World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2016-12-05 01:50 AM

World Boss: Na'zak the Fiend appears to be live in the US and EU. Head down into the tunnels of Falanaar to get to him.

How Would a Third Person Diablo Game Look?, Rhykker's S9 Builds

Battle for Gadgetzan Tournament!

We're Closing Our Doors

Dave Kosak Moves to Hearthstone Team
Dave Kosak was the Lead Narrative Designer on World of Warcraft, but has now moved to the Hearthstone team.



Argus Lore
Our friends at Gamepedia have a nice article and video covering the lore behind Argus! We will be heading to Argus in Patch 7.3.





Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvE
In many ways, H-ToV is most meant for groups that comfortably clear Heroic EN, can't/won't do Mythic, yet still want a challenge (WatcherDev)

Re: recent talk of raid tuning and exploits, this blog is old and full of outdated examples, but still accurate: https://t.co/uLNYMknKnQ (WatcherDev)

Questing
the "Like the Wind" WQs are just so annoying. Latency above 50ms and it'll be impossible to complete....
We've made some adjustments to these quests to improve overall responsiveness and gameplay for players with high latency. (WarcraftDevs)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
What are the biggest factors that stop great ideas right in their tracks? Specifically in game design and conceptual creation.
In general, I advocate *not* trying to stop great ideas right in their tracks. Game designers in particular are so comfortable with analysis that they can immediately shift to pointing out why something won’t work instead of trying to figure out what to do so that it can work. In my work, I try to structure idea generation into two phases: a purely creative one where you don’t accept any constraints, and then a more pragmatic phase where you shift from asking “Is this cool?” to “Should we build it?”

I don’t think that was really the spirit of your question though, so I’ll try to go a little deeper. Let’s assume the idea has gotten through the pure brainstorming phase and now you’re critically evaluating it. What would kill it?

1) Technical realities. Programming time is expensive in terms of opportunity cost. In my experience, very few engineers will tell you no. Instead they’ll tell you how long something will take and what you may have to give up to get it. There are a limited number of programming hours in the day, so if you shift some of those hours to a new idea, you have to give up something else. Sometimes that’s the right call because the new idea is so awesome. But if every idea is awesome (in terms of shifting resources to pursue it) then nothing is. (This can happen with other resources as well. Art is probably the second most likely to bottle-neck an idea after programming.)

2) Doesn’t fit the game. This actually comes up a lot, and it can be a tough thin to arbitrate because different developers on a team might have different opinions of what fits or not. I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about setting precedents because the games I have worked on have long lifespans. The developers today may be opening up something cool (or a Pandora’s box) that future developers are going to have to contend with. Think of relatively simple but hugely impactful decisions like “Should WoW allow third party mods?” The definition of “fit” here can encompass a lot of things, like whether it’s a feature players actually need, whether it matches thematically, and so on.

3) Causes unintentional player behavior. You have to really think through this one because by definition it’s often hard to anticipate what the outcomes will be. Some outcomes are perfectly fine. I don’t mean to imply that every time players do something unexpected that it’s inherently bad. But you can also cause players do things that are really unfun. Imagine you give players a chance to get a reward once an hour. Are you encouraging them to set their alarms every hour while they try to sleep?

4) Confusing or janky. Some great ideas are inelegant enough that they will cause a lot of confusion. It depends a lot on your game about how much of this you’ll tolerate. Sometimes the idea is worth the extra price in complication. But complication can have a real price as well – confused players might open support tickets, which are a real hit on a game’s bottom line. (Publishers generally want to offer player support because it helps make the experience good for players, but they also want to build the game in such a way that players don’t need to hit up player support constantly.) You could also argue that if the idea is too inelegant that maybe it doesn’t qualify as great.

5) Collision with some upcoming feature. This is where project or team leads can really earn their salt, because they can provide a bigger picture that individual contributors may not have access to. “Hey I thought of a great idea to minimize our download time!” might be rendered less useful if you have the information to say “Great idea, but we’re working on continual streaming next milestone, so downloads are no longer a big player pain point.”

There are a bunch of others, but those are the ones that came to mind.



Dark Legacy Comics #562
DLC #562 has been released.

by Published on 2016-12-03 04:38 AM

Mischief Pet Giveaway
The Mischief pet is now available on the Blizzard Store! 100% of the purchase price will be donated to Make-A-Wish until December 31, 2016.

  • The giveaway is for 20 x Mischief pets.
  • To enter the giveaway, just reply to this post!
  • The giveaway will be closed on Wednesday, December 7th at 11:59 PM EST and winners will be chosen randomly within five business days.
  • Winners will be contacted by PM on the site. There is no email alert by default, you will need to log in and check your PMs.
  • A note will be added to the top of the current news post when winners have been PMed.
  • Winners have 72 hours to respond before another winner will be selected to replace them.







