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by Published on 2014-12-11 06:03 AM

Ancient Weapons Reroll, Marauder Bug on PTR, Story of Diablo Updated, Diablo 1 HD Remake
The Instance Hearthstone Dev Interview, Deck Spotlights: Fire's Mech Priest & Avast! Pirate/Weaponpower Rogue
December 10th Patch Changes - Stimpacks Added, Bug Fixes


Mythic Highmaul Guild Progress - Day 2
Today is the second day for the race of world first Mythic Highmaul. EU has caught up and now holds the top spots. All that remains is The Butcher and Imperator Mar'gok. Below is the current standing from WoWProgress as of 1:00 AM EST.

GuildRealmProgress
1Method (r)EU-Twisting Nether5/7 (M)
2ЭкзорсусEU (RU)-Ревущий фьорд5/7 (M)
3ParagonEU-Lightning's Blade5/7 (M)
4AscensionOC-Barthilas5/7 (M)
5Rapid Eye Movement (r)EU-Tarren Mill4/7 (M)
6PracticeEU-Shattered Hand4/7 (M)
7MidwinterUS-Sargeras4/7 (M)
8Avast (r)OC-Jubei'Thos3/7 (M)
9MoonzlingeEU (DE)-Azshara3/7 (M)


Alchemy and Jewelcrafting Changes
Originally Posted by Rygarius (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re giving a heads up on adjustments being made based on player feedback over the amount of herbs used in recipes by Alchemy and Jewelcrafting. The adjustment will increase the amount of herbs an Alchemist needs and decrease the herb costs for Jewelcrafters.

Overview of Changes:

Alchemy
  • Combat potion recipes no longer requires Crescent Oil and meat/fish, and will require herbs instead.
  • Flask recipes will use more herbs, increasing the number of herbs needed from one type of herb to two.

Jewelcrafting
  • Tier 1 gem recipes will require more ore and less herbs.
  • Tier 2 gem recipes will no longer require herbs and instead require a tier 1 gem.

In summary, these changes are not active yet. But once the change is active, Alchemists will need more herbs, and Jewelcrafting will need less.

Does this require a Realm Restart to take in effect?
This is an early heads up and it's not live yet. It depends on how testing for the hotfix goes before that can be determined.

I'm currently working to get clarification from the designers over feedback that we've been receiving over the change to reagents for Alchemy recipes.

Update:
We’ve been reading feedback and concerns that have been raised and wanted to provide clarification. Historically, Alchemy has greater synergy with Herbalism than Fishing and we wanted to restore that with this change. Crescent Oil still has a use for Alchemists and it will still be used for some Draenor Alchemy recipes. We’re removing Crescent Oil as a reagent from primary stat buff potions and mana potions, but keeping it for other potions.

Hotfixes for December 10th
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Garrisons, Followers, and Outposts

  • Resolved a situation that could cause ore and mining carts in a player's Garrison to despawn.
  • Resolved an issue where players may sometimes not correctly accrue rested experience when entering their Garrisons.
  • Garrison Invasions
    • Players defeating the final boss that pushes their invasion score to over 1000 should now correctly be able to receive credit for obtaining a gold rating.

Classes

  • Druid
    • Balance
      • Shooting Stars should no longer fail to trigger if the most recent target of Moonfire or Sunfire dies.
  • Hunter
    • General
      • Resolved a number of additional situations that could cause Kill Shot (Beast Mastery, Marksmanship) to not correctly reset its cooldown.
  • Monk
    • General
      • Transcendence: Transfer should now continue to correctly reference new transfer locations after multiple uses.
  • Priest
    • Talents
      • Insanity's (Shadow) snare should now be correctly affected by abilities that remove or reduces the duration of snare effects.
  • Rogue
    • Subtlety
      • Honor Among Thieves should no longer cause Rogues with the Anticipation talent to stand up after receiving a Critical heal.

Creatures and NPCs

  • Citizens of Dalaran! Raise your eyes to the skies and observe! Rhonin, Leader of the Kirin Tor, should now be reciting their spoken lines to characters within a much smaller radius in the streets of the city of Dalaran. Note that his text... his text are still worth reading and continue to still be visible to those within the city.
  • Rare creatures and NPCs are now immune to the Enslave Demon and Control Undead effect.
  • Goren Protector, Orc Ancestor, Ancient Ogre, and Ghostly Arakkoa should now correctly scale to level 100.
  • World Bosses
    • The world bosses Drov the Ruiner and Tarlna the Ageless in Gorgrond now share a single loot eligibility lockout.
    • Both Drov the Ruiner and Tarlna the Ageless should no longer be available at the same time.
  • Talador
    • Cordana Felsong should now be visible to characters that are at or above level 98.
    • May Tirta and James Lamone located in Zangarra can no longer be attacked by characters.
  • Spires of Arak
    • Solar Magnifier should no longer become untargetable if they are leashed while using the Excavation ability.
  • Nagrand
    • Gordawg no longer uses Tectonic Slam.

Dungeons, Raids, and Scenarios

  • Raids
    • Credit for defeating bosses on Raid Finder difficulty should no longer incorrectly have a daily reset instead of a weekly one.
    • Highmaul
      • Tectus: Motes of Tectus should now be properly tracked in the boss frames as intended.
      • Twin Ogron: Phemos' thrown weapons now persist for 16 seconds after Quake has finished casting.
      • Ko'ragh should no longer benefit from Critical Strike auras from players that are under the effects of Dominating Power.
      • Ko'ragh: Resolved an issue where players may be unable to use execute abilities against Ko'ragh when his health is low.
  • Dungeons
    • Bloodmaul Slag Mines
      • Slave Watcher Crushto: After being defeated, the miners should no longer be attackable, and no longer cause Croman to chase them out of range.
    • Grimrail Depot
      • Nitrogg Thundertower should no longer be able to get thrown off the train and wind up being stuck in evade mode.
      • Added a second location for Iron Autocannon, Iron Limbcleaver, and Huge Crate of Weapons to the Grimrail Crash Site.

PvP

  • Ashran
    • Bonus objectives in Ashran now have a daily reset timer.
    • Fortune Favors the Bold no longer provides a bonus to Honor Point gains.

Battlegrounds and Arenas

  • Healers leaving an Arena match should no longer sometimes cause Dampening to reset.
  • Resolved an additional number of situations where players could incorrectly obtain items that require Vol'jin's Spear or Wrynn's Vanguard to equip from a Rated Battleground or The Coliseum.

Items

  • Healing effects from healing potions should no longer incorrectly be able to critically heal or Multistrike.
  • Raid buffs to Mastery no longer counts for food that provides a well fed buff to the highest secondary stat.
  • Personal Hologram's temporary hologram of yourself should now be easier to see.

Bug Fixes

  • Resolved an issue where dispelling Prayer of Mending was incorrectly only removing a single charge instead of the entire effect.

Free Character Migrations (FCM) 10/12
Originally Posted by Takralus (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The Free Character Migrations listed below have now been reopened for both factions, and are tentatively scheduled to close on 16 December 2014.

These FCMs have been reopened in order to help players who were previously separated from guild mates or friends. Please be aware that they may be closed before the above date.

PvE Realms
Argent Dawn -> Moonglade, Darkmoon Faire
Draenor -> Emerald Dream, Shadowsong
Silvermoon -> Azjol-Nerub, Khadgar

PvP Realms
Dentarg -> Bladefist, Drak'thul
Frostmane -> Emeriss, Xavius
Kazzak -> Bladefist, Drak'thul
Outland -> Emeriss, Xavius
Ragnaros -> Bladefist, Drak'thul
Ravencrest -> Emeriss, Xavius
Stormscale -> Emeriss, Xavius
Sylvanas -> Emeriss, Xavius
Tarren Mill -> Bladefist, Drak'thul
Twisting Nether -> Emeriss, Xavius

You can discuss an FCM to or from one of the listed realms in the dedicated discussion threads linked above. If you’re looking for a specific migration not covered by the above list, please use the Character Transfer service.

Please note that all free or paid character migrations follow the regular Character Transfer 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 2014-12-10 04:33 AM

Legendary Workshop Stream
Goblins vs Gnomes has Released in North America & Europe
Dec 9 Hero Rotation Update, From the Bullpen: Heroes and Villians

Mythic Highmaul Guild Progress
Today started the race for world first Mythic Highmaul. NA has a head start, and below is the current standing from WoWProgress as of 11:40pm EST.

