.

Still, it's a great suggestion, and there will likely still be at least a small difference (due to PvP Power if nothing else), so I'll make sure to pass it on.

Sounds like a good goal but probably to hard of goal to hit.
It's definitely tough, but we think we can at least get things a lot closer than they currently are.

I think he means more along the lines of "Why can I Chaos Bolt for 1.5 million in PvE while PvP I can rarely go above 180k?" kinds of situations, which I think is a legit concern.
Precisely.

If you guys are doing as much number tinkering as you claim I don't know why you wouldn't take this opportunity to rethink pvp power altogether. I'm all for differentiating gear but I find it pretty silly that a stat called "pvp power" exists at all.
We are planning to revisit PvP Power in Warlords. Our current thinking is that, instead of a flat percentage increase to your normal damage/healing in PvP (as it is currently), it'll be a bonus amount of your spec's primary stat (Strength, Agility, or Intellect).

Here's an example with some completely made-up numbers: lets say a piece of gear has 80 Strength and 30 PvP Power on it. In a PvP environment, that would total out to be 110 Strength. Meanwhile, an equivalent piece of PvE gear might only have 100 Strength on it. Again, those numbers are purely hypothetical, but hopefully it illustrates the idea.

That change accomplishes a couple of things for us. First, it lets us keep PvP and PvE item levels closer together, while still ensuring that PvP gear remains best for PvP and vice versa. It also "demystifies" PvP Power quite a bit; a percentage-based increase can be hard to really quantify without a lot of math, but raw stats are much easier to understand.

As to the name, we can talk about it, but part of why we chose the term "PvP Power" to begin with was that it makes it extremely obvious that the stat only functions inside PvP environments. We want to be sure that players who purchase PvP gear know that it's going to be less effective in PvE situations. I'll bring it up, though.

I really like the idea behind that and it's similar to what I suggested previously. Why not something like this (ROUGH numbers) :

PvP Item A has 70 agi/str/int + 30 PvP Power
PvE Item A has 100 agi/str/int
PvP power does not function in PvE "instances", but functions everywhere else.
1 PvP Power = 1 agi/str/int in the open world
1 PvP Power = 2 agi/str/int inside PvP instances

That way both gear types are basically equal in the open world and equally handicapped in the respective instances. I see no reason that PvP gear should be weaker in the open world against mobs. Gear differences are mainly been for instances anyway.

We've discussed a similar idea (and may yet decide to go with something like it), but our concern with it is that it's still somewhat complicated for players to figure out. As I mentioned earlier, one of the issues we'd like to solve is how difficult it can be to figure out exactly what impact PvP Power is going to have on your effectiveness. "1 PvP Power = 1 Strength vs Players" is easy to get across and understand. "1 PvP Power = 2 Strength in Arenas and Battlegrounds, worthless in dungeons and raids, and 1 Strength in the open world," not so much.

One other thing I should mention based on some other comments in here is that, just like today, PvP Power will be active vs players in any context, not just inside PvP instances. So if you're comparing a PvE and PvP piece of the same item level -- for example, a piece of Conquest gear and a piece of Heroic raid gear -- it should work out something like this:

  • The PvE item is stronger in PvE instances
  • The PvP item is stronger in PvP instances
  • The PvE item is slightly stronger vs creatures in the open world
  • The PvP item is slightly stronger vs players in the open world

Once again, I need to be clear that this is all early development thinking and anything might change, but our hope is that whatever we end up doing makes things work something like that. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Battleground Queue Times
Battlegrounds have used region-wide matchmaking since Cataclysm. Battlegroups are only used by matchmaking systems as a preferred set of realms to match you with, but queue times will dictate how fast and far it'll attempt to match you with others outside your Battlegroup. So really there are no longer any Battlegroup restrictions or limitations in the game.

Since your post was made in the morning/early afternoon I'd hazard a guess that your play time could be a factor, as most people play the game in the evening, and queue times are of course mainly going to be about how many other people are in the queue with you.

I'd recommend spending your wait-time doing something to pass the time that also works toward a goal, maybe an achievement, or even something more PvP focused like the 5.1 rare spawns that drop Honor tokens - probably a bit more fun that staring at the queue time anyway.(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Future
Are you going to continue updating Brawler's Guild in WoD? It's a cool feature...
Side/flavor content like that usually happens & evolves whenever the designer can squeeze time into the schedule. So, maybe? (Source)

what is happening with quivers in WoD?
Dunno. They never quite 100% worked. Needed new/better tech. They looked awesome, though! (Source)

you guys maybe work Kara into a 5man or scenariopost WoD launch ?? Pretty please :-)
I'd be surprised if something didn't happen w/ it eventually. It's too cool a place for just solo mount & pet runs. (Source)

Transmogrification
I think people should be able to transmog their items to look like their banked Legendaries. But only that.
Yes, internally, there's a range of opinions on what's valid for it. Can't say if it's changing anytime soon. (Source)

Any chance for Silvermoon city guard armor to be added as transmog gear? Was suggested a while back that it'd be implimented.
There's no armor. That guard asset is one solid piece, shield and weapon included. Also... *whispers* ...it's actually a night elf! (Source)
Aw... that's a real shame. That weapon and shield are beautiful. Any chance for them to be added? Maybe along with glaives?
Shield too big & glaives discouraged internally, but maybe! Ideal time would've been back when BE warriors were introduced. T_T (Source)
Can we ask why glaives are discouraged?
Some decisions, old & new, are flavor, or lore, or art; just "gut"/feels stuff. Sometimes they change, sometimes not. (Source)