Catch the Latest Legion Live Developer Q&A Wednesday
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Join us live on Twitch Wednesday, December 7, as we sit down with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas for our next live developer Q&A. He’ll be answering many of your World of Warcraft questions.

Feel free to submit any World of Warcraft questions by posting in this forum thread or via Twitter using the hashtag #LegionQA.

We’re really looking forward to getting the chance to dive in and answer as much as we can, so we hope to see you Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. PST!

The Elder Scrolls Online - Trip of a Lifetime Giveaway
Ever wanted to see the Snowcapped Swiss Alps? What about trekking the ruins of Machu Picchu? To celebrate the One Tamriel update for The Elder Scrolls Online, Bethesda is giving away a Trip of a Lifetime to 5 lucky gamers, and in-game goodies for a thousand other winners!

by Published on 2016-12-02 07:11 PM

Adopt Mischief Today and Support Make-A-Wish
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
This holiday season, warm your hearth with a fuzzy little ball of fel fire. Meet Mischief, a curious kitten who followed the Burning Legion into Azeroth and is now looking for an Order Hall to call home.

This new World of Warcraft® in-game pet is up for adoption now in the Battle.net Shop, with a plush companion available in the Gear Store—and for a limited time, when you purchase either one, you’ll be helping a great cause in the process.


Mischief In-Game Pet
Starting now until December 31, 2016, when you adopt the in-game version of Mischief, 100% of the purchase price ($10 in the US; pricing varies by region) will be donated to Make-A-Wish, helping give wish kids across the globe strength and courage as they fight their illnesses.





Mischief Plush
If you’re looking for a fel feline to cuddle IRL (that won’t leave scorch marks on your furniture), the first batch of our new glow-in-the-dark Mischief Plush toys is now available for $25 each in the Blizzard Gear Store—and until December 31, sales of the the plush will benefit Make-A-Wish. Visit the Blizzard Gear Store to learn more.
by Published on 2016-12-02 06:54 AM

Jay Wilson's Insights into Vanilla Development, Diablo Brawl Coming to Hearthstone

Tri-Class Card Drop Rates Fixed - Affected Players Will Receive 33% of Packs Opened as Compensation

Patch 7.1.5 - Legendary Vendor on the PTR
You can hop onto the PTR and test out the new legendary items coming in Patch 7.1.5!



Mischief the Fel Kitty Delayed
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We were hoping it'd be available today, but don't worry folks, Mischief is coming soon! Keep an eye on the news page for when this fel kitty invades!

Patch 7.1.5 - Secondary Stat Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The changes to secondary stat ratings in 7.1.5 have a few goals, and certain pieces are not yet in the current build.

Goal 1: Increase the importance of item level as a guideline for upgrading items. Moreso than in the past, large item level increases are not a reliable indicator of an upgrade due to the variance in power of secondary stats on an item. Increasing the amount of rating that you need per percentage of a secondary stat tips the balance of an item’s power more heavily toward primary stat. We’re okay with very small item level upgrades being a tougher choice, but some specs are currently passing up 15+ item levels in favor of secondary stats. That shouldn’t be something players are encouraged to do – with the occasional exception on rings and necks, which brings us to our second goal.

Goal 2: Improve rings and necks. The removal of primary stats from those slots on Legion gear means that your choices of secondary stats there are impactful, which we like. However, they still suffer from the problem of secondary stat distribution dominating the choice of which item to equip. We’ve increased how heavily item level affects the amount of stats on Legion rings and necks in 7.1.5, which will make significant item level jumps a clearer indicator of an upgrade on these slots. You’ll still find situations in which secondary stat choice is more important than item level for rings and necks, which is intentional; we’re just dialing it back a bit.

Goal 3: Don’t lower player power. This is a key part of the overall strategy that isn’t yet complete. Right now, on the PTR, player power is definitely down a few percent compared to live. The next build will have changes that increase the total amount of stats given by all items above level 800 to account for this gap, such that the overall power of your equipped items should be about the same (if not slightly higher) than it is currently in 7.1.

As you might expect, these changes will affect some classes more strongly than others. More overall character power will come from your primary stats than it did before, so all of your abilities will hit harder, even if they crit less or happen less frequently. Additionally, as we continue tuning for Patch 7.1.5, we’ll make adjustments as necessary on a spec-by-spec basis.