GuildRealmProgress
1AscensionOC-Barthilas4/7 (M)
2MidwinterUS-Sargeras2/7 (M)
3Nightmare AsylumUS-Mug'thol2/7 (M)
4Overture (r)US-Mal'Ganis2/7 (M)
5Duality (r)US-Zul'jin2/7 (M)
6Vulgar (r)US-Sargeras2/7 (M)
7WHATEVER WERE AWES..US-Magtheridon2/7 (M)
8Modest (r)US-Kilrogg2/7 (M)
9Blood Legion (r)US-Illidan2/7 (M)
10Smitus and Friends (r)US-Sargeras2/7 (M)


Hotfixes for December 9th
Originally Posted by Blizzard
Garrisons, Followers, and Outposts
  • Garrison Buildings
    • Barn: Increased the drop rates for Savage Blood from work orders.
    • Dwarven Bunker / War Mill: Work orders now award more Iron Horde Scraps and increased the drop rates for Follower Enhancements.
    • Gladiator's Sanctum: Characters can now accumulate up to a maximum of 5000 Broken Bones at a time.
    • Salvage Yard: Salvage recovered from a Garrison Mission should now always contain an item.
    • Trading Post: The Savage Friends achievement now only requires the character to become Exalted with 1 Draenor reputation (down from 3).
    • Trading Post (Alliance): The Sha'tari Defense quartermaster now correctly offers the Sky Fry Battle Pet for sale at Revered reputation.


Classes
  • Druid
    • General
      • Resolved an issue where Druids may sometimes lose Flight Form (and fall) when logging in or exiting from a Battleground or Arena match.
  • Hunter
    • General
      • Kill Shot should now correctly reset its cooldown when it fails to kill the target due to Cauterize (Mage) or Guardian Spirit (Priest).
  • Mage
    • Armor Sets
      • Mage Tier-16's 4-piece set bonus is no longer guaranteed to trigger for characters above level 90.
  • Warlock
    • General
      • Dark Soul's cooldown should now work correctly when used in conjunction with the talent Archimonde's Darkness and Glyph of Dark Soul.


Quests
  • Spires of Arak
    • Orders, Commander?: Resolved an issue where characters that have performed a faction change may be unable to complete the quest.


Dungeons, Raids, and Scenarios
  • Raids
    • Highmaul
      • Iron Flame Technicians should no longer be incorrectly dropping Normal difficulty loot on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • The Butcher's Heavy Handed attack should now be correctly counted as an attack for abilities that require an attack to trigger its effects.
      • The Butcher should no longer become unresponsive if a Rogue in stealth gets too close.
      • Brackenspore: Unit frames for Living Mushrooms and Rejuvenating Mushrooms should now display properly.
      • Imperator Mar'gok: Arcane Aberrations that have been Banished should now continue to use Collapsing Entity.
      • Imperator Mar'gok: Added a portal transporting players back to The Coliseum from Throne of the Imperator after Imperator Mar'gok has been defeated.
  • Dungeons
    • Shadowmoon Burial Grounds
      • The portal that appears after Ner'zhul has been defeated should now transport players back to the beginning of the Dungeon.


Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • The level 90 bracket has been merged into the level 91-99 bracket.
  • Priests should no longer be able to continue to hold onto the flag while in Spirit of Redemption form.
  • Rated Battleground flag carriers in a tanking specialization should no longer be taking more damage than flag carriers in a non-tanking specialization. Previously, flag carrying tanks took 50% more damage and that stacked with an additional 25% damage received while in RBGs (additional 75% damage received total). This change removes the 50% additional damage taken while carrying a flag in an RBG.


Professions
  • Enchanting
    • Resolved an issue that could cause Enchanter's Illusions to be reverted from an item.


Items
  • General goods vendors across Draenor now offer Crystal Vials and Enchanting Vellums for sale.
  • Consumable items that summons a fast mount can no longer be used while in a Challenge Mode.
  • Elixir of Deep Earth now increases armor by 67 (down from 268).
  • Primal Spirit is now only eligible for Greed rolls in Need Before Greed loot mode.
by Published on 2014-12-09 01:10 AM

Important: - The first wing of Raid Finder and Mythic Highmaul will open today at 10am PST.

Hotfixes for December 8 - Class Tuning and More

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Class Tuning Changes


Please note that the following class tuning changes are still undergoing testing and will be implemented as soon as possible.
  • Death Knight
  • Hunter
    • General
      • Kill Shot's (Beast Mastery, Marksmanship) damage has been reduced by 10%.
    • Marksmanship
  • Mage
  • Monk
    • General
      • Rising Sun Kick (Windwalker, Mistweaver) now causes enemies to take 10% increased damage from the Monk's abilities (down from 15% increased damage).
  • Shaman
  • Warrior
    • Fury
      • Bloodthirst's damage has increased by 20%, and has an additional 40% chance to be a critical strike (up from 30%).
      • Execute's (Fury) damage has increased by 10%.
      • Raging Blow's damage has increased by 33%.
      • Wild Strike's damage has increased by 32%.


Garrisons, Followers, and Outposts
  • Ashran has been re-enabled as a potential daily strategic assault choice. This reverts a change from November 21.
  • Garrison Buildings
    • [Requires a realm restart.] Work orders for the following Horde buildings (Mine, Herb Garden, Goblin Workshop, War Mill, and Trading Post) and Alliance buildings (Dwarven Bunker, Gnomish Workshop, Trading Post) should now correctly contribute credit towards the achievements for Working Some Orders and Working More Orders.
    • Gem Boutique: Followers assigned to the building should now always offer a daily quest.
    • Gladiator's Sanctum: Highmaul Coliseum gladiator tournament should no longer incorrectly be awarding PvP gear and items that require reputation with Vol'jin's Spear or Wrynn's Vanguard to equip.
    • Gladiator's Sanctum: Work orders were awarding much more gold and items than intended. The amount of items and gold awarded has been reduced to be more comparable to other buildings.
    • Herb Garden: Visitors can no longer harvest the player's Frostweed.
    • Salvage Yard: Awards for salvage have been split into 3 tiers based on the level of the Garrison Mission (Levels 90-94, Levels 95-99, and Level 100). Additionally, the mission needs to be successful for a chance to receive salvage with Level 100 missions having a guaranteed chance on success.
  • Garrison Invasions
    • Shadow Council Invasion: Concubine of Sin no longer awards points when defeated.


Quests
  • Shadowmoon Valley
    • The Fate of Karabor: Yrel should now always assist the player with Krull. Additionally, Krull's Brutal Smash now has a reduced range of 6 yards.
  • Talador


Creatures and NPCs
  • Grom'kar NPCs in the Frostfire Iron Siegeworks and Gorgrond Blackrock Foundry areas should now correctly have a chance to drop Iron Horde scraps for characters with a Dwarven Bunker / War Mill in their Garrisons.
  • Shadowmoon Valley
    • Shinri should no longer be getting stuck in evade mode.


Dungeons, Raids, and Scenarios
  • Raids
    • Highmaul
      • Tectus: Visual markers for Earthen Pillar, Fracture, Meteoric Earthspire, and Radiating Poison should now be easier to see.
      • Tectus: Meteoric Earthspire now deals less damage on Normal and Heroic difficulties.
      • Tectus' targeting circle for Crystalline Barrage should now still be visible for users with projected textures disabled.
      • Twin Ogron's Fierce Disposition, Savage Disposition, and Aggressive Disposition should now be showing up in combat logs.
      • Imperator Mar'gok's Arcane mines for Destructive Resonance should now be easier to see for users with projected textures disabled.
      • Imperator Mar'gok: Visuals for Destructive Resonance should now be visible from anywhere in the Throne of the Imperator area.
      • Imperator Mar'gok's Arcane Wrath ability should no longer incorrectly jump to a player that has been Branded during Phase 4 with the Power of Replication.
  • Dungeons
    • Auchindoun
      • Disabled the cutscene for Teron'gor that plays after defeating Azzakel on Challenge Mode.
    • Skyreach
      • Ranjit should no longer occasionally target the tank with Lens Flare and Windwall.

PvP
  • Ashran
    • Honor and reputation increases for turning in Artifact Fragments first noted on December 3, are now out of testing and have been implemented.
    • Disabled health regeneration for Kronus, Fangraal, Grand Marshal Tremblade, and High Warlord Volrath when they leash or drop out of combat.
    • Creatures outside of Ashran should no longer incorrectly have a chance to drop Artifact Fragments.


Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Rated Battlegrounds should no longer incorrectly be awarding PvP gear and items that require reputation with Vol'jin's Spear or Wrynn's Vanguard to equip.


Professions

Items
  • Follower Weapon and Armor enhancements can now stack up to 20.
  • Temporary buffs that increase Critical Strike should now correctly increase Parry through Riposte for tanking specializations.
  • Cracked Potion Vials should no longer drop for non-Alchemists.
  • Everburning Candle was buffed much more than intended. The amount of mana granted has been reduced to 10,456 (down from 20,916). Additional information on the reasoning for this change can be found in the forum thread: Everburning Candle Changes.
  • Gently Squeezed Toad is no longer usable while in a Challenge Mode Dungeon.


