MMO-Champion - World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies

World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2014-10-30 05:31 AM

Health Scaling Hotfix, Deadset Sanctuary Talk, HC Americas Rank #1 DH vs GR 41

Patch 6898 Now Live - Warlords and BlizzCon Card Backs Now Available

Town Hall: Heroes #37 - "Halloween Episode OMG!"

Warlords of Draenor - Ironhoof Destroyer Mount
The Ironhoof Destroyer will drop from Blackhand in Mythic Blackrock Foundry. It is the only Warlords of Draenor mount that drops from a raid instance so far.






Warlords of Draenor - Garrisons: Inn / Tavern
Our Inn / Tavern guide has been updated.



Upcoming Class Tuning Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Giving everyone a heads up on class balance changes that could potentially take effect as early as later tonight. Many of these changes may not be reflected in tooltips.

These changes are primarily aimed at level 100 balance, but they will have reasonable effects in the meantime as well. Please keep the comments constructive, and we expect to be making a few additional tuning changes in the future.

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Scourge Strike’s damage has been increased by 50%.
  • Necrosis’ damage has been increased by 67%.
  • Unholy Might now increases Strength by 5% (down from 10%).

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Starfall’s damage has been increased by 75%.
  • Starfire’s damage has been increased by 25%.
  • Starsurge’s damage has been increased by 25%.
  • Wrath’s damage has been increased by 25%.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Adaptation now increases Combat Experience’s damage increase to 70% (down from 85%).
  • Chimaera Shot’s damage has been reduced by 13%.
  • Focusing Shot now has a 2.5 second cast time (down from 3 seconds), and its damage has been increased by 25%.
  • Kill Command’s damage has been increased by 20%.

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Frostbolt’s damage has been reduced by 20%.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Mental Anguish now increases damage by 3.125% per point (up from 2.5%).

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
  • Ravager’s damage has been reduced by 25%.
  • Slam’s damage has been reduced by 30%.
  • Whirlwind’s damage has been reduced by 30%.

I think this is a misspeling, you guys buffed this crap right? 2k damage for a 2s cast get reduced?
This change undid the buff to Frostbolt back on October 17. The net change is zero.

So you're saying the tuning team really don't have a clue what they're doing?
Or, we made a change and undid it because it isn't working out. Note that the tuning is primarily intended for level 100.

Upcoming Honor Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Wanted to give a heads-up that there's a hotfix being worked on (no ETA but soon without the TM) to increase the amount of Honor gains for Arathi Basin, Deepwind Gorge, Eye of the Storm, and The Battle for Gilneas. We're changing it so Honor is awarded for every 150 resources gathered (up from Honor awarding for every 250 resources gathered).

Characters of Warcraft Updated: Velen and Khadgar
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The Lore section of our game guide has been updated with two new entries on the Characters of Warcraft page: Velen and Khadgar!

Velen is a staunch defender of the Draenei, and has guided his people in the struggle against the Burning Legion for thousands of years. Now he’s facing a much more immediate threat – the Iron Horde.

Khadgar saw the Iron Horde’s intentions for Azeroth when Nethergarde Keep fell. Now he is determined to stop their assault before it’s too late, and is leading the charge into the Dark Portal, as he did in the past.

Their fates intertwined, Velen and Khadgar are willing to sacrifice much to ensure the safety of their people. Can they triumph over the Iron Horde? Or will they fall to a foe more dangerous than any they’ve encountered before?

We invite you to learn more about these characters and the pivotal role they play in Warlords of Draenor.

To learn more about the leaders of the Iron Horde, check out the Lords of War video series.

BlizzCon 2014 Charity Auction for CHOC Children's
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This year, we’re expanding our BlizzCon Charity Auction beyond the walls of the Anaheim Convention Center. Beginning November 5 through November 14, we’ll be hosting an online auction of rare art and other unique loot from the Blizzard Vault—all to benefit CHOC Children’s.


