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by Published on 2013-11-27 10:30 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hugs,
Ghostcrawler

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Primary Stats

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

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

Secondary Stats

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

Additional Properties

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

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

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

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

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

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

Set Bonuses

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

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

Primary Stats

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

Secondary Stats

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

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

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

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

Additional Qualities

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

Examples

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

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

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

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

As always, we welcome your constructive feedback, and we look forward to reading what you think.
by Published on 2013-11-26 02:07 AM

Fey Dragon and Brew Pup Bundle Giveaway

Reaper of Souls Expansion Highlights: Adventure Mode, Bounties, Nephalem Rifts, Blood Shards and Gambling, Blue Posts

Weekly News Recap, 5,000 Beta Key Giveaway Reminder

Patch 5.4.2 PTR - Build 17614
Build 17614 will be deployed to the PTR realms soon. The "Karazhan Restoration" phase was renamed to Medivh's Big Birthday Bash in this build. The cobwebs, skeletons, and chairs were also added back in, but the instance remains slightly modified.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Automated In-game Mail
  • Automated In-game Mail #401 - Your recruited friend!: Great news! Your recruited friend logged in during your absence with a character named .... Add this character to your friend list to see them next time they log in. Have fun, and happy hunting
  • Automated In-game Mail #402 - Your recruited friend!: Great news! Your recruited friend logged in during your absence with a character named ... on the realm named .... Add this character to your friend list to see them next time they log in. Have fun, and happy hunting

LFG Entry
  • LFG Entry #771 - Vale of Eternal Sorrows
  • LFG Entry #772 - Gates of Retribution
  • LFG Entry #773 - The Underhold
  • LFG Entry #774 - Downfall

Phases
  • Karazhan Restoration - Renamed to Medivh's Big Birthday Bash.



Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
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Patch 5.4 Hotfixes - November 25
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Siegecrafter Blackfuse
      • Siegecrafter Blackfuse's Magnetic Lasso will now also pull character corpses that are on the conveyor belt to the main platform.
      • Resolved an issue during the Siegecrafter Blackfuse encounter where players dropping into the conveyor belt may sometimes take fatal fall damage.
      • Resolved an issue where destroying the last disassembled weapon right as it exits the conveyor belt may cause Siegecrafter Blackfuse to incorrectly gain the Energized Defensive Matrix effect.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Ability Squish
We do feel that, at least for some classes, there are a few too many buttons to keep on your action bars. It's an issue we'd ultimately like to solve, but something we have to be very, very careful with.

It's easy to look at your bar, go "LOOKIT ALL DEM BUTTONS", and decide that some of them need to go. In fact, we agree. It's much more difficult -- even dangerous -- to decide exactly which abilities to get rid of. Generally speaking, if you have an ability keybound, it's probably at least fairly important to your class. Getting rid of abilities you don't have bound doesn't really fix anything, so that means that, in most cases, we're talking about cutting the important ones.

That's not to say it can't (or won't) be done, but it does mean it's a fairly large task. Depending on the ability, there could be a lot of rebalancing or restructuring needed to make sure the class is still functional and fun to play. Again, it's something we'd like to do, it's just a very involved process.

Something you didn't really touch on is how some abilities exist as flavour for the class. The last time this kind of ability trimming occurred, a lot of things we players took for fun and playing about wound up biting the bullet because they were seen as "unnecessary" (i.e. Hunter's Eyes of the Beast).
True, and we want to avoid that. As I mentioned above, removing abilities you don't often use doesn't accomplish much. We often talk about this issue in terms of action bar space, but it's really keybind space that's the problem. One could make an argument that, say, Unending Breath could stand to be cut, but that's not something that's going to free up a keybind for the vast majority of Warlocks. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.4.2 Warrior Changes
We don't feel that Warrior damage output itself is the issue. It's strong, but not out of line compared to other classes. We think the issue lies with mobility, and the Warrior's ability to keep that constant pressure going. That's why we decided to revert the 5.4 Intervene change in 5.4.2 and move the root break back to Safeguard. Once we've had a chance to see how that affects things, we'll be able to decide if any further changes are necessary. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Reputation / Questing
Why not take the leap into mounted combat using the tech from quests like The Drakkensryd from back in Wrath?
It would take months of work to feel decent and not hacked in like it was in the (overall awesome) Drakkenryd quest. (Source)

Dailies are a grind because being able to use your class is not really a challenge anymore to ANYONE.
I agree that's a problem when you start to overgear the content. Say Isle of Thunder at its launch still had challenging mobs. (Source)