Achievements

Everburning Candle Hotfix
It looks like the Everburning Candle got a nerf.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The Everburning Candle will receive a hotfix today which will reduce the amount of mana restored on use from roughly 20,000 to roughly 10,000. Similar to the issue with Scabbard of Kyanos, our previous adjustment left the power level of the item drastically beyond the range of even Mythic raid trinkets. After this hotfix, the trinket will still be an ideal item for any healer, and we will not be adjusting the Intellect passive of the trinket which will remain at 334.

With regard to developer comments made yesterday during the Final Boss podcast interview, we understand changing our minds about not adjusting this item may be frustrating. At the time, we absolutely meant that we were okay with it being over-budget in terms of what it provides (reference the unchanged Intellect). However, when designers took a closer look at the item this morning, they realized that the mana being granted was excessive to the point that it risked undermining healer and encounter balance, and creating a world where healers with the Everburning Candle would play a different game with respect to mana longevity than those without.

Dark Legacy Comics #468 - Lore, What is it Good For?
DLC #468 has been released.

by Published on 2014-12-07 07:13 PM

Update 5:01 PST - Watcher tweets about buffing under performing specs more so than nerfing Glad.
Update 3:14 PST - FinalBossTV's Interview has finished, and we have added a roundup! Please make sure to check out the full video!


FinalBossTV Developer Interview
the FinalBossTV Interview with Ion Hazzikostas and Kris Zeirhut has finished! We strongly recommend watching the VOD for more details on your class. If you are unable to view the VOD we have a roundup below!



Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
General
  • Server engineers would go home and sleep for 5-6 hours in the middle of the day, and then head right back to work at launch.
  • A lot of problems were because particular servers had a large population of players who had quit during TBC or Wrath come back and inflate that server’s population to extreme levels.
  • They are fine with the speed at which people are getting gear from garrison missions.
  • Getting a new garrison raid mission is not based on the success or failure of a previous one.
  • They want to go back and add data for older raids to the dungeon journal but it’s not a high priority.
  • They will look into making Admiral Taylor's Greatsword transmoggable.


Items and Itemization
  • They are happy with how warforged gear works at all levels, including mythic loot.
  • There are probably going to be larger gear gaps between raid tiers compared to the past.
  • Due to the exponential curve of power, there will be another item level squish in the future, but it "is a few years out".
  • They know the Everburning Candle is over budget, but they are fine with this for now. If they had this conversation 2 months ago, they would probably say “yep, it needs a nerf” but now that it is out there and people have spent lots of gold on it, they don’t feel they should nerf it.


Graphics
  • They want to do a graphics update in the future to make it so that spell effects don’t all go to the exact same point on the body’s model and instead spread out.
  • They feel the need to increase the graphics quality with each expansion in some way, even if it is a 10-year-old game.
  • They feel that improvements could be made reduce to melee clutter from pets, such as making the Fire Elemental into a ranged guardian that still did the same damage.
  • They have a plan to “fix” toys for druids so you can see transformation items/buffs outside of PvP. Mounted shapeshifts will still take the highest priority.


Class Changes

General Information
  • Some class balance changes will go live sometime tomorrow, with number changes around 5% where needed.
  • There are only a few specs like Marksmanship Hunters and Windwalker Monks that are pulling a little too far ahead than the others.
  • When a spec is top on both movement and stationary fights, they usually need to take a look at the spec.
  • Everyone should be fairly equal in single target, although may still have niches (stationary vs movement). Once you get beyond single target, some might be good at cleave (2-3), some mass AoE, some burst AoE, etc.
  • When there was 70% overhealing, absorbs felt more important. Now that overhealing is getting smaller (and will get even smaller in Mythic) absorbs are starting to get where they feel just right.
  • They like that all the healers have different strengths and weaknesses.
  • They don’t expect there to be class mechanic changes in 6.1 or even 6.2 unless there is a large problem.
  • They feel the pruning in a lot of classes is not complete. It will take them a while to get all the classes cleaned up. Shaman still feels like it has too many damage sources. You won't see these in the 6.1 or 6.2 timeframe however.

Talents
  • Level 100 talents in general are have some serious balance issues compared against each other.
  • They do think the level 100 talents that are underperforming but fun should get a buff in 6.1 or 6.2.
  • For talents that people do not think are fun, they may just leave them alone for now and completely replace them next expansion.

Death Knights
  • They feel Blood Death Knights are using their magic too much and aren’t using their weapon enough. They need to make them use their strikes again, but it likely won’t be in the immediate future.

Hunters
  • If Hunter stacking becomes an issue in Mythic raids, they can nerf Aspect of the Fox or even remove it. It was added mainly because it was felt that Marksmanship Hunters didn't bring enough raid utility.

Mages
  • Fire and Arcane mages are pretty low. Frost is better but still on the low side. They want to make sure each spec is viable.
  • They are happy with Rune of Power. However if you feel forced into it, they want to make sure there are other options.

Monks
  • Challenge Modes revealed that Mistweaver Monks were a little low, which is the reason for the recent buffs.
  • They have no performance tweaks in mind for Mistweaver Monks.

Paladins
  • Beacon of Faith for Holy Paladins feels mandatory, and they think the other two talents need to be brought up to the same level.
  • Empowered Seals will be looked at in 6.1 along with the rest of the level 100 talents, and they will adjust it if it is too low or too high.

Priests
  • Shadow Priest’s Clarity of Power is another example of the other talent options needing to be buffed to be more in line.
  • Shadow Priests should be about multi-dotting when it comes to AoE. The amount that they can buff Mind Sear is limited because it can’t outpace Mind Flay in single target.

Rogues
  • They don’t see any data that shows Rogues need changes at this time. They feel Rogues might still be dealing with the changes to combo points, and think that Rogues are pretty well represented across their specs.

Shamans
  • Healers are pretty close on performance. Resto Shaman is probably a little low, they should get a little bump.
  • DPS shaman are probably on the low side and may get a small buff.
  • Fire Nova is possibly still too strong.

Warlocks
  • The devs are still looking at Rain of Fire and what it has done for warlock specs. They weren't happy with Rain of Fire being used as a core part of a single target rotation. In hindsight, they would have handled the hotfix differently, especially the suddenness of it.

Warriors
  • They don’t want warriors to feel they hit like “wet noodles” until the execute phase. If they end up feeling like this on fights, they will look into it.
  • Gladiator was a little too high for single target. It was out performing the other single target.
  • Gladiator should still be close to the same single target dps, but not have the same toolkit as the other specs.
  • Arms and Fury will be brought up. They want to make sure Arms and Fury are doing the same single target as Gladiator. They don’t want to force people away from Arms and Fury to Gladiator based on DPS.
  • If people are not using Shield Barrier at any level of play, they will give it another look.

Convert to Raid Developer Interview
Convert to Raid had an Interview with Ion Hazzikostas & Kris Zeirhut today. We have created a recap that you can check out below if you are not able to view the VOD!

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Patch 6.1
  • The development team did not know there would not be flying for 6.1.
  • New flightpaths and changes to them have been confirmed for 6.1.
  • The new Blood Elf models will be available for 6.1.
  • More information on patch 6.1 will be available in the near future. Soon.

Classes
  • We will see small class balance changes this Monday, before Highmaul Mythic is released. At most, a 5-10% range of changes.
  • The first week of raid data is invaluable when making balance adjustments.
  • If you don't see any changes for your spec/class, the design team probably thinks you're doing well from a numerical standpoint.
  • Shamans need a bump, they're on the low side at the moment.
  • They'd like to improve Elemental's mobile damage, but it will have to wait until 6.1 as it will require significant changes.
  • All Mages are on the low end of the spectrum, and will be receiving buffs.
  • Frost, the most played spec, is a lot lower than they'd like.
  • The necessity of Crit on Fire Mages is problematic early on. They'll figure out a way to adjust it.
  • Lots of players are playing Gladiator Warrior because of how well it is doing, and will be toned down a bit.
  • Other warrior specs should be buffed up.
  • Players gravitate towards the spec which deals the most damage, and Gladiator shouldn't be the answer for Warriors.
  • Playstyle changes shouldn't be made via a hotfix, like the recent Warlock embers change. Players need more warning before that happens.
  • They tried to remove a lot of positional requirements, which is why Glyph of Blackout Kick was removed.
  • They may have gone too far with the removal of large heals. This could be addressed in the future via talents.
  • There's a chance we'll see them ease up on class restrictions for gnomes. Gnome Hunter is probably one of the more likely combinations.


Stats
  • The team is currently happy with the role that Spirit is playing.
  • Versatility is no ones best stat, however, DPS should still be okay switching to it when they get a piece of gear that is higher item level. If that ends up not being the case, it will be looked into.
  • There have been no regrets getting rid of Hit and Expertise.
  • They like how all of the secondary stats now do something unique.
  • There are no plans to allow for rerolling of stats, outside of the current profession reroll items.