Speaking of funky gas masks... any chance of making that thing transmoggable? With or without the backpack.
A chance, perhaps, but it's not quite in line w/ current item/reward philosophy. (Source)

Oh! Oh! Any chance for more flowers like Forever-Lovely Rose? One of my favorite flavor items!
Would be cool! That one was a character artist's GF's idea. I was like, U MAKE DAT ART, I'LL MAKE DAT ITEM <3 (Source)

UI / Addons
Will we ever get better combat log support for encounters that have an "upstairs" and "downstairs" (ex: Gara'jal)
While we can't guarantee 100% coverage, this is a problem that we recognize and are going to make an effort on going forward. (Source)

Pet Battles
could the Everlook goblins develop the robo cub/chick technology more, and train engineer hunters to craft their own mech pets?
Engineers & mechanical pets, jewelcrafters & gem/figurine pets, etc. etc. It's all come up many times over the years, yes. (Source)
i was meaning for hunter pets not companion/battle pets
So was I. *queue dramatic music* Jade tigers, mechanical tallstriders, robo-apes, that sort of thing. (Source)

like Eye of the legion is undead and not magical?
Battle pets are a totally different animal, pun intended; more a balance/ability call. 100% flavor thing w/ Hunter pets. (Source)
There is no Demon BP family, so demonic BPs are tossed into either Undead or Magic as current design need/flavor dictates. (Source)

World
Do you think we could get bunny rabbit mounts from Noblegarden
Even I am not that silly. Well... wait. Yeah, you're right. Maybe. But probably not! (Source)

Misc
where did Prince Malchezar come from? Why does he mention time and space? sure doodads...
Medivh's meddling/experiments weakened barrier between realities, thus warp creatures etc. (Source)
This doesn't jive with the Eredar Prince's claims of being able to control time and spice.
It does; he sensed a weak point and drilled thru the infinite Twisting Nether to open it! (Source)
Prince Malchezaar basically drew the tower top "up" into infinite chaos. And floaty rocks. (Source)
and Midevh was cool with this? Was he looking for a roommate?
Totally; he posted a craigslist ad and everything: pets/smoking/drama ok, must like opera (Source)
sounds like a chill guy. He looking for more?
Only if you don't mind being a crazy ghost! (But seriously, Medivh was long gone by then.) (Source)

Upcoming Hearthstone Beta Patch
Blizzard posted the changes coming to Hearthstone in a patch later this week today. If you are interested in the reasoning for these changes, see the full post on Hearthpwn.


by Published on 2014-01-13 02:05 AM

A Brief Look At Transmogrification, Suggestions for Fixing Current RoS Beta Issues, Eat Game Live: Reaper of Soles

Hearthstone: Top 5 Plays of the Week, Weekly News Recap

Armory Stats - Siege of Orgrimmar Progression
Today we are taking a look at the Siege of Orgrimmar progression of players in each difficulty. Now that achievements are account wide, we can group characters by account and get an idea of what percentage of players (not characters) have defeated a boss on any difficulty at least once, based on progression data.

The data used today is a sample made up of 6.9 million characters from 2.5 million accounts, with at least one character active after November 1. The sample is slightly biased, as players who are not in a guild are much less likely to appear in our sample.

The second chart uses the number of players that killed Immerseus in each difficulty as the base of participating players for that difficulty. Each difficulty can be toggled on and off by clicking the name in the legend.

We looked at absolute percentage numbers for Heroic difficulty a few days ago and included those numbers in the charts here, but keep in mind we used a different date for the cutoff then, which can change the percentages slightly. You can leave suggestions for future stat posts in the comments!

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!
Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Art
Since Ogres are getting a new model in Warlords, is that a model just for Warlords or for all Ogres?
Draenor Ogres less devolved than Azeroth won't be the same model for each, would like to update both eventually (Source)

Need a rework of all npc's in WoWand a rework of the classic mounts
npc's will update with new player models. Have heard a lot about mount updates, something I would like to do eventually. (Source)

For later on additions to the game. Can druid forms wear certain parts of armor? Give the forms more uniqueness/flavor etc.
we've played around with this, but it's nigh impossible to make shoulder/helm/belt attach. look good on that model (Source)

Can we expect more class-unique animations? Dual throw for fury storm bolt, shuriken and glaive toss? Hunter looks dull btw
I know our animators are fired up excited about doing this, it's on the wish list. (Source)

Is MoP just going to be forgotten or are you going to work to keep the artwork alive in future content?
most likely we'll find ways to bring Pandaren culture/art into Azeroth now that the veil has been lifted. (Source)

Could we see the return of simple cloaks in WoD? The latest expansions brought a lot of incredibly overcomplicated designs.
we did get a little crazy on a few, I'll keep it in mind. Had a few thoughts on capes on last WoW Source if interested. (Source)

So is it you we ask for glyphs? Can Monks get one that turns Rising Sun Kick into Flaming Dragon Punch?
Glyphs mostly class/system (& to lesser extent profs) but anyone on team can suggest & help out. But new anims = unlikely glyph! (Source)

will we see heavenly blue cloud serpents? i can understand no green thoughhttps://t.co/qQbQup8Tfr look at it! look at it!
Probably eventually? Hopefully not w/ green drake level delay! (Source)

