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by Published on 2016-09-13 12:09 AM

Hotfixes: September 13 hotfixes are out.

Outlaw Rogue Thunderfury Appearance Update
A small update to the Outlaw hidden appearance:

  • A new version of a quest from beta popped up on live overnight.
  • The quest titled 'Bindings of the Windlord' is apparently granted after obtaining one Bindings of the Windlord.
  • The map on the quest page just shows locations for Infernal Brimstone - it doesn't actually have binding locations.
  • It then requires you to collect the other binding and 10x Infernal Brimstone in order to be granted an audience with Thunderaan the Windlord.
  • Battle.net lists the source of the Rogue hidden artifact appearance as a quest that isn't in the database, entitled 'An Audience with the Windlord'. Presumably, it is the followup to this newly-datamined quest.



Chris Metzen Leaving Blizzard
Chris Metzen is leaving Blizzard to take a break and spend time with his family. We wish him the best and will miss him!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I had just turned twenty years old when I started working at Blizzard. Seems like a lifetime ago. Guess it was. Those first few years were the start of a very grand adventure for me, one that would take me around the world, introduce me to thousands of wonderful geeks just like me—and ultimately shape the course of my adult life.

Of course when I started, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I had no idea how to make games or build entertainment products.…

But I had an insatiable passion for ideas. For stories. For heroes.

My only real training before joining Blizzard was the long-running D&D campaign I had with my closest friends—Sam, Mike P., Daniel, and Mikey C. (you know who you are, boys…HAMRO!). Building ideas—vast worldscapes, characters, and plotlines with my friends was my first great love. I lived for it. It was a safe space amid the tension and change of some rough teenage years. The grand refuge of D&D was a glorious meeting of minds and imaginations where I felt I truly belonged.

It was a space where friendship and imagination were inextricably linked.

The sharing of ideas on the fly, the crazy, unexpected turns other players would take—it stretched our imaginations in ways we’d never have dreamt of on our own. I loved how roleplaying through adventures taught us so much about each other—and, more often than not, ourselves. Imagining together helped us make sense of the crazy world we were growing up in. It made us stronger together.

I wouldn’t really understand the depth of it for many years, but I had learned an important truth from my friends back then:

Creativity is relational.

Looking back at my years at Blizzard, I see now how profoundly this idea has shaped my career. I see how profoundly my friends and coworkers at Blizzard have shaped me as a person.

For nearly twenty-three years I’ve had the very distinct privilege of shaping worlds and building games with the brightest creative minds in entertainment. I’ve walked with giants (and stood on some giants’ shoulders, too).

In short, I’ve had the time of my life.

I pretty much had the coolest job ever—but the truth is, sometimes it was really hard. Building games with dozens of brilliant, passionate alpha-geeks with their own red-hot instincts and perspectives can be pretty tricky. Coming to consensus about certain design decisions, story motifs, or courses of art direction takes a lot of communication, patience, and “give and take.” It stretches you. Sometimes it wasn’t all that pretty. But engaging with your teammates and collaborating through the potential quagmire of all that creative tension is where the real magic happens.

It’s not just the decisions you come to—or even the final shape of the product you craft.… It’s bigger than that—and infinitely more important. True collaboration builds trust—and trust is the basis of all lasting relationships. With trust you build more than just a great product.

You build a TRIBE…that can build anything.

A family of craftsmen.

That’s what Blizzard has been for me. My second family, through all of life’s ups and downs, it’s always been there. The great, geeky backdrop of my life. I don’t just mean “the job” or even the creative mission—but the people. The people who over and over lifted me up, believed in me—and pushed me to find my potential as both an artist and as a leader all these years.

To my Blizzard brothers and sisters…I wish I had the words.

Everything just sounds…trite.

All I can think of is…

You helped me believe in myself and achieve every one of my wildest dreams.
I am forever grateful to you.

I love you all with everything I’ve got.

Thank you.

And to all of you out there in Blizzard’s vast gaming community—those of you I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person and all of you around the world I’ve only heard about—thank you.

Thank you all for letting me be a special part of your community. For letting me belong with you. We’ve shared countless adventures together and I’ve always been overwhelmed and humbled by your passion for our games as well your commitment to each other. Thank you for all the BlizzCon hugs, smiles, handshakes, and stories over the years. You will never know how much you’ve all touched my heart and inspired me to give my all into this craft.