Garrisons
  • Follower benefits are currently only taken into account when you collect your work orders. This will be changed in an upcoming patch so they must be present as work orders complete to get the bonus. We will be given notice before this change goes live.
  • A change will be made so that your followers can earn experience while working in your buildings.
  • There will be internal discussion about the number of high level garrison missions you receive.
  • The change to salvage crates was made not because they're worried about you leveling up your followers' item levels too quickly, but because they don't want you to feel like you need to keep a low level follower around to make proper use of your garrison.
  • We will see more garrison content during this expansion through new missions, better rewards, higher item levels, and hidden features.

Raiding
  • The team is happy with how well flex is working. Groups aren't aiming for a specific number of people, but inviting those who want to join.
  • We're looking at a minimum of 2 raid tiers this expansion, 3 is not out of the question. Ideally, raid tiers last at least 6 months each.
  • They'd like to reduce the time between raid tiers; 13 months was too long.
  • The new LFG tool has had a huge impact on the community. People are more social.
  • Highmaul
    • Player response to Highmaul so far has been positive.
    • The team is happy with the current tuning for Highmaul.
    • Highmaul Normal has been tuned around you having 5 man Heroic dungeon gear, where Highmaul Heroic was tuned around having Highmaul Normal gear; A natural progression.
  • Molten Core
    • The revised Molten Core experience was not meant to be done more than once.
    • They wanted to make sure it stayed faithful to the old experience. While 5 minute curses may not be added to the game today, it was an important part of experiencing MC.
    • Some mechanics were adjusted as it was near impossible for 40 random people to get through them. The aggro radius on Golemagg was one of them.
    • We probably won't see any other old school raids come into the LFR format.


Salvage Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
It's neither nerf nor bug, but rather intended to be a rebalancing that shifts some of the incentives away from spamming low-level missions (even after you have high-level followers), in favor of making high-level missions more rewarding.

We made two changes:

  • Level 90-94 missions will only award a Bag of Salvaged Goods (level 1 reward) regardless of the level of your Salvage Yard.
  • Successful Level 100 missions will now always reward a salvage crate appropriate for your current Salvage Yard.

Level 95-99 missions are unchanged. On balance, players who are trying to increase the item level of their followers should be receiving a similar number of follower upgrades as before, but hopefully with a bit less emphasis on logging in every hour or two to cycle through quick low-level missions.

Weekly News Recap
Here is your chance to catch up if you missed a day of news this week!

by Published on 2014-12-06 06:10 AM

Changes to Pylons, D3 Fanart Calendar, Monk GR50+ PTR Build
Hearthstone Wins Best Mobile GOTY, Warsong Commander Bugged, Deck Talk: TheChiv & Spark GvG Theorycraft
Heroes Developer AMA Recap

Poll - Flying in Draenor
Now that we've been without our flying mounts for the past few weeks, are you enjoying no flying in Draenor?


Hotfixes for December 5th
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Garrisons, Followers, and Outposts
  • Garrison Buildings
    • Fishing Shack: Completing a daily Fishing quest now awards 15 skill points to Fishing (up from 1).
    • Gnomish Gearworks / Goblin Workshop: Overcharged Demolisher should now be usable only in the areas it was intended for.
    • Gnomish Gearworks / Goblin Workshop: "Skyterror" Personal Delivery System should now be usable only in the areas it was intended for.

Quests
  • [Requires a realm restart.] Corrected an issue that could cause Bloodmaul Stronghold, Shattrath City, and the Pit to sometimes not drop Apexis Crystals despite being an active quest area for the day.

Creatures and NPCs
  • Fate-Twister Tiklal has relocated to a more prominent location closer to the Apexis Traders in Warspear.

Dungeons, Raids, and Scenarios
  • Raids
    • Highmaul
      • [Requires a realm restart.] The Butcher: The boars Krush and Smash now deals less damage with their Boar's Rush ability and should no longer kill players in one hit.
      • Tectus: Players should no longer be able to use their bonus rolls twice after defeating Tectus.

PvP
  • Ashran
    • To address a potential pathing issue, Fangraal, Kronus, and faction Captains now continuously push towards the enemy faction's base.
    • Players entering Ashran from a PvE realm should now be correctly flagged for PvP.
    • Characters should no longer be able to resurrect at the King's Road graveyard if their faction isn't in control of that point.
    • Resolved an issue where faction Captains may not be spawning correctly.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Resolved an issue where if a Flag Carrier was standing in the area where their team's flag would be when it is returned, they'd be unable to capture the flag until they leave and return to the area again.
  • Arathi Basin: Characters on the Alliance team in a Rated Battleground should now be able to be resurrected by their Spirit Healer at the Blacksmith graveyard if their team is in control of it.
  • [Requires a realm restart.] Eye of the Storm: Characters in a Rated Battleground will now return to their team's starting position when releasing, regardless of what bases their team controls.
  • The Battle for Gilneas: Resolved issues where Spirit Healers may sometimes not spawn in correctly when a point has been captured.

Professions
  • First Aid
    • Antiseptic Bandage no longer requires Sea Scorpion Segments to craft.
  • Jewelcrafting
    • Critical Strike Taladite should no longer incorrectly require a Taladite Crystal to craft.

Items
  • Consuming a Draenor potion, elixir, or flash should no longer cause the character to break out of stealth.
  • Mantid Elixir now provides a more reasonable increase to armor.
  • Primal Combatant's Drape of Contemplation now provide a bonus to Multistrike instead of Critical Strike to differentiate it from the Drape of Meditation.
  • Primal Gladiator's Drape of Contemplation now provide a bonus to Multistrike instead of Critical Strike to differentiate it from the Drape of Meditation.

Dark Legacy Comics #467 - Followers
DLC #467 has been released.

by Published on 2014-12-05 05:37 AM

Developer Q&A Roundup
The Developers went to Reddit to answer some user questions today. We strongly recommend you skim through the roundup below and find the sections that interest you. Some Key highlights:

  • No flying in Draenor in Patch 6.1; though there will be some flight path improvements
  • Account-wide Heirloom system is still planned for Patch 6.1.
  • They're working on support for custom garrison music for Patch 6.1
  • The garrison may grow beyond Tier 3 in Patch 6.2
  • Level 3 salvage crates give something from the level 2 crate loot table plus another chance at an additional item.
  • Garrisons aren't coming to the mobile armory app, as they are a Warlords only feature for now and there are other tasks that would have more long-term use.

FinalBoss has an Interview with Ion Hazzikostas & Kris Zeirhut on Sunday. If you would like to suggest any question, place them over in this thread!

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Game Systems

When do we get the new Heirloom system?
We are currently planning to have this system ready for patch 6.1.0.

Do you tend to concern yourself with economics (other than gold sinks) or simply let the "market" do as it thinks best?
Definitely agree we need more things players can use core gathering materials for. In retrospect, we would have liked for there to have been more crafted items that use those materials without requiring the time-gated resources, so this problem is something we're hoping to address going forward.

BRING BACK CLASS QUESTS.
For sure - the green fire questline was a great experience. We do want to do more of this in the future, especially in a way that highlights and reinforces class identity, and are actively working on some cool stuff along these lines.

How well do you think the charge system works for spells, verses the more traditional cooldown, and are you planning on converting any more spells to be charge based?
We're pretty happy with that system. The major advantage of that system is the way it allows for more open-ended decisionmaking in spell use that doesn't penalize a player for not using an ability the instant it comes off cooldown. It also lets you deliberately plan ahead and pool usage. I'm not sure we'd want to extend it to ALL abilities, but for abilities that commonly run into the two issues I just outlined, it can really improve usability without needing to add additional mechanics.

Can you guys explain the logic behind versatility, given this? It seems to be simple a +betterer stat, and feels neither interesting or fun.
Yeah I'm not sure that we actually accomplished that goal TBH. We're trying to strike a balance between the goal above and also the goal that we have enough variety in items, but I think we wound up with more secondary stats than we really need. This will be something we continue to refine in the future.

Spirit as a secondary/primary stat. It's super discouraging that we as healers don't have any enchants, gems, or flasks with spirit. The nerfing of that crystal recently you get in the inn was hard hit also. My question is: What is spirit? Secondary stat or Primary stat? Why can't we have it on either gems and enchants or flasks? It should really be treated as one or the other. It just seems unfair as the odd one out, when tanks even get a stam flask to use.
It's your best secondary stat as a healer, similar to what Armor is for tanks. Early on in beta, you actually could get Spirits gems/flasks/food, but we found that it undermined part of the point of consumable philosophy. We removed primary stats from gems and enchants in order to add some player choice and allow players to customize their secondary stats in a post-reforging world. If you want to try a crit-heavy build or want to stack mastery on your healer, you can use our profession system to accomplish that. But if Spirit were an option, it would clearly be the correct choice, and you'd never for a moment consider using any of those other secondary stat options. So in the interest of preserving some interesting choice, we removed Spirit and Armor food/gems/enchants and balanced healers around that change.