For more information and to get a sneak peek at the items that will be up for auction, visit our newly posted BlizzCon 2014 Charity Auction page—then make sure to come back when the Auction House opens on November 5!
by Published on 2014-10-29 06:44 PM

Artcraft - Level Design Part 2, Oct 28 Hotfixes, Anti-Exploit Mechanic, Ashran Event

Artcraft - Level Design Part 3
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hi again, I’m senior art director Chris Robinson. In this third installment, senior level designer Ely Cannon explains a bit more of the level designer’s role in bringing the landscape to life and how this role may be a bit different at Blizzard than what players, and even other level designers in the industry, might expect the role to encompass.

Hi, I’m Ely Cannon, a senior member of the Level Design team for World of Warcraft. I wanted to talk a little about the important role that our level designers play in developing the visual style for the zones. In a traditional level design role, you wouldn’t historically find artists; but we’re not what most people know as traditional level designers on the World of Warcraft team. We go out of our way to hire artists with design experience, or designers with art skills, for our level design team. This is essential to our process since each level designer is ultimately the gate keeper for the visual style and tone of the zone he/she is working on.


This process starts with the preproduction work for a zone. Working with an environment artist, the level designer will help to guide and define the scope of environment assets needed. These assets include terrain textures, trees, bushes, accent plants, rocks, etc. The range of models and textures needed must address not only the main zone look, but the sub environment types needed to break up the zone, all the while bringing the concept to life while remaining within the capabilities of our game engine. It can be a challenge, and often is.

Take for example the new Nagrand. Not only do we have the environment that you know of as the Nagrand from Outland, but new areas, like a wetlands, and a higher elevation arid region. The visual clash of these disparate environmental themes could be quite jarring if not handled with care. There is a constant conversation between the level designer and the environment artist about shape language, color, diversity, scale, mood, model usage, and ultimately the visual tone of the zone as a whole that keeps the zone development moving in the right direction.


While the environment artists make the models and textures, it is the level designer who sculpts and paints the terrain, places the trees, rocks, and bushes, all the while considering gameplay and the art/design direction. We approach the whole process in a very considered and intentional way, balancing visual style and gameplay all the while. A typical day for our level designers will include big decisions about the overall look and feel of a zone as well as small decisions about how one plant looks when placed next to another plant in the scene.


Nagrand in Warlords of Draenor is a good example of the color relationships between textures. The vast sweeping savannahs of verdant green which make up a large portion of Nagrand presented a challenge for our level designers. How can we get color depth into massive green fields while staying true to the concept? At first glance the fields and rolling hills seem to be simply green grass – and lots of it. On closer inspection there is a carefully selected range of green tones used to render the savannahs of Nagrand. Each of the green tones is a unique grass texture which is carefully blended with the others in the set to create the effect seen in-game. Likewise, the subzones in Nagrand diverge from the main zone color scheme in very specific ways that were defined early by level design to ensure that players would experience a diversity of environment types while playing through the zone, and ultimately when they return for max level content.


Having capable and talented artists and designers sitting behind our level editing tool allows for fast iteration, and ensures that we can create huge play areas with a consistent level of visual quality. In the last segment of this Artcraft series you’ll meet five more of these designers: Victor Chong, Ian Gerdes, Ed Hanes, Damarcus Holbrook, and Kevin Lee.
by Published on 2014-10-29 04:39 AM

Update (1:45 AM EDT): Oceanic servers are live once again!

Health Scaling Hotfix, Deadset Sanctuary Talk, HC Americas Rank #1 DH vs GR 41

Deck Spotlight: Crusher Deathadin

Hero Rotation for Week of October 28

World of Warcraft Oceanic Servers Live
Congratulations to everyone that has been waiting for these servers for years!



Warlords of Draenor - Garrisons: Lumber Mill
Our Lumber Mill guide has been updated with Level 3 building screenshots, how to unlock the Level 3 building, and additional information about the follower you can collect.