Character / Items
Can you make it a policy (if you already haven't) to de-associate fun cosmetics and trinkets?
I don't make policy, though I can suggest them. I'm not certain that'd be a good policy, though. I can see arguments for either way. (Source)
I'd be curious to hear arguments in favor of trinkets with toys. I honestly can't think of any.
Some are less freedom for item peeps to make fun player power rewards & intentional mudflation. Note that I am not making any args. (Source)
I dunno, above all, I'd expect that you design a toy with the intent of having it played with. Trinkets contradict that.
A toy is a toy. A trinket is a trinket; whether or not one thinks it's fun enough to qualify as a toy. Diff. items, diff. purposes. (Source)
What about things like Super Simian Sphere and Piccolo of the Flaming Fire, which are trinkets w/ no trinkety purpose?
PFF is an OLD item from a different time & SSS is copied from one (Orb of D). Always going to be a few odd exceptions! (Source)
Can we make Time-Lost Figurine a toy? I'd love to keep the form in end game content.
I don't know if items peeps have plans to modify old drops. I do suspect they're trinkets out of tradition. (Source)

Entirely separate question is all the trinkets/toys/tabards that provide teleports/hearths. Toybox y/n?
Toy box turns items into spells (e.g. current pets & mounts). Unlikely for equipped items, but maybe. (Source)

Warlords of Draenor Stats
So say if i have a Cleave gem inside im DPS and when i switch to my Healing kit will the Cleave gem still be there?
Cleave is a tertiary; not gemmable. But if you meant Crit, yes. (Source)

Will pet classes/specs benefit from Multstrike as much as petless? Currently f.ex multstrike isn't good for BM but is for SV.
Yes. Pets benefit from all of the new stats. (Source)

PvP
Any chance WoD can reduce the ridiculous item level jumps from season to season? 496 to 522 is just too big a difference.
Unfortunately, I think that gap is going to continue to exist. Something has to give when trying to keep up with PvE ilevels. (Source)
does that mean the gap between pvp and pve ilvl will be as big as it is right now in current wow?
No the plan is to improve that gap. (Source)

On a scale of 1 to 9000, how cool is Ashran ?
It's really coming along. Big challenge is it's tough to iterate on something that requires 200+ players to play like live. (Source)

Any worry that glad-range players will "tank" their alts below whatever cutoff you come up with in order to up their main's rank?
Spit in the ocean to be honest. They could have done the same with teams. (Source)

people give you shit but with the name change i expect a good christmas present. are you fixing 2v2, the most played bracket??
Feel it would benefit more from an earlier start to dampening than 3s, especially when both teams have a healer. (Source)
That seems like a really good point, a good place to go from. would seperating double dps and healer dps be an option balance wise?
No we don't think it's necessary or good to segregate healer teams in that way. (Source)

Is there going to be arena system that there is now + the special Trial of the Gladiator, or the classic rating is removed?
We're still discussing it based on a lot of negative feedback about the idea of rating disappearing from the existing queue. (Source)

Professions
Thought about making crafting an endgame option in same vein as PvE and PvP? Revamping, making crafting epic (as per leg cloak)
That & many other variants on what crafting could be have come up over the years. Not sure what their plans are for WoD now. (Source)

dave, can you shed some light on Wod archeology? Will we have new race types? Or more orc and dreanei stuff?
Don't know much about current plans aside from proposed QoL improvements. I'll probably help make some toys for it, though! (Source)

Any plans to bring the other Professions to the late game model that Blacksmith/Mining/Herbs has? (ie: easier leveling path)
Not heavily involved w/ professions. Archaeology is likely to get a similar treatment for WoD. Can't speak for the others! (Source)

Dark Legacy Comics #423
DLC #423 has been released!

by Published on 2014-01-11 09:19 AM

Vendor Items No Longer Salvageable, Work On Patches Still Going, Curse Weekly Roundup

Possible Beta Account Flagging Next Week, MLG/ManaGrind Tournament #11 Review

Patch 5.4.2 Hotfixes: January 10
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes
  • Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Necrotic Strike now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).
  • Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Hunter Pets
      • Core Hound: Lava Breath now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).
      • Fox: Tailspin now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).
      • Goat: Trample now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).
      • Sporebat: Spore Cloud now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).
  • Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Arcane
      • Slow now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).
  • Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Mind-numbing Poison now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).
  • Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • Curse of Enfeeblement now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).
    • Demonology
      • Aura of Enfeeblement now reduces the target's casting speed on player targets by 10% (down from 25%).

Quests
  • [Requires a realm restart.] Winterfin Commerce: Resolved an issue that could cause players to be unable to collect Winterfin Clams.

Free Character Migrations Next Week
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We'll be offering Free Character Migrations next week for realms currently seeing high queue times at login. Those looking to avoid waiting to log in can take advantage of the free transfers to a set destination realm.

We're targeting the middle of next week for these Free Character Migrations to become available, and they'll remain open for approximately one week, or until a destination realm fills up. If you're looking to transfer with others we recommend setting up plans early to avoid any stragglers being left behind.

  • Area 52 => Turalyon
  • Stormrage => Turalyon
  • Tichondrius => Blackrock
  • Illidan => Blackrock
  • Bleeding Hollow => Korgath
  • Darkspear => Korgath

The transfers will be announced on the front page once available.

