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by Published on 2017-08-23 05:13 PM

Gamescom - Blizzard Reveal Ceremony

World of Warcraft 7.3 Patch Notes
Patch 7.3 releases on August 29th!





Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
New Features

Argus
Following recent events in the Broken Isles, a link has been created between Azeroth and Kil'jaeden's homeworld of Argus, bringing the Burning Legion closer than ever to destroying Azeroth. In order to stop them once and for all, Illidan and Velen are taking the war directly to the surface of Argus, where they hope to join forces with Alleria, Turalyon, and the Army of the Light to launch an all-out assault on the Legion's primary base of operations.

Board the Vindicaar, a vessel that will serve as your mobile base of operations on Argus, as well as one of your few safe havens on the planet.

As you explore Argus, you’ll visit new locations across the planet, experiencing the epic conclusion to the Legion storyline and unlocking new world quests and other content along the way.

Invasion Points
Azeroth isn’t the only world connected to this hostile place. While on Argus, you’ll unlock the ability to enter the very portals the Burning Legion use to transport to other worlds. Once there, complete an event or defeat a boss to earn epic rewards.

New Dungeon: Seat of the Triumvirate
Once the heart of the ancient eredar civilization where Velen, Archimonde, and Kil’jaeden ruled their people, this temple has fallen to ruin. Return with Velen to retrieve an ancient relic of power, and battle the darkness that has overtaken this sacred place, in a new 5-person dungeon among the ruins of Mac’Aree on Argus, featuring four bosses:

  • Zuraal the Ascended
    • Zuraal represents the Shadowguard’s first success at creating a Void-infused Broken whose mind has not fallen into madness. A renowned brawler in his past life, Zuraal uses his newfound dark strength to empower his attacks and decimate his foes.
  • Saprish
    • The ever-tactical Saprish deploys the forces of the Shadowguard with calculated precision. Though a skilled commander and strategist, Saprish relishes taking a direct hand in battle. He turns his foes’ weaknesses against them, leaving his vulnerable adversaries at the mercy of his voracious pets.
  • Viceroy Nezhar
    • Like others of his ilk, Viceroy Nezhar is obsessed with harnessing the power of the Void to serve his own ambitions. Drawn to the Seat of the Triumvirate by the immense darkness emanating from deep within, Nezhar will stop at nothing to claim it for his own. Given the viceroy’s experiments at infusing vessels with the power of shadow, the implications of what he might accomplish on Argus are dire indeed.
  • L'ura
    • When Velen and his followers fled Argus aboard the Genedar, the naaru L’ura stayed behind to buy the draenei time to escape. Kil’jaeden, enraged by this betrayal, ordered the wounded naaru sealed away in the Seat of the Triumvirate. Over the long millennia that passed, L’ura fell from Light to Void. Her elegant song of courage and hope became a shadowy dirge of despair, luring those seeking to lay claim to her power.

Updated Features

Argus World Quests
As you progress through each of the areas to explore on Argus, you’ll unlock new World Quests and new Emissaries eager for your help.

Artifact Customization
Harness the power of Argus to activate the Netherlight Crucible aboard the Vindicaar, allowing you to augment your Artifact Relics. The Crucible can be used to strengthen and customize Relics, increasing their raw power and allowing players to choose from a set of additional powers, including a second Artifact Trait to improve.

Combat Animations
New and updated animations, effects, and audio are coming to all three Mage specs, all three Priest specs, and Elemental and Restoration Shamans. Restoration Druids have updated animations.

Class Halls, Champions, and Missions
Your Class Hall and its assorted Champions played key roles in the defense of Azeroth, and their keen efforts are needed to succeed with the new challenges of Argus. You’ll find dozens of new missions, along with new Troop types, and an increase in your Champions’ item level to 950.

Dungeons
Loot dropped in Normal, Heroic, and Mythic dungeons is now increased in power by 20 item levels:

  • Normal: item level 845
  • Heroic: item level 865
  • Mythic: item level 885

Mythic Keystone rewards scale up to a maximum of item level 915 in the dungeon, and item level 935 in the weekly chest, both capped at Mythic Keystone 10. This cap in will increase to Mythic Keystone 15 at a future date.