With the success of the Warlock Green Fire quest chain, are you planning to add quest chains for other classes?
If and when it makes sense. We like the feature overall but don't want it to become formulaic. (Source)

Technically questing is trivial. It's not hard and everyone can do it. It's simply a time sink until raiding.
We could make WoW a game only about raiding. I don't think it would be as popular though. (Source)
You know, the "heart and soul" thingie which is played by 5% of your players.
I don't know where that number comes from. Raiding is very popular. But that doesn't mean all players raid. (Source)

Not the same as saying "okay but make it trivial for alts". Just reduce the restrictions since we've already done it all once.
Why? Why is being able to click quest objects without fighting anything a better design than just skipping questing altogether? (Source)

Yet at max lvl, we won't be questing (no dailies at max lvl), so no real change from current flying design decision
You will be out in the world doing stuff, more like Timeless Isle than Golden Lotus. (Source)
But pls give to that T. Isle 2.0. some structure. Killing 2k Yaungols without the pacing/reward that a daily gave is boring.
Yeah, it won't just be Timeless Isle 2.0. That's just an example of content that isn't just "Kill 10 mogu every day." (Source)

in WOD will we see more shared mob tagging outside of groups. Really like that in other games. Allow more impromptu grouping
We'd like to improve our tagging rules for sure. Not convinced dot everything to get credit on all is the right design. (Source)
by Published on 2013-11-24 10:11 PM

Fey Dragon and Brew Pup Bundle Giveaway

Reaper of Souls Expansion Highlights: Adventure Mode, Bounties, Nephalem Rifts, Blood Shards and Gambling, Blue Posts

Weekly News Recap, 5,000 Beta Key Giveaway Reminder

Blizzcon Dev Interview
BlizzPro had a chance to talk to Technical Director Marco Koegler and Quest Designer Helen Cheng at Blizzcon.

  • The goal is to have all of the Vanilla race character models updated for release, but that isn't set in stone.
  • There might be some clipping with the new cloak animation, so the team is looking at adding some more physics to the cloak rather than just using pure animations. This isn't ready to show off and uses even more CPU, so it may not be the correct solution.
  • After being boosted to 90 you will have a set of gear that is level appropriate, similar to how the level 80 Scroll of Resurrection boost works.
  • Time travel is just a means to get players back to Draenor and bring back the classic Warcraft feeling and characters.
  • As long as players prevent Garrosh from building the Dark Portal for the Iron Horde to invade, there won't be any permanent changes to the current timeline. This will let the story have some fun elements that involve characters from the present without changing the timeline.
  • The current classes are somewhat balanced, so adding a new class would upset that balance.
  • There were too many daily quests at the start of Mists of Pandaria, especially after taking into account alts. Warlords will still offer a wide variety of things to do, but it will be more exploring, dynamic events, and story through quests.
  • If garrisons end up being per character, there will likely be a way to make garrison leveling and improvements faster on an alt.


Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
New Character Models
Will the new player models will also have new melee attack animations as well? The ones for the older races are rather stale.
All animations have to be redone to work with the new models. We are trying not to make them radically different but will improve. (Source)

Remember promising us to update moonkin form since WotlK and saying the glyph won't affect the update? We do.
I try to never promise. This is why. We will do the moonkin at some point, but it is lower priority than the races. (Source)

Garrisons
Please give options in the Garrison that don't require a daily login. Don't want to be forced to login every day.
The plan is for longer missions for those times when you know you won't be logging in frequently. (Source)

Can we please have the followers in our Garrisons not be limited to player races? think Ogres, Tuskarr, etc
Having some non-traditional races would be a lot of fun. (Source)

Will you consider race-based garrison design or just faction-based?
Just faction for now. Dividing things by race meant we would have had far less new art per building. (Source)

garrisons look awesome, But please dont make them mandatory for professions. Garrisons should be optional & fun. Not a grind.
The intent is to make them fun but they are not optional the way pet battles or brawlers guild was. (Source)

Warlords of Draenor Flying
What was wrong with the Wrath model of grounded leveling for main, BoA tome for alts?
If leveling is supposed to be trivial for alts, why not just make them all jump to max level? (Source)
Holy grasping at straws, Batman!
I disagree. It feels like the argument is "questing should be super fast and easy on alts." (Source)
But alts are meant to be played. If you just want more max level dudes, there are better solutions. (Source)