Blizzard Customer Support Callback
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Over the last few weeks, we’ve launched a new callback-based system for players who need phone support. This is a big change from our traditional phone support, so we wanted to provide some details about this service.

How does the callback system work?
  • Instead of calling a number (and potentially waiting on hold) for support, you’ll use the support site on Battle.net to request a callback.
  • You’ll enter information about your issue, along with your phone number.
  • A Game Master will give you a call back.

How does the callback system benefit me as a player?
  • You won’t have to navigate a phone menu or spend time on hold.
  • Since the support site collects critical details in advance (like the answer to your security question), you’ll jump directly into problem solving.

What’s happening to Blizzard Customer Support’s existing phone numbers?
  • We’re transitioning to a point where our phone lines will no longer present a menu system, but instead play a brief message directing users to the support site.

We hope you enjoy using the new service to get help when you need it!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Art
Question: Visually, what was your favorite race pre-update, and has this changed whilst working on them?
Man, it's like picking your favorite kid - you curse the rest with low self-esteem and counseling bills (Source)
Draenei for the women (it's a tail thing) Dwarves for the drinking and beards, Goblin when I'm being honest (Source)

What tools/programs are most commonly used at blizzard and which is ur fav ?
Photoshop, Max, Zbrush, and Maya. I'm a Photoshop fan for illustration/concept/texturing Max for modeling. (Source)

Do Blizzard artists come with that art style already somewhat in place or develop it in house? Cheers 0/
awesome question, 80% pre-installed, 20% learned (very roughly) it took me a few months to adopt the style. (Source)

By that I mean an item stored in the new Toy Box feature that you use an angel wings appear in your back.
Angelic wings are currently kind of a paladin thing. But who knows; lots of crazy toys get made! (Source)

with character models/ possible subraces, any chance I can make a dwarf or panda that's not overweight? Or a fat Belf?
Dwarves & pandaren are JUST the right weight for dwarves & pandaren. How dare you, sir. HOW DARE YOU. (Source)

PvP
Is Trial of the Gladiator just 3v3 and RBG?
Yes just 3v3 and RBG (Source)

what's your personal stance on separating pvp and pve entirely?
Hear this a lot & curious how people think it would work. So I'm killing a quest mob one second & a rogue jumps me, what happens? (Source)
We already separate them to a large degree. PvP CC durations, base resilience, battle fatigue, PvP nerfs on specific spells, etc. (Source)
But in WoW, how my character behaves is my constant. It is just a question of what activity I'm doing with my character. (Source)

And they would only be used in Battlegrounds and PvP settings and "World PvP" would just happen in PvE specs and wouldn't matter.
Based on the response to how gear and World PvP has shaped up this expansion, I can't agree it wouldn't matter. (Source)
But I strongly dislike the idea of a PvP spec that only works in instanced PvP. That's a totally different game at that point. (Source)
I personally don't believe WoW is or ever was the right medium for PvP competition. That's not to say it can't be or hasn't been.
WoW is a big game & it's easy to become laser focused on a single part of it. PvP is quite broad but many only focus on arena (Source)
I'd love it if WoW Arena was a separate game. There would be no excuse then not to make it as good as it can be.
It's debatable how many players you'd gain versus the ones you'd lose. I don't think we'll find out in WoW. (Source)

agree.. Very disappointing. You need to ahange your ‘last season/patch means no more major changes policy’
There is no such policy (Source)

you guys dun goofed with baseline resilience on PvP servers. Have you and come up with any improvements for 6.0 ?
Base Resilience isn't the problem. PvP gear ilevels couldn't keep up with all of the new tiers of PvE gear in MoP. (Source)
We've changed our opinion about where PvP ilevels should fall next expac (i.e. relatively higher). (Source)
Can you please ellaborate on that? Will PVE gear still outshine PVP gear in wPVP but lesser, or be equal or
Hard to elaborate on twitter. Think it would be better to get a blog or forum post to provide more info (Source)

Future
So you could log onto a character and play while waiting for your other character's queue to pop?
I definitely see the appeal of that, but it comes with significant design and technical challenges that we'd have to solve. (Source)

What you guys think about Scaling down to old dungeons? Or old dungeon challenge modes?
I think it'd be amazing (raids, too), and have been hoping we'd get it in for years. I still hope we get it in, ASAP. (Source)

Warlords of Draenor Stats
if parry and dodge are gonna stop existing as status, what will happen to items gemmed with those statuses?
We'll likely replace dodge/parry on gear/gems/enchants with other stats. (Source)

Doesn't this mean the exponential scaling will continue and we'll need another squish? Why not all linear?
Linear power growth doesn't feel rewarding to players. You feel 100->120. You don't feel 500->520. You do feel 500->600. (Source)

PvP
What do you think about removing the cooldown on dispel in the near future?
We don't plan to remove it. (Source)

Any chance a votekick system similar to LFR can be put into random Battlegrounds? People who just troll chat sucks the fun out.
Yes, it would be a good addition going forward. It isn't planned for WoD release but it is something we should look into. (Source)

Okay, a (more) serious question for do you have any plans to adjust the WSG/AB rep grinds for the loss of Marks turnins for rep?
I'll have to investigate the reputation situation. In the age of Random Battlegrounds, I don't think it has been a priority. (Source)

Any chance that we can someday mail Honor and Justice between alts so an advanced main can help an alt gear up?
Prefer to do something like BoA "boost potions" or something that still requires you to play the character, just more efficiently (Source)

Classes
Why bring a hunter over a warlock? Less DPS, Less utility, less AoE, less survivability. Any extra utility in WoD for hunters?
What you just described is a problem with Warlocks, not Hunters. (Source)

Future
Account-Wide Repuation, Sound like a good idea ?
There's internal debate. In the words of Nicol Williamson's Merlin: "A dream, to some. A NIGHTMARE TO OTHERS!!1!" (Source)

Is Blizz happy with the social aspect of WoW? I sometimes find guilds are very lacking.
Specific opinions vary, internally, though everyone would like the social aspect - and every other aspect! - to improve. (Source)

Heroic Siege of Orgrimmar Progression
There is an ongoing topic on the forums about the number of players that have killed Heroic Garrosh.