Artcraft - Level Design Part 2
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Welcome back to our ongoing Artcraft series that takes a look at the environmental and zone design for World of Warcraft. I’m senior art director Chris Robinson, and today senior level designer Michael McInerney is going to take us through a more high-level design overview, again using Nagrand from Warlords of Draenor to illustrate our level-design philosophies.

Hello, I’m Michael, and I’ll be providing insights on some of the thought processes that go into designing an iconic zone like Nagrand. Our approach to level design begins with asking many questions, and defining the answers. The one big question we always ask ourselves is “what is the story we are trying to tell?” This usually keys off the initial pitch—in the case of Nagrand, we wanted to convey that this was the sweeping pastoral home of the Warsong clan. But we also needed to determine the specifics of how we were going to communicate that visually to the player.

The obvious answer to how we tell their story is to put their homes within the environment. But that’s not the only thing that makes a place a home. The Warsong are fairly aggressive and confident, so when you first enter the zone, you’re not so warmly greeted by their war banners and fortified towers. We also knew the Warsong clan were wolfriders and traveled in large packs. This was something we could show with the large beaten-down roads that their war bands travel along. Their home base is nestled into a wind-carved canyon, and has subtle references to an Orgrimmar long past, with buildings and living spaces shaded by cliff sides. We also knew that the way they care for their wolves says something about their culture, and is noticeably different from the reverence for them within the Frostwolf clan. We illustrated that by using animal pits to get across their relationship with their wolves, instead of integrating them into the villages as the Frostwolf would. All of these elements come together to paint a different picture of the Warsong and give them character.


Nagrand also had some equity we wanted to explore; players have experienced a shattered version of the zone in Outland, and this was a unique opportunity to provide a contrasting look. Giving places a sense of history is high on the list of zone design philosophies. Some of the more obvious ways to tell a zone’s history are with ruins, when they make sense. The Highmaul ogres were once a great power in Nagrand. Now they are on the edge of oblivion. All that’s left of their once great civilization is scattered remnants, as evidenced by their crumbling towers and roads you find throughout the zone. It’s not a coincidence that the area they occupy in the zone doesn’t exist in Outland.


We also wanted to touch on the floating islands, one of the classic visuals of Nagrand everyone remembers. We needed to figure out how could we could capture that vibe and still tell a story. One way was to create geography so delicate in places you could imagine it snapping off and floating into the sky—fel energies notwithstanding. The sweeping arches and impossible rock formations also lean toward that realm of magic, without fully committing.

The player experience, and the way a player feels when they are moving through the environments is something we’re always thinking about. Moving from zone to zone, or even within the subzones and small microcosms we create, can dramatically impact someone’s perception of their progression and the game world around them. Stay too long in one area and it can get very tiresome, but move too quickly from one to another and it can feel overwhelming. We work very closely with the quest designers to move players through the world so they can experience a dramatic environmental change at the best possible points, or when we feel they could enjoy a change of scenery.


The challenge with Nagrand was creating enough variety within a theme while maintaining an organic feel. This is a zone that is essentially grassland, but we knew we couldn’t fill a space this large with only fields. Developing an ecology that feels fresh and real is an important tenet of designing a world. Mountains flow into valleys; the edges of a forest blend naturally into open fields. The high points are dryer with scrub bushes and dead trees. The low points are lush, sometimes flooded with water. The riverbanks are a subzone in themselves, covered in reeds and thick vegetation. These areas all offer variety yet stay within the fantasy we are trying to deliver.
The way the NPCs occupy the areas should also make sense. The panther-like Saberon live in roughed out caves below the rock arches. Herds of Clefthooves roam the fields. The Highmaul for the most part occupy the mountainous areas. These relationships to the environment tell a story without any reading required.


A great zone is one that, upon entering, you immediately “get” the fantasy of, and years later you still remember that moment, and I hope we’ve achieved that with the latest incarnation of Nagrand.

Tomorrow, senior level designer Ely Cannon will explain more about the role of level designers in the creation of a zone.

