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by Published on 2014-07-25 12:15 AM

Artcraft - Body Moovin: Female Tauren Model, Spires of Arakk and Nagrand Coming Soon

Warcraft Movie Logo and Weapons, Weapon Enchant Transmog, Ashran Feedback

Get to Your Choppa! - Claiming Your Mount
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The Horde chopper is on its way, and you need to log in now to claim it!


Your votes for Azeroth Choppers were counted, and one faction’s war cry roared loudest: the Horde bike will now be turned into a mount in World of Warcraft! Anyone who logs in to the game between now and September 30, 2014 will automatically have their account flagged to receive the Horde chopper upon the release of the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion. Everyone can (and should!) claim their chopper by logging in now, but as a reminder, only your Horde characters will be able to mount up and take it for a ride.
by Published on 2014-07-24 05:03 PM

Warcraft Movie Logo and Weapons, Weapon Enchant Transmog, Ashran Feedback

Artcraft - Body Moovin: Female Tauren Character Model
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re here with a brand-new Artcraft! I’m your host, Chris Robinson, senior art director on World of Warcraft, and today we’re showing you where we’re at with the female Tauren.


The original female Tauren had a lot of issues with too-angular geometry and stretched-out textures. It’s not her fault—it’s just what we had available to us at the time. Our new process has allowed us to add a lot of detail to her hair, fur, horns, and hooves, to build a far more detailed and expressive face, and to add a lot of definition to her musculature (while retaining her shape and silhouette).

One other change of note: Warcraft character design is commonly known for its stylized long arms, large hands, and big feet, but the female Tauren’s hands were just completely out of control. We brought them down to a more consistent size with the other updated models, and were also able to add a ton more detail and dexterity in the process.

We hope you enjoy her new look—let us know what you think in the comments!

Coming Soon: Spires of Arakk and Nagrand
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In a soon-to-arrive build, we will be opening up Spires of Arakk and Nagrand, and will be raising the level cap to 100, leaving the entire level-up experience open for testing.

We have a close eye on the feedback that is being posted on these forums, and over the next week or two, you should see resolution for many of the major issues that you've been encountering in the currently released zones.

Please, keep the feedback coming. It is extremely useful in helping us identify issues that don't manifest in our internal environments, and your opinions on our content and systems are very important to us.

Thank you for all of your input and support.
by Published on 2014-07-24 05:55 AM

Blue Tagged Guides, Krelm's Buff Explained, Save Transfer on UEE, Starter Crafted Barbarian

Heroic Boss Deck Guides, Arachnid Quarter Refunds, Known Issues

July 23 Alpha Patch Notes - New Battleground, Rehgar, UI Changes, Artifacts System, and More!

Warcraft Movie Logo Revealed
Legendary revealed the Warcraft movie logo at Comic-Con today!



Warlords of Draenor - Weapon Enchant Transmogrification
It looks like players who choose the enchanter garrison building will be able to change their enchant visuals or hide them completely. There may be a limited selection to choose from though.



Warlords of Draenor - Ashran Feedback
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Greetings everyone! This is my first post on the forum as a blue poster. I’m Chris Kaleiki, a Game Designer on World of Warcraft. I work specifically on Ashran with some guy you may know -- Brian Holinka. I previously worked on class design, notably the design of the Monk.

The feedback you guys are giving is fantastic! Well appreciated. I wanted to respond.

Wall of text inc --

I have feedback on the “Horde and Alliance Hubs” (aka the staging areas)
The Horde and Alliance staging areas are still being worked on by the world team. As for Ashran the world PvP zone, they have very little relevance. You may see some random PvP skirmishes there in the same way you see skirmishes in any Horde or Alliance capital, but they’re not meant to be part of the overall world pvp zone. While we do want your feedback on those areas, the PvP team’s involvement is pretty minimal so I suggest directing them towards the general discussions in this forum rather than this specific discussion.

I feel the size of Ashran is too small.
During Ashran’s early development we debated whether the zone should be larger, but we ultimately landed on its current size after concluding that if the zone were too big your chances of running into the opposite faction in your day to day excursions would be quite low. We want there to be a feeling that you’re sharing a limited resource with the opposing faction, and you have to fight over that resource. The bigger the zone, the less the opposite faction’s presence matters, and the less tension and ultimately the less world PvP will transpire.

That said, it could be possible that the zone could still stand to be larger. And if more players spill out into the side areas to where it gets too cramped, we may have to make changes. Keep in mind we also want to build onto Ashran in patch content.