Mini Armory Stats - ~9% of players active since Nov 26 have now killed Garrosh on Normal or Heroic difficulty and ~46% have killed him on any difficulty.

Watcher also commented on progression today:

by Published on 2014-01-10 08:45 AM

The War On Spam Continues, Kamui's Crusader Helm, ChromeOnRust's CM Wizard Gear Guide

Beta Season 2 Launched, Ranked Ladder Ready Decks, Weekend Tournaments

Upcoming Character Model Preview - Update
It looks like the next new character model preview is about two weeks out.



Warlords of Draenor Flex Cap
Ion Hazzikostas (Lead Encounter Designer) finally joined Twitter today, letting us know about a larger potential Flex cap in Warlords of Draenor.



Warlords of Draenor Toybox
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Here's the information I was able to gather. Keep in mind that the Toybox feature is still early in development. Some of the questions may not have an answer yet and functionality may be subject to change as development continues on the feature.

What happens to items that need to be equipped? Such as: Orb of Deception, Super Simian Sphere, Burgy Blackheart's Handsome Hat, Time-Lost Figurine
Currently, the idea is to have fun item effects be converted into something similar to a spell. You'll be able to activate the effect without equipping the item.

I have a disco ball and picnic basket loot card sitting beside me. Wonder if I should hold onto them.
You should hold onto your items.

This means that all of those archaeology toys will be included too?
Yes, fun items obtained through the Archeology profession will be included in the Toybox tab. But please continue hanging onto those items while details are still being worked out.

What about my Haunted Memento?... please!!!
We don't know how that item will interact with the Toybox tab yet as it has a number of special qualities (can be thrown, its effect is activated by simply having it in your inventory). The important thing is none of the items are being removed. If an item doesn't make it into the Toybox tab, the item will remain as it always has.

The net effect will still be more inventory space for you.

I have Sylvanas' Music Box sitting in the bank unused, i need it account wide.
Some items may be character specific if we find a need for it. Still, a vast majority of the items in the Toybox will be account-wide.

3. Please don't remove quest items like Archmage Vargoth's staff (can't link it for some reason)! I heard quest items won't be placed in your inventory anymore. Please make the exception for these types of items!
We'll be keeping an eye out for quest items that players have been holding onto for fun and won't convert it into a quest item so it wouldn't go away.

Been wanting to know: what about gear with fun effects, like Jade Raccoon? My main's inventory is full of this kind of stuff.
We haven't determined what will or won't be considered a toy and recommend that you don't vendor or delete anything just yet.

You should create a new post with all the items that can go in both the "Toy" and "Heirloom" tabs. That way players could discuss any items they believe should be added or removed from either tab.
Feasibility for the creation of such a list can be looked at later in the testing process once more information is available.

I have Sylvanas Music Box on two toons.... does that get condensed into one item with a shared cooldown between all my toons or can it be made to have two "charges" before setting the cooldown? Or even two separate "toy entries" in the new book or whatever it is?
We're still undecided on how the cooldowns will work at this time.

A final disclaimer. This feature is still early in development. Depending on how it works out once we're able to test it, some things may change. The goal of the Toybox is to free up inventory space. Items that don't make it into the Toybox because of technical or other reasons should still be left alone with no change.

Warlords of Draenor Crowd Control
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I think most CC needs to be removed from the talent trees. CC should be what makes a spec unique. Like wyvern sting, howl of a terror, shock wave, etc. If they are going to put CC on the trees, then it should weighted against other cc abilities, not damage or utility buffs.

Of just keep it how it is now and just tone things down a tad.

Our current plans are to do a little of both. We do like CC in talent trees, particularly when they're put up against other CC's in the tier (as you mentioned). You still can only have one of the three, but you get to choose exactly which, and can tailor that choice to your comp, playstyle, raid encounter, etc. Choosing between a CC and a DPS cooldown doesn't always feel as meaningful, so part of our plans for talents in WoD include making those choices make more sense where we can.

Still, we think there's more needed than just shaking talent trees around a bit, so we're going through baseline CC's as well. Some will be left alone. Some will be nerfed. Some will be outright removed. Note that some CC breaks are likely to be nerfed as well in the process, as when there's less CC overall, the ability to remove whatever's left over becomes exponentially more powerful.

Please remember that the expansion is still very much in development, so anything could change at any time. But that's our current thinking.

Are you considering spell locks and interrupts as ccs?
Yes.

One other thing I just mentioned on Twitter that I'd like to bring up here as well -- we're also planning on having fewer DR categories (and thus, more shared DR's) in WoD. Again, still in development, anything can change, but that's what we're looking at.