With that said, I’ll try to get down to the point, here. I’ve come to a turn in the road. A new, far quieter chapter in my life looms ahead.

I am retiring.

Yup.

Hangin’ up my guns.
Clockin’ out.
Takin’ the last gryphon out of Stormwind.
You get the picture.

Crazy, I know.

It’s a massive change for me, but it’s one I’ve been looking forward to for a while now. It’s ironic given the fact that things have never been better or more energized at Blizzard. Just this year alone has been incredible.

Legion’s arrival.
The launch of Overwatch.
The Warcraft feature film.

I’ve never been more proud of Blizzard and the quality of its products than I am now. It’s remarkable that even after all these years we can still reach new heights and take the world for an amazing ride. I believe Blizzard’s future is brighter than ever.

I won’t lie—it’s going to be really hard stepping away from these worlds that I love. But I’m content that I’m leaving them in the hands of the most passionate, talented, and dedicated craftsmen ever assembled.

I can’t wait to see where Blizzard’s worlds go next—and to experience them first-hand like everyone else does. As a fan. As an adventurer. Right back to the start.

That’s just so cool…

The reason I use the word “retire” is because I’m not going to some other company or starting up new projects or anything remotely like that. It’s been a long, amazing stretch of years. Now it’s time to slow it down. Rest. Lay around on the couch and get fat. Well, fatter.…

Seriously though, I’ll be focusing on the one thing that matters most to me in all the world—my family. They’re the core of my life and the source of my deepest joy and inspiration. In addition to raising our two little ones, we recently welcomed our new baby into the family! Being home with them all, having time and space to really live…to love my wife with all my strength…that’s my career now.

And I’ve never been happier.

Ever. ☺

Peace out, y’all.

I love you all.

I’ll see you online.

Chris
by Published on 2016-09-12 12:09 PM

Update: Leefa has been able to complete Corrupted Ashbringer process we described on beta (with a higher Artifact Knowledge level)

EU Login Issues, Support Gem Leveling Tip, Master Auriel Fanart

BatStone #1 Update - Competitors Finalized!

Ranked Season 2 Details & Rewards, Streamer Sound Packs

Overwatch: Origins Edition is On Sale for PC, Overwatch Free Weekend on Consoles

Legion - Hidden Artifact Appearances
The community has been working towards discovering how to unlock the remaining hidden artifact appearances. These are fairly well hidden, so we thought we would recap and share a little bit more information that may be related. There are still steps that need to be figured out for all three below.

Retribution Paladin
The Heart of Corruption unlocks the Corrupted Ashbringer appearance. The entire process is a reference to a post from ten years ago investigating the Ashbringer.



Arcane Mage
The Woolomancer's Charge unlocks a sheep appearance for the Arcane Mage artifact. There is a thread on the forum where players continue the search.



Demonology Warlock
The Visage of the First Wakener unlocks the hidden appearance for Demonology Warlocks. Much of the process is collecting heads.



A Note from the WoW Team: Welcome to Legion!
We got a note from J. Allen Brack again after the launch of the Legion, much more positive than last time!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
When we launched Legion on August 30, we opened up the Broken Isles to millions of players around the world. As with every expansion, there were feelings of excitement among the team in the lead-up, but also a bit of healthy fear and trepidation. We felt we had learned many lessons from the launch of Warlords of Draenor, and we took steps to help ensure we would have a smooth release. But questions remained: Would the updates to our technology and hardware be enough? Had we tested of all our new and existing systems enough? Did we properly account for the masses of players clicking on Khadgar to watch him teleport the city of Dalaran to its new home?

When the floodgates opened and players started their journey to the Broken Isles, it was gratifying to see many of you calling this our smoothest launch yet. We couldn’t be happier with how Legion has begun, and we hope that we’ll be able to continue to deliver a smooth experience throughout the expansion and beyond.

A ton of factors came into play to make this happen, and we wanted to share a few of the design and technological changes we made. First, we took some measures to control the bottlenecks that can occur when many players try to interact with a single quest giver, something that has caused issues in the past. These changes made it so people were able to get into the expansion at a smooth and measured pace before spreading out around the world to claim their Artifacts and choose their first questing zone.