What is the philosophy behind Ashran?
Ashran is a new type of PvP design. While it does have the spirit of old Alterac Valley, it’s not supposed to be purely an objective based map. Our goal here was to create situations in where players would engage in world PvP. These situations primarily are the outskirts areas, off the midlane.

In beta it is understandable that players are not reward driven. But on live, we expect players to be driven by getting honor and other rewards for their characters. The PvE on Ashran will be the most rewarding in that regard. The idea is that Horde and Alliance will be fighting over completing the side objectives and spawning and that will create interesting PvP situations (especially since you can loot other players currency). Even within the current incarnation of Ashran on beta I’ve experienced small unexpected fights in the outskirts areas.

We feel we’ve delivered on objective based win condition content through battlegrounds, but we haven’t delivered in giving players a sandbox environment where they can experience PvP similar to that of which you may have experienced before battlegrounds were created. We’re trying to do that with Ashran.

One of my most memorable moments of world pvp before battlegrounds were introduced into WoW was when my guildmates were farming for the frostsaber mount in Winterspring. They were being ganked by a Horde guild over and over, so some of our guildies went to help them out. The Horde guild responded by sending more of their guildmates. Then other random guilds joined in. Eventually, there were so many players in that area we crashed the server.

The spirit of that experience is what we’re trying to go for in a zone like Ashran.

What’s the deal with the middle lane?
The middle lane serves as a centerpiece of Ashran. It’s similar to that of Alterac Valley: a push/pull tug-of-war battle. While the road of glory isn’t exactly world PvP, this type of PvP is appealing to a number of players so we decided to include it in Ashran. It’s also nice to know that there is almost always going to be some battle going on there.

The middle lane wont’ really be very rewarding in terms of honor or currency. And we intentionally don’t have a way to “win Ashran.” Storming the enemy base and killing their commander will give you some reward and an achievement, but it’s not the main focus of the zone. If your time in Ashran is within the middle lane and storming the enemy base, you’re mostly doing that for the intrinsic fun of it.

What is the main objective?
We envision that most players will be coming to Ashran to farm honor and rewards. You’ll do that by killing creatures and participating in the side events. Along the way you’ll find items that boost your characters power (such as the class books, scrolls, wands etc.) and we hope you’ll get some PvP fights.
There is no objective like “cap and hold these points, run this flag, kill this guy” like our other objective based maps. We’ve found that more objective heavy maps lead to more predictable gameplay, which lead to less interesting unexpected PvP fights… which defines the idea of “world pvp.”

That said, I would say some goals in the map would be as a faction to maintain the mage portals, warlock gateways, and spawn Fangraal/Kronus. They all serve to help your faction be more efficient in the zone.

Why does Ashran not put you into a group/raid?
Ashran is intended to simulate any other zone in WoW. If we put you into a huge group, that would insinuate that there is some global objective to win… which there really isn’t. We want you to be able to come to Ashran in a small group as you would in any zone to collect honor and other rewards.
That said, I can certainly see the utility of having a raid group if you’re in Ashran to just do some casual PvP in the road of glory. For that, we will just leave it to players to create those groups naturally. It’s a bit anti-social to be forced into a raid group if you don’t want to be in one.

Faction balance
Balancing Horde and Alliance populations is a priority. Current on beta, there is no population enforcement. It’s something we’ll be monitoring and tweaking going forward.

Keep in mind Ashran is still in development. There are bugs, things will change, items will be put in, new side objectives added etc. We hope you’ll revisit Ashran as the builds progress in beta.

Phalanx, as a PvE Guy, one of the things I was looking forward to most was Ashran, but after messing around with it, that intrigue has worn out, I know you guys keep saying you don't want objective based gameplay, but in my opinion the best part of all of Ashran is the Minecart area at the Quarry, all the side areas should be like that, if they aren't already. I find myself there, more than the middle lane. The biggest and most glaring issue besides the lack of things to do out of the "tug-of-war" is the middle lane being what most would call a cluster.... it is not intuitive gameplay to have everyone just stack and spam, it isn't fun either, I get the tug-of-war ability, but if you want that, it needs to be matched with other things to do for people who do not want that and want Wintergrasp and Tol Borad back. As it stands Ashran feels LESS like Alterac Valley and more like Temple of Kotmogu, there is simply not enough to do around the zone (I am sure most of this can be attributed to the fact that it is beta.)
There are "PvP Events" at each of the POIs. The minecart at the quarry, there's a "cap the fires" event at the tower, and a race event at the stadium. The burial ground event isn't live yet. We're glad you like those events, and they're still work in progress. We're going to work to highlight those more in the zone, and of course they'll also have rewards.