How far are you toning down damage? Is it burst you're toning or is it sustained, or a mix?
Numbers are hard for us to discuss right now, really. Between the item squish, base health/resil changes, spell/ability scaling changes, and probably some other stuff that doesn't come to mind right now, it's kind of an apples to oranges comparison. Once we're further along in development, we'll take a look at where all of that puts us, and adjust accordingly.

Patch 5.4.2 Hotfixes: January 8
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes
  • Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Balance
      • Astral Communion is now immune to interrupts. The ability still cannot be cast while Silenced, this will be corrected in a future patch.
      • Moonkin Form now increases the Druid's armor by 100% (up from 60%).
  • Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Shadow
      • Shadowform now increases the Priest's armor by 100% (up from 60%).

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Dragon Soul
    • Resolved a situation where the Claw of Go'rath was causing players to fall underneath the world.

US Connected Realms Update 1/6
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.

We will be connecting the realms listed below on Thursday, January 16th during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 5 a.m. PST through approximately1:00 p.m. PST. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.

  • Antonidas and Uldum
  • Blade's Edge and Thunderhorn
  • Bonechewer and Aegwynn/Daggerspine/Gurubashi/Hakkar
  • Destromath and Azgalor/Azshara
  • Jaedenar and Agamaggan
  • Shu'halo and Eitrigg

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

  • Alleria and Khadgar
  • Altar of Storms and Anetheron/Magtheridon/Ysondre
  • Misha and Rexxar
  • Ner'zhul and Frostmane/Tortheldrin
  • The Underbog and Agamaggan/Jaedenar

*​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.

FAQ
Q. My realm needs connecting, why isn’t it listed?
A. The connections listed are the phases we’ve currently finalized and have planned connection dates or estimates available for. Additional connections are possible, but they just haven’t reached that stage yet. We’ll be updating the realm connection list as phases complete and new phases are planned.

Q. When will my realm be connected?
A. We'll update this thread with the latest information on currently planned phases.

Q. My realm has a lower population than those on the list, why isn’t mine being connected first?
A. Realm connections are based on a number of factors including population, faction balance, the realm’s physical location in the world compared to other realms it may be connected to, among others. It’s also worth noting that websites which attempt to track population, while helpful in many ways, are estimates based on public data which may not provide the clearest picture of actual population.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Connected Realms
If your realm has a low population overall it will be connected, as I said in the FAQ. Where possible, we took faction balance into consideration when choosing which realms to connect, with the aim of balancing things out a little better. However, overall EU PvP realms have more Horde players, and EU PvE realms have more Alliance, so achieving perfect balance won't be possible. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Connected Realms and Realm Forums
It's something we've talked about, and there are pros and cons to either way; not the least of which is we aren't finished connecting realms, or have any current solution to an elegant way to name a single forum with a likely-very-long-title-with-all-the-realm-names.

We'd be curious to hear people's thoughts. Considering these are still separate realms in some ways, but a single a realm in others, would you find a single forum helpful as opposed to separate forums? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Please, in what way do hunters benefit from haste ? haste i gain 1FPS...
Steady, Cobra, Aimed, and Power Shots all cast faster, and the auto attacks of you and your pet are faster. (Source)
so 5% of my damage through CS, 50% of my pets damage for another 10% overall ? Rough numbers. Wont even go into Power Shot...
CS's benefit to you isn't primarily its damage; it's its focus generation. You're getting more Arcane Shots the more haste you have (Source)

damage-heal smart heals make me feel i can play dumb and provides less control. is this the new healing model come WoD?
No, the opposite, as we've said repeatedly. We strongly feel that smart heals are too prevalent, and will be toning them down. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Quick question. What if I cast beacon of light on someone else with duel BOL talent in WOD? Will the first gone or i may choose?
If you BoL when you already have 2 out, it'll remove it from the older existing one. Somewhat awkward; alternative is two buttons. (Source)

Question about the level 100 Paladin talent seal of faith, for ret it says reduce damage dealt by 30% is this intentional? if so do we have to risk dps for healing?
Yes, not a 'risk' though; it's an active choice. You trade away a large part of your DPS for a huge gain in healing. (Source)
Ah okay thanks for answering, quick question before I go, How huge is this gain in healing, enough to be a efficient off-healer?
Very much so. I've seen theorycrafters find it to be something in the ballpark of 40-50% of a true healer. (Source)

Shouldn't paladins with CS (and pre-5.4 Seal of Insight) have been given the same treatment?
No, that was not intended to be a primary gameplay style for raiding. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
My primary concern in WoD is if Multi-DoTing will be the excuse for abysmal SPriest single target DPS again.
Most other dps classes can swap specs for different pros/cons like that. Considering ways for Shadow/Balance to specialize. (Source)
Like... will there be a "DoTless" shadow spec?
At BlizzCon, we showed a talent for Shadow that does just that. (Source)
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
Perhaps a misunderstanding? Not sure what you're "NOOOO!!!"ing about. It's a talent choice. Just makes DoTs unused single-target. (Source)
As talent rather than baseline stance, it will either be optimal or ignored. If optimal, forces freq talent switches.
That's an extremely limiting point of view, and not accurate (or not bad) based on many of our other talent rows. (Source)
Taking a step back, that would work in a tier where the 2 alternative talents have no significant DPS impact, single or AE.
Why do you say that? As long as the whole row is balanced, it works fine, right? (Source)
140chars... B/c balancing 1-target only option that also offers a perf adv with 2 other alts (also w/perf) seems super difficult
Perhaps a misunderstanding of Clarity; it doesn't remove DoTs, you can still multidot. Just not used on your primary target. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Will Crimson Tempest be looked at again? Its a Trap for newer Rogue Players at the moment, even Sub Mastery only helps a little.
I think it's only a trap in terms of single-GCD burst. It's just not as useful as it could be. We're considering changes. (Source)
Good candidate for button bloat removal imo. Just keep fan of knives, make it cause bleeds for sub or something.
So in a sustained AoE situation, what would you spend combo points on, without Crimson Tempest? (Source)
Are sustained AoE situations common enough to need a special button for them?
I think it's safe to say, "Yes". While not every tool needs to be equal, we expect all DPS to have some tool for that job. (Source)