Anti-Exploit / Grinding Mechanic
Players in beta first noticed a mechanic that cut XP by 90% after killing the same mobs in the same area for a long time. However, when this mechanic went live, it seems that it activated much more quickly, which has upset some players. However, the mechanic is being disabled until it is fixed!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This isn't intended to be an "anti-grind" mechanic. It's intended to be an "anti-exploit" mechanic that programmatically addresses power-leveling abuses, with the aim of letting us reward legitimate players more generously. In the past, we've often had little choice but to drastically reduce the experience awarded by certain respawning bosses or enemies that are locked in combat with other NPCs, because otherwise they'd be abused. That always felt bad to the regular player who was just passing through in the course of questing or exploration and got unexpectedly little or no experience for killing something. The goal was to come up with an approach that would be invisible to most players, but discourage sitting there and repeatedly farming the same mob for long stretches of time in order to gain experience. Alternatives like questing, dungeons, or PvP are all supposed to be more lucrative than that - WoW has never been a game in which mass-killing mobs for experience was the most efficient route.

That said, clearly this implementation is far too strict, and is triggering from a wide variety of normal activity. We're going to disable the functionality entirely and look into a much more narrowly targeted approach if and when we reintroduce it. Apologies for the inconvenience and the lack of response on the issue - we were working on understanding exactly where the algorithm was going awry, and now that we've done so, we'll be taking action in the near future.

Patch 6.0.3 Hotfixes - October 28
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Quests
  • Roll Club: Serpent's Spine should no longer cause players to float and allow them to complete the quest.
  • Zarhym Altogether: Spirit Chests looted during the weekly quest no longer contains gold.

World Environment
  • World Defense chat channel should be joinable once again.
  • Alliance characters taking a flight path to Shattered Beachhead should now arrive safely at their destination (rather than falling through the world).

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Bonus Honor for winning a Battleground is now only awarded when queued for a Random Battleground (it was incorrectly awarding the bonus Honor for any Battleground win).

Play with the Blues - Ashran Live Stream
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Join us Wednesday, October 29 at 11:00 a.m. PDT for a special live stream direct from Ashran. Designers Brian Holinka and Chris Kaleiki will be joined by community manager, Josh “Lore” Allen to provide commentary and share insights on all that Ashran has to offer. Players on the beta realms are also invited to play alongside the blues, just be sure you’re camera ready because notable streamers, Hotted, Bajheera, and Treckie will also be diving into the action.

When: Wednesday, October 29 at 11:00 a.m. PDT
Where: Those participating will want to create a character and login to the level 100 PvP realm. Just want to watch? Catch the action on our Twitch channel at http://www.twitch.tv/wow

We’ll see you there!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Season 15 Arena Rewards
As I mentioned previously, we're working to "scrub" the Arena and RBG ladders to disqualify cheaters. Our original plan was to hand out the end of season rewards with today's maintenance. However, as work to clean up the ladders continues, it's become apparent that we will not have them ready today.

Our revised plan is to release them next week at the latest, but we're hoping to be able to award them sooner than that. We sincerely apologize for the delay in getting these rewards out to those who earned them legitimately. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Recent Honor Changes
There's been a number of hotfixes around Battleground Honor gains and got clarification on how it's supposed to work.

At the beginning of Patch 6.0.2 there was no bonus Honor. We implemented a hotfix to grant 135 Honor for a win but mistakenly added it for all Battleground wins instead of only when queuing for a Random Battleground.

In patch 6.0.3, this was corrected and the bonus Honor is now only awarded for a win when queuing for a Random Battleground. Additionally, we restored the 45 Honor bonus for losing when queued for a Random Battleground.

If you want your bonus Honor, queue for Random Battlegrounds.

Honor gains for specific queues are still half of what they were in 5.4.8. So basically still a stealth nerf to push everyone into randoms only. Thanks for the clarification now, but the fact that it was reduced so much, and then broken, and then hotfixed--zero of which were communicated or documented in patch notes--is embarrassing.
In 5.4.8 there was a 135 Honor bonus for the first win of the day in addition to the standard 135 Honor bonus for winning a Random Battleground.