How do you guys determine what will become a toy?
We throw back a shot of vodka and take aim at the "toy or not-toy" dartboard. ;]

How well do you think the charge system works for spells, verses the more traditional cooldown, and are you planning on converting any more spells to be charge based?
We're pretty happy with that system. The major advantage of that system is the way it allows for more open-ended decisionmaking in spell use that doesn't penalize a player for not using an ability the instant it comes off cooldown. It also lets you deliberately plan ahead and pool usage. I'm not sure we'd want to extend it to ALL abilities, but for abilities that commonly run into the two issues I just outlined, it can really improve usability without needing to add additional mechanics.

What's the deal currently with your stance on flying, any new developments, or insights?
Overall, we’re happy with how ground travel in Draenor has played out thus far, and we’ve heard a lot of feedback to that effect as well, though we of course recognize that there are players who feel differently. We’ll have more to announce about our 6.1 patch plans in the very near future, but as the focus of our endgame outdoor content remains in the main Draenor zones, our reasons for disallowing flight in 6.0 continue to apply in 6.1. Whether you’re navigating your way to Orumo the Observer in Shattrath Rise, trying to reach a treasure cache atop a column in Spires, or working your way around the ledges encircling The Pit, you’re engaging in gameplay that simply would not exist in a world with unfettered flight. It was never our intent to make large-scale navigation of the world inconvenient, and in 6.1 we’re going to be improving our flight path system to always take the most direct route between two points, even if you have not discovered some of the intermediate nodes. Please keep the feedback coming – if you’re unhappy with the design, some of the most helpful feedback would be specific examples of situations or systems that feel frustrating without being able to fly in Draenor.

What's the long term plan for WoW?
As Ion said, we don't see an end to Wow coming anytime soon. As long as we have players that love the game, we will keep making new content for them!

Whatever happened to the appear invisible functionality that was promised to be coming soon in 2012?
It's an idea that's still on the table, but that team (which handles Battle.net functionality for every Blizzard title, not just WoW) has a ton of higher-priority issues and features to work on, so it's not likely to happen in the very near future I'm afraid.

Scenarios were a great thing for DPS to jump in a quick queue for and do for slightly less rewards than a heroic. Is there any chance we will see end game scenario queues even if it is for the leveling scenarios already in game?
That was definitely one of the great benefits of the scenarios for sure. We don't anticipate having queued scenarios for WoD atm (although I wouldn't rule them out for future expansions), and we do have some ideas for how we can significantly improve dps queue times, but they will take some time for us to make happen.

Could you elaborate on how you would shorten DPS queue times?
We could potentially allow another dps in a dungeon and use scaling tech to accommodate both 5 and 6 player groups for them.

With all of the advances in scaling technology for both character and gear level, will we ever see a day when Wintergrasp and Tol Barad are playable at their original intended levels?
Tol Barad and Wintergrasp were implemented with the idea that only one server was playing on them. It would be difficult to convert them. We'd rather create new content. They had their moment in WoW and it was glorious.

Whats the go with Alchemy? Why does it have no transmutes anymore, no upgradeable class items etc etc.
We are working on some Alchemy updates, more info should be coming along soon.

will you open up the group finder to show groups from ALL realms in the region?
We've slowly been increasing the number of groups sent down from the server and monitoring it's affect on server performance. Our primary goal with the Group Finder is to help players find someone who is interested in doing the same activity. A leadership system is an interesting idea and we'll monitor whether we feel it's necessary. We're also pretty cautious about providing too much information during the application process. While we want to minimize the amount of time someone will get invited to a group, then immediately kicked, we don't want to encourage discriminatory behavior.

Any plan to get a better system for transmog?
This is something we hope to do do in a future expansion. We love the idea!

Are there plans to encourage making friends/connections in LFG/D groups?
We think a "Recently Seen" or something would be great. Definitely on our "want" list right now. We're definitely looking for more ways for people to find each other and build relationships. Let us know what works for you now!

What are your thoughts about the current system of talents in WoD? Are you satisfied with them or should we be looking forward to changes that make each tree more personalized and dynamic, much like the warrior tree?
One thing we like about the talent trees is the variety they provide. But often, it's a matter of picking the right tool for the job. WoW is a very big game, with a lot of different activities. As a result, some talents perform far better in certain situations (dungeons vs. raids, battlegrounds vs. arenas) and we're okay with that. In the end, every talent doesn't have to be equally viable for all activities. But it is certainly something we try to do when we can.

Any plans on making PvP and Battlegrounds a more viable way for low level characters and alts to level from?
Unfortunately, some changes we made to battleground rewards broke some of the biggest contributors to XP in low level battlegrounds. We're working on a fix but it may not be available until 6.1.

Our original plan was to use strongboxes at all levels, but we weren't able to get it done in time. We think this could make it a fun experience though.

Can you comment on the changes you did to mob pathing with WoD? As a tank player I find myself annoyed by that quite often when trying to position mobs properly. They seem to react much more twitchy to my own movement than they did in MoP.
We actually didn't change mob pathing directly -- we made a ton of improvements to server responsiveness, which means the server (and thus, the mobs) have a more precise idea of where your character is currently standing than they have in the past. The end result is that there's a noticeable difference in the feel of how certain mobs move around, especially for tanks. There really isn't a quick fix for this, but it's something on our radar for sure.

Garrisons

how do you feel about the success of Garrisons, and are there plans for a similar system in future expansions?
Super happy overall with how garrisons have worked out, at least for now. One of our goals for the expansion was to add a feature that felt like it gave players new gameplay that feels important and thematically tied to the expansion. We'll have to wait and see on future expansions. Certainly, we have a goal of providing awesome new gameplay that mixes up your experience for future expansions, but that can take many forms (be it "garrisons 2.0", elements of garrisons mixed in with other new stuff, other new stuff completely, etc). Regardless, new stuff that fits an expansion well and doesn't feel like an already-solved problem is definitely cool!

Thoughts on having race-specific garrison buildings?
We actually really love this idea, but in reality, it's not something that's really feasible for us to do. We have 13 races in the game and making unique buildings for all of them is just not in the cards. Instead, we tried to pick and choose specific buildings that could play to individual races character. (Tauren Leatherworking, Gnomish Workship, etc.)

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The art resources for this definitely come directly at the expense of other new content like dungeons or raids. So, while we all totally 100% agree this would be awesome, and we'd likely steer more in that direction if we could, it's not likely for the WoD garrisons. If we were to do an updated version of garrisons in a future expansion, it's much more likely (and would probably be an important goal for us).

Is it intended that my friends are unable to use the portals in my spirit lodge or see my archaeology trophy room in my town hall?
Not intended, will be fixed in 6.1.

I don't like chaotic music in my garrison, but love wow music as a whole. Please let me put on something relaxing while mining instead of booming chaos themes.
We are working on a way for you to have custom music in your Garrison. Hoping to get this into patch 6.1.0. I am personally super stoked about this!

Thanks for the kind words! In regards to Garrisons carrying forward, we need to wait and see how it plays out. We designed the system in a way that it can be left behind, but we could also choose to take certain parts or technology and carry them on to new expansions.

Why is the loot table on level 3 salvage crates so damn big?
A common misconception is that large tables necessarily mean more randomness, or that items are competing with each other. There are lots of ways of constructing treasure tables to avoid this. After many reports from players concerned with seemingly poor yield of follower rewards from Level 3 salvage crates, we took a really thorough look through the data and tested extensively to make 100% sure we weren't missing something.

A level 3 salvage crate actually gives you a guaranteed direct pull from the level 2 salvage loot table, PLUS additional chances to get transmog, legacy, or current items for your character to use or sell. The loot table is large to offer tons of variety, and there are definitely some jackpot items in there (Everburning Candle says hi), but it's not coming at the expense of the core follower items or resources you got from level 1 and level 2.

Are there any plans to better integrate garrisons across a player's account, or perhaps even just realm/faction?
We agree with you on this. We are going to try and find ways to make Garrisons easier on alts though the patch cycle.

It seems as if a lot of the elements of Garrisons (follwer missions, work orders, etc.) were designed with the mobile Armory in mind. Will we be seeing an update to the mobile app to include Garrions features?
Not likely. It's a really cool idea (one we've heard a lot), but as the Garrison is intended as a Warlords-only feature, there are several other potential improvements we could make to the mobile app that would have more long-term use, if we decided to expand its feature set.

I should clarify: it's intended as a feature that we don't have to bring along with us into the next expansion (like a new profession would be, for example). However, it's something we can bring along if we want to, or even repurpose a lot of the same tech to provide something else. Opens up a lot of options for future expansions.

Are there plans to expand the garrison further than level 3? The phase where the garrison is seems to be a little bit big for what they are.
There are plans to do more with garrison building progression in patch 6.2. Details at a future date since we're still fairly early working on 6.2.

Why does the amount of Missions decrease substantially when all the active followers are level 100?
We were hoping not to have a bunch of irrelevant missions spamming up your mission list. We didn't plan well enough for the fact that those missions aren't really irrelevant when the salvage yard is OP. It's definitely an issue we talk about here, but solutions are complex and can have a lot of ripple-effect consequences on the rest of the system/game.