I would reiterate that the goal of summoning Fangraal/Kronus could stand to feel more rewarding. Right now a decent tank can solo them given enough time. Perhaps something like a heal debuff aura or random target change timer in combination with a substantial damage increase would be cool to see. I want to see these guys on the field and hope that there is a raid group with me or nearby.
They're going to get beefed up for the next build, and we're going to add to their abilities and correct to their pathing as well. The idea originally was for them to patrol the outskirts areas (since we didn't want to make the midlane the focal point), but it's something that can possibly change.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Clarification on Highmaul/Foundry Boss Kill Order
Highmaul has three completely optional bosses: Brackenspore, Butcher, and Tectus can be skipped if you like (a la Ignis or Razorscale in Ulduar).

Foundry has no optional bosses, but consists of three separate wings that must be cleared to access Blackhand's Crucible (layout is more like Naxxramas). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Garrison Resources Cap
Lots of tuning still to come on resources. Mission cost, cap and general acquisition rate all examples of things that we will be updating. Feedback on this is very useful, thanks! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.4.8 Hotfixes - July 22
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Creatures
  • Kurtok the Slayer's health has been reduced to be slightly less menacing to the denizens of Northshire.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Death Knight (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
As a blood DK main, I need to ask, Why remove Heart Strike and Rune Strike, but keep Plague Strike and Icy touch?
Because they were redundant gameplay (with Pestilence/BloodBoil and Death Coil), whereas PS/IT are not. (Celestalon)
Plus removing HS there are annoying gaps. Would love to see that brought back. Currently blood is so slow, boring
You may have missed that you should be using Pestilence (aka Blood Boil) instead of Heart Strike. No rotation diff. (Celestalon)
It's more of a flavor thing for me, I feel using a AOE attack on a single target fight is pointless.
Heart Strike and Blood Boil are in Blood's rotation, and are already AoEs. (Celestalon)

Druid (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Most notable suggestion being having 2 separate eclipse power bars for Lunar/Solar that regenerate in 2 ways
Extremely unlikely that we'd go in a direction that added significant learning complication, such as that would. (Celestalon)

Are you guys still open to change/improve the new Eclipse system to provide more control for the player and depth for the spec?
We have another change coming soon that we think will improve it a bit more. Hang tight for that. (Celestalon)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Celestalon are you serious? You seriously want our mastery to only be good during certain situations?
Tons of stats have situational strengths. And the situation where Sniper Training is good is the vast majority of time. (Celestalon)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Why do all energy specs have to be restricted by energy? Already 4 specs that are, why can't WW stay unique and fastpaced(fun)
...because then it's not an energy spec? Energy is pointless if it's not a limitation. (Celestalon)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
is there any chance to implement something for fury warriors like the fire mages have?
Bloodthirst fills the same role. (Celestalon)

Ooc, will the new Rend's final burst work like Living Bomb? IE - Refresh before Rend expires, still burst finish when it would?
Yes. (Celestalon)

Art
Are the new remodeled Arakkoa female? They sure have some female look.
The model is used for both male and female characters. (DonAdams)

And then I remembered that the Fem Tauren model isn't updated yet.
oooh yeh she is, we'll get an update out in the next few weeks to satiate bovine curiosity (artofcgrobinson)

I've noticed that the elbows on drakes'/dragons' wings bulge terribly during flight. Can/will this be corrected?
yeh...that's been a sore spot for a while now - hope to fix but no eta (artofcgrobinson)

Warlords of Draenor Stats
Does this imply flasks for secondaries? If so, excitement.
Yes, Warlords flasks give secondary stats: more potential choice. Primary was a no-brainer (except maybe Spi vs. Int for healers). (WatcherDev)

Reputation / Questing
Plan to have her (Yrel) own voice as well Khadgar?
Yes! VO is still being recorded and localized. (DaveKosak)

Garrisons
seriously scared about such restricted Garrison customization.
Customization is certainly cool, but as we have said, it's not the number one priority. Fun gameplay comes first.
It'll be fun to RP in with friends as well, I'm just looking out for other's concerns is all.
Have some customization options in the works: Monuments, garrison banners and racial guards to name a few. (mumper)

With the new follower AI Is it fully implemented in tier 2+ garrisons? They only patrol the garrison now, and nothing else
Nope, still very much a work in progress. Tier 3 Alliance probably furthest along so far. (mumper)