There is no bonus for the first win of the day in 6.0.2.

So my partner just completed a WSG random que and won. He had 25hks with 3kbs and only received 50pts. How is this getting 135pts for a random win?
The bonus Honor isn't displayed in the scoreboard at the end of the match. The correct amount should still be awarded. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Colorblind Shaders 6.0.2
Thanks for posting! To give some background, the system that the colorblind cvar commands relied upon saw a major overhaul in 6.0.2. The colorblind cvar subsystem—which was a set of debug commands to simulate colorblindness for our testing purposes—was thereby rendered nonfunctional. We’re currently working on a more robust and fully featured colorblind shader system to correct for colorblindness. However, that work is still ongoing, and it will be in a patch sometime after the release of Warlords of Draenor.

In the short term, we've reimplemented the colorblind cvar commands in a beta build that should see the beta test realm soon, and which we expect to be patched into the live game before the release of the expansion. The command has changed to “colorblindSimulator”, but all other settings numbers remain unchanged. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Mythic Lockouts
I've seen some confusion over Mythic raiding lately and wanted to clarify.

Mythic difficulty's lockout works differently than the other raiding difficulties (Raid Finder, Normal, Heroic).

In Mythic difficulty, you are bound to the raid ID. This means if you join a Mythic raid, defeat the first boss (thereby binding you to that Mythic raid ID) and leave; you'll return to the same raid. If the raid continues on to defeat bosses 2, and 3 while you were gone, you will return to the raid with those bosses already defeated.

For that reason, it is important to stick together with the same group of people as much as possible for Mythic difficulty.

When joining a Mythic raid that's already in-progress, read the notification box that pops up carefully. It'll let you know how many bosses have already been defeated and ask for confirmation to be saved to that raid. If something's not adding up, you can refuse to be saved and be teleported out without being saved. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Lore
Garrosh'ar Landing I'm assuming? And he's also had some minor sha encounters too probably right?
Yes, the Shado-Pan have kept Sha imprisoned at the monastery for centuries, so they're familiar w/ it. (_DonAdams)
So that means... when players meet Sha of Violence he basically broke free just then?
He was breaking free and taking over the Shado-Pan, which is why you fight them & Taran Zhu. (_DonAdams)

World
let me get this right, Horde gets fixes Right away but alliance Has to wait years because devs are too damn lazy to fix stuff? ty
It's a non-trivial fix that isn't possible/safe to attempt while the event is live. So, no; you didn't get that right. (_DonAdams)

problem then is alli wickerman is in elwynn. horde wickerman is inside lorderon, and in small space to boot.
We're looking at removing the auto-flagging in Ruins of Lordaeron for next year. Thanks, everyone. (_DonAdams)

Dark Legacy Comics #463
DLC #463 has been released!

by Published on 2014-10-28 07:03 AM

Curse Evolve Big Alpha Alpha Key Giveaway

Artcraft - Level Design Part 1 / Build Statistics Perspective, Armchair Rifting #1

Hearthstone Bot Ban Wave / Skin Spotlight: Master Uther

Patch 6.0.3 Notes
Patch 6.0.3 goes live tomorrow to fix things that cannot be hotfixed.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
We’re planning to release a patch tomorrow that will bring the live game up-to-date with the version currently being tested on the beta realms. This includes a number of fixes and changes to address issues we've identified since the release of 6.0.2, as well as remaining assets and content to prepare for the launch of Warlords of Draenor. As we've done in prior expansions, our plan is to not require a launch-day patch, and have a smooth transition to the new expansion in North America at midnight Pacific on November 13.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
World Event: Iron Horde Incursion
  • Characters that have completed the Iron Horde Incursion event can now visit a vendor near their faction's respective beachhead to purchase replacement quest rewards.
  • Report to the King/Warning the Warchief: Characters with a healing specialization should now be able to select Ironmender's Totem as a quest reward.
  • Thrall received a reminder that he is currently still on Azeroth.