Apologies if I'm reading this wrong. But it sounds like the plan is to make us require more of a secondary stat, then provide us a higher value of secondary stats on existing gear. Isn't this counterproductive or am I just derp?
It's a tough bit of mathematical gymnastics that's tough to explain succinctly, but the long and the short of it is that the way that the item's primary stat (or sheer amount of secondary stats, in the case of rings and necks) make the higher-ilevel piece an upgrade more often.

I think they need to look into specs that rely on extreme cases of secondary dependence and adjust those specs accordingly. This blanket nerf is going to cause more problems.
That's what I was getting at in the last paragraph

Patch 7.1.5 Feedback - Survival Hunter
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Sorry for the delay in replying to this. Long story short, we agree with the concerns laid out in this thread: Waylay as a damage mechanic isn’t playing well, and the increased trap cooldown is a nerf that undermines other utility upgrades. We’ve been discussing exactly what we want to do about it, and can share some details:

For starters, the Trap cooldown is going back to a baseline of 30 seconds, just like it is in Patch 7.1. We had initially increased it to 40 based on some concerns that Hunter crowd control might end up too powerful in some situations, but after further consideration, we don’t think that’ll be necessary.

Regarding Waylay, the original intent of the passive was to reinforce Survival’s niche as trap experts (especially with other Hunter specializations getting traps again) by rewarding clever placement of traps when you’re able to anticipate your enemy’s movement. After all, the very nature of a trap is a hazard set ahead of time for an unsuspecting victim, whereas traps today often end up feeling more like lobbed explosives. However, in group gameplay, the movement of your targets is largely outside of your direct control, and any sort of rotational damage benefit of Waylay is likely to be far more frustrating than fun. We’re going to remove the damage-increasing benefit that Waylay provided to Explosive Trap and let its bonuses focus purely on utility. With the Freezing Trap and Tar Trap cooldown now unchanged, this makes Waylay simply a new utility perk over what Survival has on live, and we’re excited about some of the potential ways Hunters can make use of it in both PvE and PvP.

As an aside (and this is relevant to all classes and specs), part of our goal to keep patches coming at a steady pace in Legion means that you’re likely to see more half-completed ideas and strange experiments on PTR than even veteran testers might be used to in previous expansions. Just because a change shows up in a PTR build does not mean that it’s something the team views as a final design (or even a design we’re necessarily happy with). This has been especially true with 7.1.5, and we’ve done a poor job of communicating that thus far. We’d like to apologize for that failing, and it’s something we’re actively working to correct.

PTR Changes and Developer Notes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
To maybe give a little more hope, we had several meetings and discussions yesterday about ways to improve our internal processes so that we can converse more freely and immediately on in-development changes. Some of those improvements have already been made, and I'm personally hoping the difference will be noticeable over the next few weeks.

As a guy who works in Dev, the amount of reasons for silence, from "We have no solution and don't want to bring it up without one" to "Policy to not talk about changes until finalized", is sometimes ludicrous.
We've typically shied toward the former more than we probably need to. Historically we've wanted to be able to say how we're fixing an issue before we say anything, but I think that "we're going to fix this, just haven't decided how yet" is still a good message to get across in the meantime.

Just a side suggestion: Why not follow the HotS, OW and SC model, and do small explanations with each change in the changelogs? Is it because there are just too many different specs in wow and too many changes for it to be viable?
That's part of it. We typically do add those explanations for major hotfixes or release notes. Agree that we need more of that for PTR changes.

BlizzCon Cosplay - Sombra
Sombra was at BlizzCon this year and this video shows a little bit of the work that went into making the costume.

by Published on 2016-12-01 01:24 PM

Jay Wilson's Insights into Vanilla Development, Diablo Brawl Coming to Hearthstone

Hearthstone Season 33 Begins - Jade Lotus

Patch 7.1 Hotfixes - Trial of Valor
Trial of Valor Normal and Heroic got some nerfs to the Odyn and Helya encounters.



Patch 7.1.5 PTR - Jewelry Secondary Stat Increases
The latest build increases secondary stats scaling with item level on jewelry. You can see one example below and check out the stats of your items on the PTR site.

Don't see a chart? Enable javascript!



Patch 7.1.5 PTR - Secondary Stat Changes
In the latest PTR build, the amount of rating you need per 1% of Critical Strike, Haste, Mastery, and Versatility was changed.

  • Critical Strike - Now requires 400 rating per 1% Critical Strike, up from 350.
  • Haste - Now requires 375 rating per 1% Haste, up from 325.
  • Mastery - Now requires 400 rating per 1 Mastery, up from 350.
  • Versatility - Now requires 475 rating per 1% damage and healing increase, up from 400. Now requires 950 rating per 1% damage taken reduction, up from 800.