It IS a difference because then there's a lore reason, which is what people are asking for. Inability to mount is more boring.
I don't think many of the pro flight crowd would be swayed with a lore explanation alone. (Source)
Is there a good reason NOT to back up the gameplay decision with a plausible lore explanation and story?
Not at all. If there is a good lore reason, that's better. But lack of good lore should not bad gameplay go through. (Source)

Did you ever think about something like a 10 second cast time for flying mount summons? Or a 30 sec cooldown?
Yeah, we've tried those and also things like slow turning radii, etc. Haven't found a solution we think feels good yet. (Source)

Stand your ground GC. There are those of us who know flying was worst thing to happen to game.
That's not our stance though. Flying feels awesome, is convenient, fast and a great reward. The problem is one of timing. (Source)

Maybe because people want faster, but not instant, Mr. False Dichotomy.
Speeding up XP per quest would make it faster. Flying lets you ignore most of it. Faster is fine. Hollow, less so. (Source)

It seems like you're getting less good at giving reasons and better at excuses.
Imagine we let you fly in dungeons and raids. Do you think they would be as fun as they are today? That's really our reason. (Source)

So, do you also hate the way Rogues play the game? Sneak in, unlock prison cage, sneak away...?
I don't think you can really compare the benefits of stealth to flying. Besides it's a bonus to only 2 classes. (Source)
I understand. Just don't get what you mean by "trivial" then. I always thought flying made questing more fun.
Twitter shorthand to some extent, but you probably fight 4x fewer creatures when you can fly to avoid them. (Source)

It would be nice if flying was a risk vs reward decision. Swarms of Monstrous Kaliri? No fel canons yet tho D:
It would have to be very dangerous to overcome the benefits of flight. Kaliri didn't keep me grounded. (Source)

About no-flying stuff in Warlods, do you guys ever though about gatherers? I cannot imagine myself running for plants on foot
That's one reason why we wouldn't outlaw flying forever. But at one point you did all your gathering on the ground. It can be done. (Source)

Classes
not just that, but even 1 makes healing less fun. Spamming aoe heals is another problem.
Spamming AEs, especially smart heals, does make healing less fun in our minds. (Source)

That sounds pretty awesome to me, honestly. Prot might be sad to lose a dps CD though.
It might be fine for Prot to have an offensive and defensive CD. Depends on the whole package. (Source)

Most important stat? I cant get rid of ENOUGH Spirit as a healer ;P
To be fair, some healer specs (esp. Mistweaver) don't value Spirit enough. We intend to fix for 6.0. (Source)

1 burst cd is enough per spec
I don't know that it would be a hard and fast rule, but if you always macro your CDs together, why have different CDs? (Source)

will changes to vengeance in dreanor protection more viable in trial of gladiator arenas but less annoying without high ap?
Maybe. It's more important to have a fun and balanced trial than to have Gladiator tanks. (Source)

Actually everything we call 'skill' on the game is about responding to a visual/sound stimulus. Just like snapshotting
It's about degrees. A mod can't reliably tell you when to use a speed boost to survive. It can solve when to redot very easily. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
I was curious if you were happy with the Druid split into Feral and Guardian this xpac. Did it live up to your expectations?
Overall yes. It's tricky for us to determine how often a Guardian or even Balance Druid should use cat form. (Source)

Guardian Druid often feels boring compared to other tanks. Are there any plans to address it?
They need stronger active mitigation. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Please bring back the truly rare hunter pets, some of us like camping for them... effort worth the reward.
What was the last truly rare one by your definition? (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
While you're talking about healer stuff, when is the really bad priest T90 going away?
We like tier 90 for priests. We can split out healing from DPS / Shadow versions in 6.0 though. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
wasn't root break on intervene intended to give a choice for that tier? Back to safeguard being required.
The value of balanced PvP has to trump the value of every talent being a fun choice. (Source)
You keep using this word "balanced" I don't think it means what you think it means.
"Balance" is when other players can't crush me. When I crush them, it's "skill." (Source)
small war. nerf needed but this is boring. Was nice to have small utility with MSR. Wars very one dimensional and
What would you have liked to see instead that would have solved the problem? (Source)
Disrupting Shout gone (Warriors don't need 2 interrupts), AoE reflect replaces reflect.
To be fair, they would need a new talent to replace Disrupting Shout that presumably is something useful. (Source)

Blizzard Art Update
Blizzard has added more pieces to the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Art gallery.


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