Character Models
  • Resolved an issue where certain helmets could incorrectly cause an Undead's jaw to disappear.
  • Resolved an issue where skin color for Human models were not matching up with their original counterparts.

Classes

Creatures
  • Gulp Frog no longer drops the Wilted Lilypad.
  • Kor'kron Butcher Cleave ability should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.
  • Kor'kron Commanders with the Hemorrhagic Shadowstep ability should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.

Pet Battles
  • Iron Starlette should no longer be excessively noisy when their owner is on a mount.

Quests
  • A Villain Unmasked: Resolved an issue where Samuelson Unmasked was dying too quickly to grant quest credit.
  • Basilisk Butcher: Basilisk Meat should be dropping again.
  • Borrowed Brew: Resolved a number of audio issues with the quest.
  • Get Kraken!: Resolved an issue where North Sea Kraken was dying too quickly to grant quest credit.
  • Warforged Seal: Added a safeguard to prevent characters from completing the quest if they already have the maximum amount of Warforged Seal.

Dungeons, Raids, and Scenarios
Raids
  • Looting bind-on-equip items should no longer automatically bind it to the character on Personal Loot mode.
  • Resolved an issue where Guild Raid groups were not receiving credit towards Guild challenges on Mythic difficulty.
  • Dragon Soul
    • Spine of Deathwing: Blood of Deathwing should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.
  • Firelands
    • Shannox: Rageface's Face Rage ability should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.
  • Blackwing Lair
    • Razorgore the Untamed received a buff to increase his survivability.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Battlegrounds
    • For players queued for Random Battlegrounds, the losing team should be receiving 45 Honor again.

Professions
  • Resolved an issue where Windwalker Monks were unable to craft more than one item at a time using the "Create All" button.

Items
  • Fire-Watcher's Oath should correctly have a 100% chance to grant Bloody Coins on PvP kills once more.
  • Living Root of the Wildheart's bonus armor provided by Ursine Blessing for Guardian Druids has been toned down to a more reasonable level.

UI
  • PlayMusic API should now work correctly and be able to play MP3s once more.
  • PlaySound API should now work correctly and be able to play MP3s once more.
  • Resolved an issue where quest headers in the Quest Log may become stuck in a collapsed state.
  • Game settings and macros for characters with names that contains an extended ASCII character should be saving correctly once more for users on Mac OS.
  • Resolved a number of situations where the mouse cursor can disappear on Mac OS.

Bug Fixes
  • Resolved an issue where multi-passenger vehicles entering your character's viewing area could cause them to be booted to the character selection screen.
  • Resolved a client crash that can occur if a character logs out after copying a calendar event.
  • Resolved a LUA error when selecting monitor 3 on systems with multiple video cards.
  • Resolved a LUA error from using Command+M on the Credits screen on Mac OS.
  • Resolved an issue with the skybox flashing on systems with multiple video cards.

Warlords of Draenor - Garrisons: Trading Post Guide Updated
Our Trading Post guide has been updated to reflect changes since the original post.



Normal Highmaul Open for Testing
Originally Posted by Watcher (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The full Highmaul raid is now open on all beta realms, and will remain so for at least a couple of days. Please use this thread to provide feedback or otherwise discuss the raid content. At this stage, the most helpful type of feedback will be (of course) bug reports and tuning issues. In terms of tuning targets, there should be a steady increase in difficulty as you go from Kargath, to Twin Ogron, to Ko'ragh, and finally to Imperator Mar'gok. The other three optional bosses should be scattered in the middle of that difficulty spectrum. And, of course, this is Normal mode so the target audience is friends-and-family raiding groups, with pickup groups having increasing success as gear and knowledge of the fights spreads through the community.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Candy Buckets in Old Blasted Lands
Tagging this with blue for anyone asking how to get the candy buckets in Blasted Lands now.