On the tech side, rather than run one copy of Broken Isles per realm, in Legion we run multiple copies to ensure no one map is overloaded or overpopulated. We also have dedicated hardware for each zone, meaning Azsuna has a server, Highmountain has a server, and so on. Many of these decisions were based on painful lessons from Warlords of Draenor.

In Legion we also want to ensure you’re able to play together with people you know, so we keep friends, guilds, and groups together rather than spinning them off into different copies. At launch, this allowed us to keep regions of the world feeling populated without impacting game performance. We gave this tech a test-drive during the recent pre-expansion Demon Invasions: rather than seeing an entire realm’s population in one tightly packed location, you saw a smaller portion, but still enough to make an area feel alive.

How does this all add up? Since launch, players have acquired billions of Artifact Power. More than 5 million Demon Hunters made their way from Mardum to Azeroth to fight against the Legion, and more join the ranks every day. WoW’s concurrency during launch week climbed higher than it’s been in many years, and it’s been awesome to see so many of you having a great time playing together in the Broken Isles.

It’s also been exciting to see players enjoying the new WoW Legion Companion app, which allows players to engage with Legion champions and missions, customize their Order Halls, and explore World Quests all from their iOS or Android mobile device.

But the launch of Legion is just the beginning of the journey. As with many of you, we weren’t happy with Warlords of Draenor’s patch cycle, and have changed our strategy for Legion, prioritizing more regular content releases. As part of that, last week at PAX we announced Patch 7.1: Return to Karazhan, our first major content update, which reintroduces Karazhan as a 5-player Mythic dungeon, continues the Suramar campaign, adds new World Quests, opens up the Trial of Valor Raid dungeon, and more.

The future is bright for Legion and World of Warcraft, and we couldn’t thank all of you in the community more. Your enthusiasm, encouragement, and ongoing feedback all help make WoW what it is today. On behalf of the entire team, thank you for being a part of this journey.

See you on the Broken Isles,

J. Allen Brack
Executive Producer, World of Warcraft

Legion Developer Q&A Followup - Warlocks
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Q&A Summary
One thing that I should have stressed more in discussing warlocks in the Q&A is that we haven't done any class/spec numerical-balance hotfixes yet, for anyone. Initial efforts have been focused on fixing bugs (where possible without waiting for a new patch), and gathering data. The basic concern of "our DPS is low" is one that we can and will address. We just need more data from the live environment, from all 24 DPS specs, in order to inform the exact changes we'll be making.

But warlocks should absolutely be numerically competitive with other damage-dealers, and we'll make sure that's the case.

The Soul Shard change got a lot of attention just because it's something that we can handle via hotfix. Concerns such as artifact trait design, visual issues, and rotational flow could only be tackled via a future patch, and are a topic of discussion among the class team.

Your feedback is being read and discussed, and threads like http://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20748795049 are excellent. If it sounded like I was saying we were literally unable to find any quality feedback, that certainly wasn't my intent. I understand frustration when it seems like valid concerns are being ignored, but constructive feedback is always more helpful. We both want the same thing here: for you to have fun playing your class. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warlock Feedback
What he said was that while reading feedback and trying to find constructive posts, it doesn't help to see things like "REROLLING" and various petition threads (which are against the forum Code of Conduct, FYI). This is actually a valid point when it comes to the way feedback has been provided.

Those kind of statements don't help provide any kind of context or feedback to the developers as to what the state of the complaints are. I've said this in this forum before, but we really have found use in the collated lists of feedback that have been made here. Posts that are made that detract from an orderly discussion doesn't help to push your feedback forward. There's no denying that Warlocks are upset, and the forums have been busy - but the trolling and spamming, the grouping up to downvote any Q&A questions not to do with Warlocks, etc., really isn't the way to promote discussion.

As Watcher said, he personally is aware of the complaints that Warlocks have put forth, and the development team is working on making some changes and seeing where Warlocks land after that.

I agree, but shouldn't he have been able to at least find the threads that you've posted in? Because from what he said, it sounds like he couldn't.
I assure you, the threads where players worked to get all their feedback together were sent over.

Serious question man, why isn't there more direct communication between devs (or even CMs like yourself) in the forums? I really believe that so much of this negativity would have been avoided by just having a simple dialog every once in a while and letting us know that what we're saying really is being read.
We've had some failing on our part, communications wise, but the conversations we've had over the last couple of weeks has helped to push along the feedback everyone has provided.