Free Character Migrations (FCM) 08/01
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The following Free Character Migrations are scheduled to be available until 14 January, 2014. They are all open for both factions:

PvE Realms
Draenor
-> Magtheridon, Wildhammer, Kilrogg
Silvermoon -> Magtheridon, Wildhammer, Kilrogg

PvP Realms
Kazzak
-> The Maelstrom, Grim Batol, Tarren Mill*, Ravencrest*
Outland -> The Maelstrom, Grim Batol, Tarren Mill*, Ravencrest*
Ragnaros -> The Maelstrom, Grim Batol, Tarren Mill* Ravencrest*
Stormscale -> The Maelstrom, Grim Batol, Tarren Mill* Ravencrest*
Sylvanas -> The Maelstrom, Grim Batol, Tarren Mill* Ravencrest*
Twisting Nether -> The Maelstrom, Grim Batol, Tarren Mill* Ravencrest*, Frostmane*

*FCMs to Tarren Mill, Ravencrest, and Frostmane are unlikely to be available after 14 January, 2014.

If you wish to discuss an FCM for a specific realm, the dedicated discussion threads are linked above.

Please note that 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. Although we will try to avoid doing so without giving notice in advance, these FCMs may be closed before the scheduled date.

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

Guild Transfers
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.
by Published on 2014-01-09 06:15 AM

Announcing Callback Support, Diablo III: Storm of Light Excerpt, Blue Posts

Season 2 Begins on January 9, Hearthstone Beta Opt-In Account Access, Blue Tweets

Armory Stats - Heroic Siege of Orgrimmar Progression
Today we are taking a look at the Heroic Siege of Orgrimmar progression of players. Now that achievements are account wide, we can group characters by account and get an idea of what percentage of players (not characters) have defeated a boss on Heroic difficulty at least once, based on earning the achievement.

The data used today is a sample made up of 6.2 million characters from 2.2 million accounts, with at least one character active after November 26. The sample is slightly biased, as players who are not in a guild are much less likely to appear in our sample. You can leave suggestions for future stat posts in the comments!

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!

Blizzard CS - Callback Support
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
On Thursday, January 9, Blizzard is launching a new callback-based system for players who need phone support. This is a big change from our traditional phone support, so we wanted to provide some details about this service.

How will the callback system work?
Instead of calling a number (and potentially waiting on hold) for support, you’ll use the support site on Battle.net to set up a callback. Just enter information about your issue, along with your phone number, and a Game Master will give you a call back!

How will the callback system benefit me as a player?
You won’t have to navigate a phone menu or spend time on hold. Since the support site collects critical details in advance (like the answer to your security question), you’ll jump directly into problem solving.

What will happen to Blizzard Customer Support’s existing phone numbers after this change?
Our phone lines will no longer present their current menu system, and will instead play a brief message directing users to the support site.

We hope you enjoy using the new service to get help when you need it!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
I like the current tank system. Gathering resources and use them wisely for defense. Would tank also keep this system in WOD?
Yep, you're describing the Active Mitigation concept, which we think was quite successful, and want to continue and improve upon. (Source)

Safeguard, Hand of Sac, etc. are neat tricks that let me save lives even when I'm not in front of the dragon.
Tools like that are fun, agreed. We also hope to significantly reduce the amount of time that tanks spend not-tanking. (Source)

Would help if fights weren't just "taunt at X debuffs" so the second tank didn't feel like a vestigial organ.
We 100% agree. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
any chance hunters will be getting new skin or species for spell haste? Asked for sporebat all the time & it creeps me out
Maybe, in a new family. There are (almost) dupe fams already (so precedence!), and with new beasts showing up all the time... (Source)

Oh and gyreworms! Elemental sure, but clearly bestial in spirit! They'd fit easy in the worm family!
They would. That said, I'm unhappy with the obviously-Elemental stuff that has already been classified as Beast. But that's just me! (Source)
Well since survival is already pretty heavily elemental, maybe make the bestial elementals short term summons for that spec?
I'm all for special pet groups (undead, mechanical, elemental etc.) w/ appropriate conditions. But shale spider = beast?! OH COME ON (Source)
Let me ask from a different angle. Why does it "have" to make sense as a beast for a hunter to befriend it?
For the same reason priests can't use swords: BECAUSE REASONS. But seriously, it's a flavor/fantasy thing. Less logic, more feels. (Source)
I don't think it's quite on par with priests with swords. Hunters tame wild creatures as companions to fight alongside them.
Both are 100% shenanigans; arbitrary rules made to create a certain feel/fantasy/design. There's no reasoning them out beyond that. (Source)
Arbitrary means there was no thought put into it. I give you guys more credit than that.
The "reasoning" is arbitrary: Because they were never trained/their religion forbids it/the monarchy outlawed an armed church/etc. (Source)
The original design/fantasy is intentional, but can't be debated on the basis of its (later) made-up rules; it's working backwards! (Source)