Tech
Any chance the pop-in distance can be increased for npcs?
We get asked that a lot by design. We'd like to, but it's very hard on the servers. The area the server thinks you should see is 100 yards around you most of the time. But area increases with square of distance. So an increase of 50 yards (50%) means more than 2x work on the server. So not very likely in the open world in 6.0. As we continue to improve the code maybe later. (kurtismcc)
Thats not too bad really, and makes sense r/e what I know about it. Would non-circular shapes for render distance be unfeasible?
The math is really nice for circles and squares. We use circles. Considered ellipses for when server not loaded. Other things we can try. I was originally going to investigate some for 6.0, but ran out of time. Spatial hashing and other techniques more understood than when WoW first coded. Also things like update rate scale linearly. (kurtismcc)

At the start of MoP, Chess became IMPOSSIBLE because cpu would take many moves faster than it should. Was actually caused by improving responsiveness of one of our systems, when chess was built assuming that delay. The fix was just to force the delay back into chess, but was hard to anticipate the specific problem. (pedrothedagger)

Ride the Iron Skyreaver - 40% Off This Week Only
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Forged by the brutal hand of the Iron Horde and tempered by hatred, the Iron Skyreaver is a fearsome blend of beast and machine. This twin-headed terror dominates the sky and strikes fear into any foe who dares challenge it. Take the reins of one of these monstrosities for 40% off this week only, but beware—the Skyreaver suffers only the most formidable masters to ride it.


2014 World of Warcraft Arena North American Arena Tournament
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Do you have what it takes to compete on the big stage in the WoW Arena World Championship at BlizzCon 2014? We’ve got all of the WoW North American Arena Tournament information you need to set you on your path to global domination.

Eight of the top 3v3 Arena teams from around the globe will compete for a chance to face off in the World of Warcraft Arena World Championship, taking place November 7 and 8 at BlizzCon 2014 in Anaheim, California.

If you’re an Arena competitor, it’s time to hone your skills and get ready to fight hard for a spot in the event. We’ll be holding online qualifiers for North America* in the months to come—in order to be eligible, teams need to have an individual 3v3 Arena rating of 2,500 on the live realms by August 25, 2014 at 10 a.m. PDT.

The North American Arena Tournament will use a double-elimination format to determine the top 3 teams. Beginning in the Nagrand Arena, each match will be played in a best-of-five format, with the losing team deciding the next map from the remaining pool of eligible maps. Each game will last until one team is eliminated or until 15 minutes have elapsed. When the dust settles, only the top 3 teams will move on to compete live at BlizzCon 2014.

Eligible countries for the North American Arena Tournament include the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Mexico, Chile, and Argentina.


For complete prizing and WoW Arena World Championship information, visit our earlier post.

If you’re a spectator, you’ll be able to catch all of the action live online even if you can’t make it to BlizzCon in person—stay tuned for more information.

Click here for the complete rules.

*Information on tournament sign-ups to follow in the coming weeks.

Warcraft Movie Weapons
Bashiok and Ethan_Anderton shared some images of weapons from the Warcraft Movie.

by Published on 2014-07-22 11:35 PM

Hearthstone - The Curse of Naxxramas Now Live!

Priest Tier 17 Armor Sets, New Area in Stormwind, Blue Posts, Curse of Naxxramas

Warlords of Draenor Beta Patch Notes Update - July 22
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Raid Utility Balance
  • Hunter
    • Aspect of the Fox is a new ability for all Hunters.
      • Aspect of the Fox: Party and raid members within 40 yards take on the aspects of a fox, allowing them to move while casting all spells for 6 seconds. Only one Aspect can be active at a time. 3 minute cooldown.
    • A minor Raid utility ability (to-be-determined) will be added for Hunters.

Death Knight
Miscellaneous
  • Conversion no longer has an initial tick, and now costs 15 Runic Power/second for Blood, 10 20 Runic Power/second for Frost, and 20 10 Runic Power/second for Unholy.

Druid
Ability Consolidation and Refinement
  • Thick Hide has been removed and its effects have been incorporated into Bear Form for Guardian Druids.
    • Bear Form now increases armor by 600% 330% for all Druid specializations, and no longer increases Haste and Critical Strike from items by 50%, but instead causes Haste to reduce the global cooldown
    • For Guardian Druids, Bear Form now also reduces magical damage taken by 25%, reduces physical damage taken by 12%, reduces chance to be critically hit by 6%, and reduces chance for attacks to be parried by 3%.
  • Tiger’s Fury is now usable during Berserk.