If we didn't do this, we never would have gotten an answer at all. We HAD to. It was our only available option left after legitimate constructive feedback was completely ignored for months.

AND IT WORKED.

Most of the spamming and downvote spamming started in the last few days, well after I dropped in even to gather more feedback to send along - so I would go so far as to say it really didn't help much.

Again, all of your work and information gathering was sent over. We will continue iterating on Warlock changes, starting with the Soul Shard change, and we will see where Warlocks land after that.

@Ornyx, if you don't mind my asking, will we see devs sitting down to actually discuss the changes they are planning for Warlocks, relatively soon? Or will it be a matter of just checking hotfix notes every week?
If you're asking if they will pop in here and have conversations, we will see what happens. I will try, at least, to gather some of their thoughts and philosophies on the changes (or lack thereof) and share that here.

As I've said over and over again here, we are aware of the feedback and I'm still here reading.

I think we're going to step back a bit here and let the forum calm down a bit over the weekend.

Looking at the changes Ion proposed in the Q&A, let us know what you think about Soul Stones being expanded to sit at 3 out of combat; this is the first change we are looking at making, and any feedback you guys provide on this will help our thinking overall.

Thanks again for all your thoughts and feedback so far, and, again, let's keep this forum constructive. Enjoy the rest of the Q&A and have a good weekend everyone! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Bonfire Studios
Rob Pardo and Blizzard employees have formed a new game studio in Irvine, raising $25 million in funding from Riot and Andreessen Horowitz. They will be making online multiplayer games, hoping to recreate the social connections that many players formed in World of Warcraft.




Dark Legacy Comics #551
DLC #551 has been released.

by Published on 2016-09-09 09:44 AM

Diablo 2 Bosses Remade in HD

HearthPwn Card Design Competition Season 4 - Perpetual Commotion

Braxis Holdout Preview, Warhead Junction Release Date, Competitive Scene Changes

In-Game Leaderboards, Replays, Play of the Game Abnormality, Jeff Kaplan on Overwatch Development

Legion - Illidan Cinematic
Another cinematic was unlocked tonight, this time featuring Illidan.





Patch 7.0.3 Hotfixes - September 8
It seems that many of the legendary item stat hotfixes came undone recently. The changes to effects remain.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes
  • (In progress) Players should no longer be stopped abruptly when executing uncontrolled movement spells such as Roll, Fel Rush, and Flying Serpent Kick.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • (PvP) Holy Word: Chastise will no longer remove periodic damaging effects from targets in PvE situations.

Dungeons
  • Black Rook Hold
    • Fel Vomit from the Smashspite the Hateful encounter in Black Rook Hold will no longer persist after the encounter is defeated.

Items
  • The secondary stats on Legion gems have been significantly decreased.
    • Developers’ notes: Gems are not in the same place as they were in previous expansions. They’re a bit too powerful, and this was not intended. Sockets are still quite valuable and will continue to be so, but we need to reduce the difference between an item having a socket vs. not having a socket.

PvP
  • Ashran
    • Ashran Dominance now rewards 500 honor for completion.
    • Slay Them All now rewards 200 honor for completion.
  • Honor awarded from skirmishes has been tripled.

Professions
  • Enchanting Rank 2 and Rank 3 recipes now have the “Requires Previous Rank” text.
  • Mass Prospecting should now return the same amount of gems as normal Prospecting.

Quests
  • Players can now complete "WANTED: Shara Felbreath" after leaving combat and returning.
  • Enemies should now have lower health and damage in Chapter 3 of the Warrior Class Hall scenario.
  • A marker on your map should now appear for the objective of the Stormheim quest “The Trials Continue”.
  • Marksman hunters who left Niskara without talking to Vereesa can speak to her at Krassus' Landing to complete the "Rescue Mission" quest.
  • The Mage Order Campaign quest "What Is Going On Here" objectives should now complete reliably.

Suramar
  • Blackhawk's Bulwark PvP Captains should respawn more quickly.
  • Fel Cannons in Felsoul Hold should respawn more quickly.
  • The World Quest map marker for Starstalker Point Alliance has been moved to its accurate location.
  • During “Ghostship”, players can no longer use the Valarjar Harpoon to damage other players or player controlled NPCs.

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