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Originally missions all pulled from a single pool; players found that as they got their first level 100 followers they got fewer low-level missions and had a harder time leveling their weaker followers, so we made a change to ensure that some low-level missions would always pop if you had a follower in that range who needed them. We recognize this causes some odd incentives (you're encouraged to NOT max all your followers) and are discussing good solutions to that problem.

do you guys plan on improving upon garrisons every patch e.g more buildings, more plots, extra interactions (similar to invasions) and more customization (faction guards) to prevent the garrisons from becoming stale?
We plan to add some form of Garrison content in every patch, we want to keep it fresh too.

Any more info about how the Mine is supposed to work in regards to Carts?
Carts showing up without a follower parked is a bug on our end. The carts are bonus you get based on having a Mining follower parked at the Mine. We reduced the overall number of carts but increased the amount of loot you get from each one. Thanks for the questions!

Is it intentional to be garrison mission starved once all your followers are 100? It feels crappy to have to bring in a scrub level 90 and level 95 to spawn as many missions as possible for the salvage yard.
Not intended. Don't have any details on a fix just yet, but we're looking into it.

The Dwarven Bunker/War Mill transmog armor is currently Account Bound as opposed to Battle.net Account Bound. It's pretty frustrating to not be able to send it between my accounts, especially considering how rare the Iron Horde scraps seem to be. Is this intended or an oversight?
That's an oversight on our part. We will get that fixed up. Thanks!

Why do some Garrison work orders count towards such achievements like Working More Orders and others do not? Mines and Herbalist work orders don't seem to count.
This is a bug, we are working to hotfix it ASAP.

Just a quick question, would it be possible to convert Broken Bones to a currency?
Definitely hear the feedback on broken bones.

Art / Character Models

are new worgen and goblin models in the works? Any updates on that?
No plans for that at the moment.

Are the already released new character models still being tweaked and worked on?
We are planning to make some additional updates and tweaks to the new character models, yes.

Does this include new customisation options? Because I'd love to see Mag'har/Blackrock/Dragonmaw/Laughing Skull skins for player Orc characters.
Chris Robinson (our Art Director) has mentioned that he'd love to see stuff like that as well, there's just a lot of higher-priority projects that need the art team's attention first.

Is there any consideration into redoing the run animation for Night Elves?
Yes, I believe that's on the list of things to refine, potentially in patch 6.1. Don't quote me on that though. =]

Any update on class accessories?
The idea is still alive! We actually just had a meeting about this a few weeks ago. It's not on the table for 6.0, but we are certainly discussing it for a future expansion.

Are there any plans for Moonkin remodels, bear remodels and warlock pet remodels? (Looking at you Felguard.)
We hear you - primary focus for Warlords was on the main player models, but this is definitely something we want to do.

There are a lot of spells out there that could really use some love, like Fire mage (Fireball, Pyroblast), Shadow Priest (Mind Flay, Shadow Word: Pain, and some others) and a lot of the effects for the melee classes are pretty poor, too.
We totally hear you guys on this. We have a team of folks working to improve the overall sound, look and feel of Wow combat in general for future expansions. More updates to come on this in the future.

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The time required can vary quite a bit depending on the particulars of the spell. We'd definitely like to take a look at some of the older spell visuals and update them though.

PvP / Arena / Ashran

What are you current feelings overall about the state of PVP. What's good, what's bad and where to from here?
We had three big additions to PvP in Warlords: Skirmishes, Ashran and the Strongbox reward system. I think Skirmishes and Strongboxes have worked out really well, but Ashran has some definite problems.

With respect to class balance in Arena and RBGs, we're evaluating it and making adjustments when appropriate. It's important that in each new expansion, we give classes cool new toys. The addition of new talents/abilities/glyphs and changes to tuning really rattle the status quo in terms of balance. Our first focus is to ensure that the general gameplay environment is fun (i.e. people aren't invincible or dying in a global). Then we move towards balancing out outlier classes. But, classes are going to have things that feel "too strong." We just need to make sure they have weaknesses as well.

What was the reasoning as to taking RBGS weekly conquest cap out and placing with ashran weekly 200 cap? Please allow RBGS 1 cap for 200 and keep ashran cap for weekly!
Though many players understand how the rating to conquest cap system works, it's quite complicated. One number (my rating) converts to another rating (my cap) in a rather mysterious way. With the separate cap for RBGs, this became even more complicated.

We think having a variety of competitive activities is important for WoW PvP to continue to be a success. RBGs require significantly more time to coordinate and run than 2v2 arenas, for example. So it's important that we incentivize people to do them in a way that feels good.

To make the system simpler, we eliminated the additional conquest cap and provided bonus chances at loot for RBG victories.

For Ashran, we felt like it was worthwhile to give end game PvPers that participate a unique bonus. It's a fixed size cap, so it feels good if you do it, but ignoring it doesn't really hurt your progression through the season.

AMA question - Does Blizzard think PvP Healing -in general- is OP? If yes, what ways you're looking to adress it? For example, nerfing classes' healing individually, Resilience/Battle Fatigue or just gonna do it with 'turning bit of healing into kill buffs'.
We don't think healing -in general- is OP. We do think that certain specs and spells are too strong. We recently removed the healing benefits of Predatory Swiftness from Ferals and halved the benefits of Heart of the Wild in PvP. Today, we have a hotfix to reduce the healing of Paladin Flash of Light by 20%.

But at the same time, I think people often get overly fixated on the scoreboard. Healing is one type of defense a player can use in PvP, but there are a lot of others that don't show up on the scoreboard. For example, we have no "damage mitigated" column to show that a Warriors Defensive stance is effectively reducing a significant amount of damage being done to them. We also can't quantify the defensive benefit of a Warlock teleporting behind a pillar when they get in trouble. Some classes do not have strong escapes and their only strategy is to heal through the pressure.

Now, this doesn't mean we won't continue to look at healing (specifically self-healing and off-healing) as way to tune PvP balance. We want every class to feel like they can compete.

Anyways, could you talk about the design decisions behind the balance of racials? I know I'm not alone here when I say it feels like the Alliance has a definite upper hand compared to the Horde.
Ah well, it is time for the alliance to shine. Horde has been quite the trendy thing for the last decade it seems. ;]

Will you add new battlegrounds?
We want to add new battlegrounds. Not sure when though.

After the start of the pvp season.. are you guys committed to fixing the faction imbalance in arena due to racial passives?
I addressed this in another post but the TLDR answer is that we think there is more at play than racials at determing faction representation on the ladder. Specifically, you cannot play arenas cross-faction and people usually play arenas with their friends. People will decide that one faction is the "best faction" and go to that one (even if the advantage is marginal).

Throughout the Blizzcon tournament, we saw players playing different factions based on the comp they were playing against.

Are there any fixes in the works to balance WoD PvP? If so, how soon can we expect them? The statistics on arenamate.net are quite frankly disturbing, even considering how new the season is.
First, Vanguards is a great guy and we would all be so lucky if this was Warlords of Vanguard. Second, I think if you compared the representation at the beginning of this season to the beginning of Mists you'd be surprised at the diversity. Certainly, Disc priests have significantly higher representation than any other spec. But we've seen warriors or shamans doubling everyone else's representation in the past.

But I'm more concerned about the general gameplay in arena and not that classes that traditionally don't have high representation now have high representation.

Quick question, Will Oceanic get our own PvP bracket? Or stay in US with the old latency?
No plans for a unique Oceanic bracket at this time. The small pool of players would make queue times atrocious.

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We also find that small regions have a harder time with collusion and win-trading. Right now it's best to keep ANZ with NA.

Will there be balance changes throughout the PvP season or will we have to wait whole seasons again for things to get adjusted?
We'll be tuning classes throughout the season. Early on in the expansion, we realize we've made a lot of big changes to classes and balance will be rather volatile. So, you could expect more changes early on and then the rate of change tapering off towards the expansion's end.

What are some of the things you learned from Ashran?
Some things we've learned our: - We haven't educated players enough about the benefits of the outer parts of the zone. The best way to earn honor is collecting fragments and there are a lot of powerful buffs littered out there. - We could use a good system for automatic raid management in certain areas. We don't put everyone in a raid in Ashran because not everyone is in the middle. Players that want to focus on the middle usually take care of that themselves. But we could do a better job with this. - We don't have any "doppleganger" servers so trying to balance factions by pairing servers is hard. In China, there are a lot more Horde players than Alliance. In other regions, PvP servers are mostly Horde players. PvP servers tend to be far more polarized by faction than PvE servers. It creates a lot of problems bringing people together. But we really wanted Ashran to feel like a zone attached to your server more than just a battleground you go to.