Summary of changes to Balance:
That's the basics of the new Moonkin rotation. There’s room for improvement beyond that, learning to optimally maintain both periodic damage effects while maximizing their damage with the strongest Eclipse effect, timing Starsurge to optimize the benefit of its buff, make use of Starfall and Hurricane for area damage, and taking advantage of the strengths of each side (such as Moonfire and Sunfire having significant differences now). Here are the full details of the changes.

Details of changes to Balance:
  • Eclipse has been redesigned.
    • The damage of damage-over-time effects changes dynamically as Eclipse changes.
  • Moonfire now has a base duration of 20 seconds (up from 14 seconds), but is no longer extended by Starfire and Starsurge critical strikes. Upon reaching 100 Lunar Energy, the next Moonfire deals 100% additional initial damage.
  • Sunfire is no longer its own spell and replaces Moonfire on the action bar whenever Balance Energy is on the Solar side. Sunfire now has a base duration of 24 20 seconds (up from 14 seconds), but is no longer extended by Wrath and Starsurge critical strikes. Enemies may still suffer from both Moonfire and Sunfire’s periodic damage components simultaneously. Upon reaching 100 Solar Energy, the next Sunfire deals 100% additional initial damage.

Restoration Changes

Mage
Talent Revisions
  • Ice Ward was changed to make it more competitive with the rest of its talent row. Ice Ward now causes the next 3 attackers (up from 1) to trigger a Frost Nova.

One of the most problematic Talent rows in the game has been the Mage level-90 row. The primary theme of the row was mana, which only Arcane Mages actually cared about. Bonus damage was added in, making it functional for all Mages, but muddled in its goals. Additionally, some of them just weren't fun to play with. We've revised the row to be purely about damage, and made them have less maintenance cost. Arcane Mages will have enough mana regeneration without these Talents to perform well.

  • Mirror Image is now a level-90 Talent, replacing Invocation. Mirror Image now inherit 100% 50% of the Mage’s Spell Power (up from 5%), last 40 seconds (up from 30 seconds), and have a 2 minutes cooldown (down from 3 minutes).

Paladin
Ability Consolidation and Refinement
There were a few mergers of passive abilities, and some tweaks to a couple of abilities.

Protection Changes
For Protection, we tweaked Eternal Flame in order to reduce its massive self-healing amount, and provide better balance between talents on that row. We also added a new passive, Shining Protector, in order to give defensive value to the new Multistrike stat. Holy Wrath’s damage and cooldown were also increased, and Sanctified Wrath changed to buff it further, in order to give Protection Paladins more burst threat and damage, while retaining its core damage-splitting identity.

  • Holy Wrath’s damage has been increased by 100%, and its cooldown increased to 15 seconds (up from 9 seconds).
  • Sanctified Wrath for Protection Paladins has been redesigned.

Warlock
Demonology Changes
We were unsatisfied with Grimoire of Sacrifice for Demonology. Fundamentally, it did not fit Demonology’s theme to sacrifice their pet, full time. We had toyed with ideas where it acted as a temporary cooldown for Demonology, but have decided to replace it with a new talent, which is more theme-appropriate, and fits well against the competition in that talent row.

  • Grimoire of Sacrifice is no longer available to Demonology Warlocks and has a new talent, Grimoire of Synergy in its place.
    • Grimoire of Synergy: When the Warlock or their demon deals damage, there is a chance to trigger Demonic Synergy, granting the other one 15% increased damage for 15 seconds.

Warrior
Ability Consolidation and Refinement
  • Thunder Clap now costs 15 30 Rage, and also reduces the movement speed of nearby enemies by 50% for 6 sec.
  • Ultimatum’s effects have been merged into baseline Shield Slam.

Fury Changes
Fury Warriors received a few additional changes. In particular, Heroic Strike has been removed for Fury Warriors, and modified Wild Strike to fill the role of quick excess Rage dump. We also made a revision to the Critical Strike chance of Bloodthirst to make them less crit-dependant. A new glyph has been added which gives Fury Warriors a choice for a notably different playstyle. Auto attack damage had become too high, so we also moved some damage from that into Execute (which has been changed to deal damage based on Weapon Damage, instead of just Attack Power). In order to make sure that you’re able to spend all of your resources within each Colossus Smash window, we added an extension to it onto Raging Blow. Plus, we've updated some to spell alerts to improve usability.


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