On the border of Blasted Lands and Swamp of Sorrows, there's an NPC named Zidormi who will phase Blasted Lands to the old one if you need it. She can also phase it back to the current version when you're ready. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Arthas Costume Price
180+60+256+10 = 506.

Even if you get the absolute minimum possible, you still have enough for the costume. Assuming it's a simple coinflip for the Handful of Treats determination (50% chance of getting 2, 50% chance of getting 3), the odds of you getting the absolute minimum is

1 out of 11,150,372,599,265,311,570,767,859,136,324,180,752,990,208.

This isn't even counting the odds of you getting the absolute minimum from the Horseman too!

This is accurate (well I don't know if those odds are accurate or not, but the drops are). Even with the worst possible drops every single day you would end with 506. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Why is poisoned arrow scaling with AP while Incendiary/Frozen arrows scale with weapon damage ?
Fits the effect. Using weapon damage when the weapon isn't hitting is quite weird. Bleeds, Poisons, etc, are always AP-based. (Celestalon)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
how many stars can fall on one tick of starfall? i tried and noticed it has a cap.
20, to make it consistent with others spells' AoE caps. (Celestalon)

World
Thanks for all of the feedback on the Horde Wickerman, we'll be making some changes for next year to the flagging and the guards. (Muffinus)
by Published on 2014-10-27 05:07 PM

New WoW TV Spots, Blue Posts, Blue Tweets, News Recap, Lei Shen Solo Kill

Artcraft - Level Design Part 1
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hi, I’m Chris Robinson, senior art director of World of Warcraft, and welcome to a special edition of Artcraft focused on environment and zone design. Previously we showed you what it was like to create the Spires of Arak from a purely art-focused perspective, but over the coming days we’ll be releasing a series of articles focused on exterior level design, using Nagrand as a focal point. You’ll be hearing from the team who works with the artists, as well as the quest designers, systems designers, historians, and more to craft and create not only the zones we adventure in, but the visual story that is told about these locations and the creatures and races that inhabit them. For this first article, I’m pleased to introduce Julian Morris, our lead level designer.

Hey everyone, Julian Morris here, lead level designer for the World of Warcraft exterior level design team.

Exterior level design is the process of designing and constructing the zones of World of Warcraft, from Azeroth to Draenor and everything in between. Our team has planned, plotted, and designed the rise and fall of ancient cultures, as well as shaped mountains, forests, seas, lakes, rivers, roads, ruins, and every land feature imaginable. In addition to the land itself, we also design and create cities, towns, and Battlegrounds (with the random exterior dungeon or two in there every now and then, too).


The level design team is a hybrid of both art and design. We work hand in hand with the quest design team to build the environmental stories that support the content that defines Azeroth’s lands, cultures, and conflicts.

We also work every step of the way with all of the art groups on the Warcraft team. Working with the environment art team, we sculpt and paint the landscapes to create the rich, vibrant settings that form the foundation of the world. Within those spaces we work with the dungeon team, designing and constructing the thousands of camps, towns, settlements, and cities that provide the unique architectural beauty that anchors all of our cultures and creatures to the world. These locations in turn provide the scenes and staging for the finely crafted set dressing—the tables, chairs, books, and more—that our prop art team creates.


Level design binds the vision of many groups together, and it takes the passionate effort of all these teams to create an incredibly detailed, hand-crafted experience.

The zones of World of Warcraft are their own main characters that come to life before our very eyes during development. In this series, we’re going to draw back the curtains a bit to show you more on how we approach world-building and how we breathe life into a zone.


Join us again tomorrow as senior level designer Michael (Mac) McInerney gives you a deeper look into the level design of World of Warcraft using Nagrand from Warlords of Draenor.
by Published on 2014-10-26 07:52 PM

Build Statistics Perspective, Armchair Rifting #1

Battle of the Best Invitational Survival Guide

Into the Nexus #26 - How does Valerian fight?

New WoW TV Spots
With the Warlords of Draenor release only a few weeks away, Blizzard has shared four of the commercials you may see soon.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Behind the Scenes of Lords of War...
The road to The Dark Portal is paved with good intentions.