When will Kronos be fixed in Ashran?
We're working on it! We tried some new things with the AI for NPCs in Ashran's center road. Unfortunately, a lot of those techniques haven't stood up to large player counts. We've been hotfixing them and simplifying their AI. Before, they would try to navigate to whatever capture point was active. Now, they'll just get pissed and head straight for the enemy base attacking any enemy they come in contact with.

Generally, we acknowledge Ashran has both design problems and technical ones (queueing). We're continuing to work to fix them.

Creating a PvP zone for 200+ people is a really unique challenge and the way that rewards influence behavior is pretty profound. We're seeing a lot of different problems than what we saw on beta.

please allow full, x-realm raids to enter ashran whole
We have enabled cross-realm raids in Ashran. We held back on this until we felt we could enforce faction parity more. Otherwise, people would just starting looking for the "all-alliance" ashran. Definitely feel you on the Broken Bones.

Any plans on making PvP and Battlegrounds a more viable way for low level characters and alts to level from?
Unfortunately, some changes we made to battleground rewards broke some of the biggest contributors to XP in low level battlegrounds. We're working on a fix but it may not be available until 6.1.

Our original plan was to use strongboxes at all levels, but we weren't able to get it done in time. We think this could make it a fun experience though.

Really looking for answers about how pvp is going to be balanced this expansion. Can we expect balance hotfixes every week?
I wouldn't expect balance hotfixes every week. Players often look at representation as a measure of balance and it takes significant changes to really move the needle in the representation department.

Early on in the expansion, we're aware that a lot of class changes have been very disruptive to balance. We're also aware that a lot of bugs creep into the game. For example, Disc priest absorb shields were critting for a full 200% while other classes had their crit heals reduced. Fixing this bug will have a pretty profound effect on balance.

We'll be spending a lot of time playing the game, gathering feedback and adjusting accordingly. But we don't want to change people's classes from underneath them throughout the expansion.

how do you guys approach balance in terms of PVE vs PVP? I know in the past the PVP guy was told to just shut up by Jay Wilson of course that was a different game and I hope that doesn't happen in WoW.
Also, the whole Jay Wilson "Shut up PvP guy" thing is absolute rubbish. I know Jay. I talked to him all the time. He is super nice and super supportive of everything we do. If anything I am the "PvP guy" and no one at Blizzard has ever told me to "Shut Up PvP guy." It has always been the opposite. They hired me to help the team make PvP better because it is a goal they have.

Classes

Healing overall in Highmaul, even on normals (at least as a holy paladin) is hard. Everyone seems to take a considerable amount of damage at the same time. If the fights are relativly short it's something that is handable. But any fights that last beyond 4 minutes and holy paladins have a hard time keeping up. There is very little AoE healing going on as a paladin. Our 2 AoE heals without a cooldown either cost way more mana and heal for little, or cost no mana and heal for a little more. I can't keep people up using Holy Radiance or Light of Dawn. Eternal Flame as a finisher is way better to use then Light of Dawn, especially with Beacon of Faith and spamming Flash of Light is the only way holy paladins can keep up with the other healers AoE wise, and it causes me to run on fumes for at least 1/4th of the fight. Is this a concern seen by the Dev team? I know we are supposed to use Holy Light as much as possible, but it's just too slow.
We're keeping a very close eye on healing overall as raiding begins. From personal experience, observation, and talking to other healers, a lot of what we're seeing is a mix of learning new fights (and thus people in general taking large amounts of avoidable damage) and healers getting used to not panicking when someone is at 60% or 70% health. Both of those are things that should improve over time. We recognize that it's one of the risks of a more deliberate healing pace: in Mists mistakes might have been instantly lethal due to spikier damage, while in Warlords they're survivable in the short-term, but are bleeding healers try in the long term. If you aren't cleaning out the stands on Kargath, or people are triggering arcane mines on Mar'gok, that might not instantly wipe you, but it'll absolutely lead to your healers running out of gas eventually. That said, raid healing in particular tends to lend itself towards more specialization, and raid leaders may find that it makes sense to have their paladins focus a bit more on single-target healing, which is a clear niche thanks to Beacon, while other classes blanket the raid.

Please comment on direction of Mages going forward.
Mages going forward will be going forward. Unless they aren't.

in regards to the ability pruning, I know that the most iconic abilities tended to be spared, and yet... Protection Paladins lost Avenging Wrath?
We felt like both the Guardian and Wings were cool and wanted to keep them but thought it was a good opportunity to have some spec variation.

Do you agree that the Shaman class has lost much of it's identity over the years?
Probably the biggest blow to shaman identity came in Wrath (2008) when most buffs were changed to raidwide and were generally standardized among classes as a result. There was certainly something cool about bringing unique buffs like Windfury, and having a large number of those buffs that you could call uniquely your own. But it was quite a bit less cool being the Fury warrior who was only a viable endgame raid DPS with a shaman in your party, or being the raid leader playing party Tetris and cycling Bloodlusts through the melee group, or the elemental shaman who didn't get a raid spot because the spec's damage output was mediocre and they were only worthwhile if there was an open spot in the warlock/warlock/warlock/spriest group. I don't think returning to that would be the answer.

So, yes, the shaman is no longer a buff-bot. What, then, is the shaman identity? We do see totems as remaining a large part of that identity, and tried in Mists to remove passive buff totems and refocus them as more concentrated and intense effects that do something powerful in the short-term -- Capacitor, Tremor, Grounding, Healing Tide, etc. (not going to argue that Searing fits into this model or is particularly sexy, though). I'd be curious to hear (from you, from everyone) what it is about the shaman class that most resonates (or resonated, in the event that you've lost that lovin' feeling) with you.

"...or the elemental shaman who didn't get a raid spot because the spec's damage output was mediocre..."
I don't mean to be disrespectful, Mr. Hazzikostas, but the very thing you said you were avoiding is happening right now as we speak.

I really should have said "abysmal" rather than mediocre. When DPS shaman brought a suite of unique buffs in TBC, their damage was routinely 30-40% behind "real" damage-dealers, not the 10% that is often bemoaned today.

Even with states of Normal Butcher, Heroic Butcher and Normal Ogron you feel enhancement and elemental is perfoming strongly?

Check out Tectus or Mar'gok for a different picture, though.

I realize it's not that simple (and no, I'm not going to argue that Fire Nova should be the defining niche of the Enhancement shaman) but what matters is the game in its totality, not a specific encounter.

Do you feel that Shaman-balance should take the form of number tweaking, or is the sudden outcry for an all-out rework justified?
We've already made some numbers tweaks, and we'll make some more as needed. There's no question that Enhance and especially Elemental were weak during the initial days of Warlords, but at this point we're seeing both specs performing very solidly in dungeons as well as a range of encounters in Highmaul. We'll of course continue to watch balance as gear and strategies evolve, and watch PvP representation and success as the arena/RBG season really gets underway. In the short term, I would not expect a drastic overhaul. Drastic overhauls of classes are something we do rarely, and then almost exclusively with expansions and not patches. There are plenty of shaman out there who are having fun who don't want to log in to find their class completely changed overnight. But that doesn't that there isn't room for improvement. A number of the points above regarding talents are very valid, and there's definitely room for more differentiation through that avenue. And the Call/Persistence/Projection row is terrible.

What would you like to tell Shamans who feel like second class Druids?
Druids are cats/bears/turkeys/trees; you are mail-clad warriors of the elements. Have faith, and try to focus feedback in a constructive way that focuses on specific areas of discontent. We're listening.

In any case, the numbers don't entirely bear out that assertion (Elemental has very strong single-target DPS, as Butcher parses will attest) though there was regrettably some real damage done in terms of overall community perception during the first couple of weeks before the hotfixes. We are keeping an eye not just on damage, but on representation.

With the loss of Ancestral Vigor and Mana Tide and the output of other healers, it seems R Sham's only justifiable presence is the ability to continue to heal during HTT. Do you have any ideas to remedy our plight?
Ancestral Vigor was honestly a stopgap measure at a time (mid-Cata) when Resto Shaman was by far the dominant arena healer, but the weakest healer in raids. We used AV to prop the spec up and help ensure they'd usually have at least a single raid slot while we tried to sort out the thornier balance issues with the spec. At this point, however, we feel that the overall Resto healing toolkit holds up against other specs head-to-head, and there's no longer a need for Vigor.

Why does the Vers + 505 Int proc pvp trinket proc when using burning rush.
Looking into that.

Personal

Your game is helping me through a very rough time right now. I don't have a question, I just wanted to say thank you and hope you all see it.
Hi five! Gaming has gotten me through some rough times as well.

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<3

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I don't have an answer, I just wanted to respond to your comment because everyone else was doing it and I want to feel included.

(but srsly glad you're enjoying the game, and hoping for the best for you!)

Hey guys love the expansion. How much attention do you pay to the outside community. The Instance, Wow Insider and MMO-Champion in particular
I have a long commute and listen to a lot of community podcasts. Specifically Convert to Raid and the Instance.