Talbuks NEED to be tameable! Especially in WoD! The fact that they aren't, but goats are, makes me sad
Been years of talks/jokes about an Ungulate (or?) family including rams, goats, talbuks etc. Maybe! (Source)

With or Without You seems like a playstyle choice for MM/Surv hunters rather than a perk. Chance to see it below level 100?
I hope so, but that's me personally. I've always been VERY against game-changers end-game (e.g. original Arcane Blast). (Source)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Quick Monk Question, do MW monks count as Melee right now, or will that only be in WoD?
Yes, they do. (Source)
Any chance of that being extended to other healing specs to avoid an unfair advantage? All healers benefit from being in melee
Unlikely. It's a perk we give to specs intended to be in melee, not an unfair advantage. (Source)
It just feels like something that should be either all healers or none rather than allowing some to ignore mechanics.
There are mechanics that they would have to handle that you don't; a tradeoff for Fistweavers. Just a perk for MW, which is fine. (Source)
But MW aren't required to be in melee to be effective. They could stand at ranged and ignore both melee and ranged mechanics
That's why I said "Just a perk for MW, which is fine." Every difference between classes isn't an "unfair advantage". (Source)

The more I think about it, the less it seems like Statue of the Jade Serpent adds any real gameplay value. Thoughts?
It does a bit for Fistweaving, but is fairly passive otherwise. Doesn't necessarily need to be involved gameplay. (Source)
Do you think it would be more interesting with a shorter radius?
I think many Mistweavers would say that its radius is already short feeling. But, as a gameplay element to be handled, possibly. (Source)

is it possible that maybe we can see fistweavers being able to dual wield in WoD? It would be really awesome imo
Cool look / feel, but that would necessitate all Mistweavers that want to even dabble in Fistweaving to get a second weapon. (Source)
Use "way of the monk"? Doable but possibly not worth the effort; WotM never properly balanced for WW, who all DW.
Another community misconception. Way of the Monk does balance DW vs 2H for Brewmaster and Windwalker, extremely closely. (Source)

MW relies too much on smart heals. MW would be even better if players would have more direct control.
We agree, and think that statement applies to all healers, not just MW. (Source)

I woulf never use AoC on my monk. It onle affects 1 dps ability for us that most monks use sparsely. I use haromms and
WW currently have a couple viable gearing methods. If you are haste stacking, AoC won't likely be optimal for you. That's OK. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Will Gladiator be a potential tank stance, or will it have some component to make it purely for dps (e.g., no crit protection)?
We may have a defensive benefit if you take the talent but don't use the stance, so that tanks still have 3 talent choices. (Source)
But if you're using the stancing, getting the DPS benefit, you will not be able to be a full tank. (Source)
So a Prot Warrior can potentially behave like an old Bear-Cat?
No. You can't switch in and out of Gladiator Stance in combat. It's a commitment. (Source)

So Extreme Measures would give Glad Stance to prot who want to DPS, and a stance for DPS wars who want to tank w/2h weps?
Tanks need relatively little in order to function as DPS. But DPS need a lot in order to function as Tanks. (Source)

Any chance we can remove the two stacks of Shield Block and make Shield block 6 sec CD? Would be no different than right now...
That would be extremely different from how it is now, and remove most of the skill involved. (Source)

Arms warriors already have multistrike. It's called mastery. Mimicking other classes is uninspired design.
Similar, but some difference: [100% WD] vs [30% of the triggering attack]. (Source)
Wow, when did mastery get its effectiveness literally doubled and why did nobody tell me?
Oh, apologies. Was out to dinner and forgot that its damage had gone down. Yeah, still 55% WD, not 100%. Point is it's static. (Source)

Art
Are darker nights still on the table? lighting changes everything.
It's ultimately an art call, with input from design if they feel gameplay is negatively impacted. Personally, I liked it dark. (Source)
Maybe a dumb question, but wouldn't it be possibly to just add is an option? Whether you want dark or not?
With new tech, IF they wanted to. Lighting isn't on-the-fly; it's data built into the maps like terrain & skyboxes. (Source)

Are Blood Elves and Draenei being updated? I only see vanilla races on that page
the plan is currently to update them as well, original plan of "vanilla only" changed, need to update page to reflect (Source)

Any chance the Belf models look like Nozdormu's model in Dragon Soul and in the cinematic at the end of the raid??!
Facial hair and tats like that might come later if we're able to make another customization pass. Norz = good place to start (Source)

Character / Items
can older Eng. Trinkets be added? id like to use the Gnomish ShrinkRay or older stuff without swapping Trinks?
I wished those got updated too. Possibly gameplay issues. Lots of (cool) old items effects are "never do again plz." (Source)
didn't think shrinking a target and losing a very tiny bit of AP would be that much of an issue for an item a level 1 can wear
I meant all of them, and "updated" as in new versions that were viable trinkets, which I think could be cooler than simple toys. (Source)

What will happen to legendary meta in wod? 30% haste still sounds better than regular meta's imo
Yeah, legendary meta unusable at level 100. (Source)

Fan Art
Today we have some audio that comes in two versions, one with the violin and one with vocals.


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