Patch 7.1.5 PTR - Artifact Knowledge
Patch 7.1.5 makes catching up on Artifact Knowledge easier for new players and alts!

New Players / Main Character Catch Up

Alt Characters
  • The Artifact Research Compendium items are sold by the Artifact Knowledge researcher in your Order Hall for 1000 x Order Resources.
  • These are BoA items, so you can purchase them on your main character to send to alts.
  • These only allow you to purchase a book with lower Artifact Knowledge than your current Artifact Knowledge level.
  • For example, characters with Artifact Knowledge from 15-19 can purchase Artifact Research Compendium: Volumes I & II, granting their alt Artifact Knowledge 10.


Level Type Name
1Other Artifact Research Synopsis
1Other Artifact Research Compendium: Volumes I-III
1Other Artifact Research Compendium: Volume I
1Other Artifact Research Compendium: Volumes I & II
1Other Artifact Research Compendium: Volumes I-IV


Legion Season 1 Ending Clarifications
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With today’s announcement of the end of Legion’s first PvP season on December 13, we’d like to clarify a few extra details.

The Elite PvP gear appearance will be the same in Legion Season 2 as it is in Season 1. If you are unable to complete your set in Season 1, you’ll still be able to collect your missing appearances during Season 2.

Additionally, after Legion Season 2 concludes, we’ll be adding the ability to purchase the complete Elite appearance set from a vendor. This will only be made available to players who have earned access to the Elite set by reaching a PvP rating of 2000 or higher in any Rated Battleground or Arena bracket during Legion Season 1 or 2.

Finally, we’d like to clarify that the end of Legion Season 1 and beginning of Legion Season 2 are not tied in any way to the release of Patch 7.1.5. One of our major goals for Rated PvP in Legion is to have PvP seasons change over more regularly, which means we can now transition between seasons without requiring a patch. This transition will occur prior to the release of Patch 7.1.5.

FEEDBACK: Lower Nighthold (Heroic)
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We're opening up the Nighthold raid on PTR, with Skorpyron, Chronomatic Anomaly, Trilliax, and Spellblade Aluriel available on Heroic difficulty. We'll be leaving these bosses up for a couple of days. Please use this thread to for feedback or bug reports on any of the encounters. When providing tuning feedback, please note the nature of your raid group (e.g. Mythic guild group, PUG, etc.).

Nighthold Testing
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Watcher explain why we should test your dungeon you don't listen to feedback
Well, part of the point of opening Nighthold and leaving it open for a longer period of time is to let groups get in and give contextual feedback on class mechanics, as well as to gather data to help with tuning. If we were solely interested in polishing the encounters, we'd be doing short 1-hour tests that could be observed by the encounter design team in their entirety. But this approach lets a lot more people get in and try things out.

Basically no numerical tuning based on 7.1.5 changes has been done yet: in test builds and development, the primary initial focus tends to be on qualitative design changes, both to allow for time to iterate on them, and because there's a much smaller development window during which we can make large changes to text in tooltips (since everything needs to be translated for the game's different regions before a patch can be finalized). Numbers changes are best done when designs are closer to final (there's little point fine-tuning something that may get ripped out entirely next build), and can be done very late in the PTR cycle. Raid tests like this help tremendously with that process.

The past couple of weeks have been full of distractions, with a long holiday weekend in the middle, and we haven't done a great job of communicating regarding the 7.1.5 class and systems changes. We'll be working to correct some of that in the coming days, but I understand that there's more than a little frustration and distrust to overcome.

In the meantime, I'll rename this thread, and make a new one for Nighthold. Please try to keep that one clear for feedback and logs from the instance, so that everyone can have a more polished experience in the long run. Thanks.

Patch 7.1.5 Warlock Feedback
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Feedback: you're leaving the warlock community out in the cold. Please communicate with us. We are extremely desperate.
We agree with a number of the core concerns raised, but don't have immediate solutions (or those solutions will take more time to design, implement, and test than the 7.1.5 PTR cycle affords). A couple of examples off the top of my head:

  • Steady/predictable Ember generation suited the Destruction rotation well, and something important was lost in the course of unifying the class to use a single shared resource, but fixing that at this point isn't just as simple as rolling everything back to Embers.
  • Mechanics like Demonic Empowerment and Soul Effigy are cumbersome to manage and while they have strong spec-specific theming, the actual gameplay of using them drags down their respective specs.

We're probably too reluctant to acknowledge problems for which we don't yet have a solution to present. But the fact that we haven't yet changed something doesn't mean that we think it's perfect as-is.

Dark Legacy Comics #561
DLC #561 has been released!


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