As a huge fan of Legendary, The Weekly Marmot, PST, and PST Rapid Fire, I miss your videos a ton, but I was wondering if you ever miss making that content. Also, what was your favorite moment during your YouTube/Tankspot/GamebreakerTV times?
Definitely miss making that content. I've actually started a new podcast with Mike B recently -- I won't directly promote it here, but you could probably find it on Google or something.

Favorite moment would probably be the original "Halo MMO" tinfoil hat stuff, especially now that I've been able to peek behind the curtain as a Blizzard employee :P

What Dev throws the best parties?
Chilton: "Stockton! But Holinka throws a mean Mary Kay party."

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I don't know, but my money is on Alex Afrasiabi being the most interesting guest at a party.

WoW Development

What do you guys look for in applicants to work on the Game design team for WoW?
We honestly look for great game design instincts above all else. Clearly someone needs to be a good personality fit as well, but it all starts with a key understanding of the fundamentals of great gameplay.

Why was this boss fight fun? Break that down for us and tell us why. Why was this quest terrible? Break that down for us and tell us how you would improve it.

We are always looking for well rounded designers that can handle lots of different situations and problems. We hire designers from all sorts of different sources, it all just comes down to their individual talent.

How many of you actively play the game outside of work hours and now many reached level cap in this expansion?
Almost all of us I'd say. It's actually a very different experience playing at home with friends/family than it is playtesting at work, so it doesn't feel like "work" when playing from home. For example, even though I've run missions like crazy for the better part of a year, it has still been a blast logging in every chance I get to make sure my followers are being used efficiently. =]

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All of us play, with a wide variety of playstyles. Garrison missions have probably had a non-trivial impact on office productivity the past few weeks.... We love the game, and of course it's also essential to be experiencing the gameplay and potential issues firsthand so that we can really understand what's working well, what isn't, what's frustrating, etc. Personally, I've been doing tons of Heroics, daily CMs, and jumped right into Highmaul last night (I couldn't raid on Tuesday night either!).

How long does it take to create, test and ship out a raid instance at this point in time?
The anniversary video was talking specifically of the encounter creation part of it (a week didn't encompass the environment and creature art time). No doubt that was still a feat though, it was amazing to see it come together so quickly. Certainly, the production value of the raid encounters these days is significantly higher (environmental gameplay, visual effects, encounter mechanics, flex difficulty, etc) so it takes many more hours to make an encounter today than it did back then. So, lots of time!

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Making a raid zone nowadays is a huge endeavor that touches virtually all parts of the team in some form. From start to finish, Throne of Thunder or Siege of Orgrimmar each took 6-7 months to go from a 2D layout and a general concept to a playable, tested, tuning, and polished experience. (Spoilers: We're working on the next big raid zone right now.)

Misc

Is there a chance that we could have an option to stop moving background in certain dungeons/raids? Grimrail Depot causes 2 of my guildmates to have motion sickness when we are doing the second and third bosses.
Ugh, sorry to hear that. =[ Not sure that we have a quick/easy solution for that, but we'll take into consideration.

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Sorry, there's actual motion going on and not a simple graphical effect that can be disabled. Agree it's rough for your friend. All I can suggest is to zoom in a bit and you can largely avoid having much movement in your field of view.

The UI community, especially those of us from EU, would really love a dedicated CM for that department, there currently is no easy way for us to report problems and we tend to find them first
I know our UI team reads the UI forums regularly, but feel free to contact me about addon development issues if you like. Easiest way to do that is probably through Twitter at @CM_Lore.

Oh one other thing I should note just to be clear: that includes the EU UI forums.

The “Currency” tab has been bugging me since WoD ever since the start of the expansion, as it’s always sorted alphabetically (and always last) and the “collapse”/”expand” state is never saved upon a reload of the UI.
Currency tab is a known issue. We'll get that fixed.

In regards to addons, how do you determine what will become baseline in the client? For example, being able to determine and sort by the cost per item in a stack on the AH is extremely useful.
We try to add things that feel like they would be useful to the majority of our player base, but without adding bloat or confusion. Good examples of this would be armor sets, raid frames, bag sorting and cooldown counters. We tend to stay away from addons that are very complicated with lots of options since those lean towards smaller groups of players and would complicate the game for others.

How do you feel about this shift over time, and have you thought about any new ways to inspire the growth of closer-knit communities and cameraderie, like your addition of the Premade Group Finder and Guild Achievements?
We feel like it's crucial that we support both the "easy in, easy out" gameplay of dungeon/raid finder for players that are just in the mood to quickly run some content. However, the addition of the group finder is a first step toward improving the other side of the coin, as we also want the game to do a better job of fostering cooperative play and enabling longer-term relationships to be created. We have more stuff in mind for the future to continue to make this better/cooler.

So where are the fungal whales in the Zangar Sea?
Sounds like we need a follower mission for that... The Fungal Whale Expedition.

Are you able to reveal any plans you have for future expansions?
We have plans for an expansion that will come after this expansion, and it will be the next expansion. That is all for now. ;]

Just a quick question: Why not add a title for having lots of titles? Like , the Entitled?
Where is the "Like" button on Reddit

Is Sargeras going to eventually be a 10 phase fight that takes 2 hours to complete and rewards us with a 10 minute cinematic farewell to WoW?
Multiply all that by 10!

This is a lore question, but I think it could be game related as well, where on Draenor is Dentarg? I have not seen him at all.
Good question, I can't say I have a good answer that I wouldn't be making up on the spot.

it seems like recently taxis have been eating pets, elementals, and demons.
This is a bug, and we're working on a fix in the near future.

Would you consider adding a keybind / casting modifier that allows us to target "targetable spells" at our current target or ourselves?
I don't know about using a player's location as a target for the spell, but it could be cool to have some type of smartcast interface to cast a spell at your mouse's location. Maybe in the future.

There seems to be a lot of people that have an issue with Garosh's father being the last boss in WOD. Is he definatelu the last boss or may there be a surprise for people?
There will be a surprise, and we're looking forward to players hearing more sometime "soon"!

How about randomizing secondary stats on Apexis Crystal gear? Same way it happens with gear from all other sources. Also adding something like a 1000 crystal re-roll thingy will make it worthwhile.
Fair point, probably would have been a good idea to do so in retrospect.

When will Thrall reveal the secrets of full beards, standing up straight, and eyebrows to his fellow male orcs?
Do you think he would have landed Aggra if he had?

Hotfixes for December 4th
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
December 4

Garrisons, Followers, and Outposts
  • Resolved an issue where players may become stuck or be disconnected while attempting to visit other Garrisons.
  • Garrison Buildings
    • Gladiator's Sanctum Level 3: The Coliseum scenario now requires 15 players to start (up from 10).
    • Herb Garden Level 3: The Draenor fruit tree should now always bear fruit even if no Followers are assigned to work there.

Classes
  • Player pets should now correctly rejoin the player after taking a flight path or using a vehicle.
  • Paladin
    • General
      • Eternal Flame's initial healing has been increased by 25% for Protection and Retribution Paladins.
      • Flash of Light's healing has been reduced by 20% for Protection and Retribution Paladins.
      • Word of Glory's healing has been increased by 25% for Protection and Retribution Paladins.
  • Priest
    • General
      • Mass Dispel should no longer be incorrectly dispelling Cyclone without a Glyph of Mass Dispel equipped.
      • Power Word: Shield critical hits should now correctly absorb only 150% of normal in PvP.
    • Discipline
      • Divine Aegis' should now correctly absorb only 50% as much in PvP.

Dungeons, Raids, and Scenarios
  • Raids
    • Highmaul
      • Tectus: If Tectus enters Berserk mode while in the process of shattering, the resulting Shards of Tectus and Motes of Tectus should now correctly enter Beserk mode as well.
      • Tectus: Resolved an issue where Tectus could have no loot if the entire raid dies before his death event was complete.
      • Twin Ogron: Resolved an issue where credit for completing the achievement Brothers in Arms was being incorrectly awarded.

PvP
  • Critical Heals should now correctly heal for 150% of normal in PvP (they were incorrectly healing for 175% of normal).
  • Gladiator's Distinction, the 2-piece set bonus now reduces damage taken from players by 15% (up from 10%).
  • Being attacked in PvP combat and triggering the secondary item level on PvP gear should no longer cause the player's health to decrease by more than intended.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Battleground Flag Carriers should now correctly have a 45-second delay before their location is revealed to the enemy team (was incorrectly revealing their location immediately).
  • Resurrection times in Rated Battlegrounds has been corrected to be*25 seconds (was 15 seconds).

UI
  • Guild news should no longer be displaying (and getting spammed with) entries for characters looting items for the Legendary Ring Quest Line.

Bug Fixes
  • Recruit-a-Friend characters should now be correctly receiving a 300% bonus to the experience awarded for completing a Dungeon (was incorrectly awarding 900% instead).
  • New Pandaren Hunters that use the Level 90 Character Boost should now start with a turtle pet.

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