I wasn't implying the Iron Horde was responsible for the Path of Glory in Outland, but rather the Iron Horde's intentions (as far as they're concerned) aren't "evil"; their redemption is just misguided. The clans of the Iron Horde have been beaten down, oppressed, tortured, and marginalized, and one day a slick orc walks in with amazing technology and great power, telling them of a glorious future where they take back their honor and rule as conquerors of an entire planet. As repugnant as their actions ultimately are, those aren't intentions fueled purely by some ultimate evil. Which to me makes them far more interesting from a story perspective. Don't be fooled, these guys are bad, but not in the strict sense of the word. They have motivations, and intentions, and those are shaped by their experiences. Enemies that aren't just brainlessly evil is pretty cool, if not uncomfortably realistic.

The Iron Horde have been set down a very dark path, and there's no sign of them veering from it. To make the wrongs against them right, they will pave a road with the bones of whoever oppose them, demon blood or not. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Since Warriors kinda underwhelming visually attack side, glyph to make Whirlwind all fiery and such? Fits with theme, I'd say.
We don't disagree, it's a hot topic of discussion, many classic wow classes could use a visual overhaul. (Muffinus)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
any plans on buffing Warlock? After the last "hotfix" they are at the bottom dps at 100 (with all specs).
We'll adjust tuning as necessary at 100. We did a pass at 90 because it was too significantly off to leave for a month. (Celestalon)

Art
So I got excited about garrisons enchant transmoging but then realised I'm a hunter.. any solution?
Not immediately, but it's on our radar for sure. (Muffinus)

PvE
What changes besides dmg squish was Spine of Deathwing supposed to get that would make it easier to solo? They already in?
He takes twice as long to roll if you are solo. Much easier to dance back and forth. (WatcherDev)

PvP
for example, i queue with friend in skirmish. he leaves arena, i have to leave arena to requeue with him.
The functionality of the button is to queue people still in the arena. (holinka)

with a 50% win rate, doesn't 200-250 skirmishes seem a bit much for one piece of gear? With healers, the games can be real long.
You get more honor if the game goes longer. But longer games are still less efficient. (holinka)

Can you confirm if there will be an honor wipe with Wod coming out?
We don't plan on wiping honor. (holinka)

Is there an official start date for season 16 (warlords season1)? Wondering if I can get conquest gear before raids unlock.
Season starts the same day raids open (holinka)

Lore
I think the plague is slightly hidden and too small to be seen, put some flowers and weapons around it!
Nazgrim's axe maybe? (Muffinus)

Will we be seeing Sky Admiral Rogers again in a later patch? She is awesome.
We like her and want to use her again. No word on when or where. (_DonAdams)

World
Why do those weather stones need the limited charges? Going back to the isle to grind ain't fun.
Things that affect how others see the world are often limited to preserve the world (Muffinus)

Will the alliance get more candy buckets next year since they have 5 less than the horde now? Need more candy next year.
Will investigate, thanks! (Muffinus)

Garrisons
Thanks ! So can those Leatherworking tents be used on old continents and will there be new faction tents coming?
The time limit is relatively short because they are fairly large and obstructive. We'll look into a use-anywhere one. (Muffinus)

Garrison enhancement suggestion: An actual toy box that becomes more impressive as you fill it with more toys.
Might be cool to let you summon it as a toy anywhere, and ppl can click on it to get a random toy effect? Will consider. (Muffinus)

Are nameable garrison followers still a possibility for a WoD patch? My sister had lists of names ready, haha.
Unfortunately, no, they have pretty extensive backstories and it would be weird to be able to force re-name them (Muffinus)

There doesn't seem to be any difference between doing a mission with 600ilvl follower or 650. Intended?
You should see an increase in the change to obtain loot from that mission, are you not seeing that? The bonus loot % (Muffinus)

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



Lei Shen Solo Kill
Congratulations to Mionelol once again for a solo Lei Shen kill.


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