The difficulty of Heroic and Mythic dungeons has increased to reflect the improved rewards. Normal dungeon difficulty is unchanged.

Pet Battles
Venture through the raids of Cataclysm to find new battle pets for the much-anticipated achievement, Raiding with Leashes V: Cuteaclysm. You’ll boast about finding a host of mostly elemental pets when you revisit Blackwing Descent, Bastion of Twilight, Throne of the Four Winds, Firelands, and Dragon Soul.

Advance scouts have reported spotting 18 legendary boss pets scattered about Argus, and these miniature monstrosities have otherworldly special abilities that the denizens of Azeroth have never seen before, such as the slightly terrifying Greater Apocalypse ability. Additionally, more than a dozen different capturable wild pets are said to be found on Argus, as well as a number of pets that can only be obtained via reward items and the new Family Fighter achievement.

Professions on a New Planet
Professional development turns a new page on Argus, with new gathering nodes for Herbalism and Mining, new material types for Skinning and Tailoring, and a new soulbound reagent: Primal Sargerite. Look for new items that can be created by crafters, as well as a new shoulder enchant that provides materials specific to Argus.

In a related turn of events, six renowned NPCs have emerged in the world of fishing. Every day, visit Akule Riverhorn, Corbyn, Ilyssia of the Waters, Impus, Keeper Raynae, or Sha’leth to earn reputation and explore the new rewards they have to offer, and ultimately earn the Fisherfriend of the Isles achievement to unlock a new alternate appearance for your Underlight Angler artifact fishing pole.

Changes

Achievements
  • “Represent”, “Ten Tabards”, “Twenty-Five Tabards” and “Thirty Tabards” now require that a number of unique tabards be obtained. These Achievements no longer require the tabards be equipped.

Artifact Knowledge
  • The Orders are now working together to improve Artifact Knowledge, and Artifact Knowledge now increases every week for everyone at the same rate, without the need to submit work orders.

Classes
  • The Avoidance stat has been reduced in effectiveness by 27% at all levels.
  • Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • Frost
    • The synergy between Hungering Rune Weapon and Breath of Sindragosa has dominated the spec, leaving little room for variety. We’re adjusting this combo, and overall damage has increased to compensate. The result should be a more competitive talent picture. All three level 100 talents are tweaked for balance and to play more smoothly. Hungering Rune Weapon should still be hectic to use and require planning, but should not drastically overcap resources anymore.
      • All damage increased by 14%.
      • Hungering Rune Weapon has moved to the level 100 row, swapping with Glacial Advance, which is now on the level 58 row.
      • Breath of Sindragosa damage increased by 10%.
      • Hungering Rune Weapon duration reduced to 12 seconds (was 15 seconds) and additionally grants 20% haste.
      • Obliteration duration increased to 10 seconds (was 8 seconds).
      • Obliteration now causes Howling Blast to grant Killing Machine (in addition to Frost Strike).
    • These changes collectively reduce Frost’s propensity to be flooded with resources in many of its talent/legendary setups
      • Horn of Winter cooldown increased to 45 seconds (was 30 seconds).
      • Murderous Efficiency chance reduced to 50% (was 65%).
      • Koltira’s Newfound Will generates 1 Rune (was 2) and now causes Obliterate to deal 10% extra damage.
    • The following talents have shifted around in the talent tree to provide more choices and allow for better balanced options. This requires targeted balance changes.
    • The utility talent row on level 75 should now provide a better payoff in situations where Frost’s comparative lack of mobility is felt.
      • Volatile Shielding now causes Anti-Magic Shell to generate 100% additional Runic Power (was: removes Runic Power generation), and no longer deals damage.
      • White Walker replaced with new talent, Inexorable Assault: For every 1 second spent in combat with no enemy within 8 yards, you gain a stack of Inexorable Assault. Each stack causes your next autoattack to deal additional Frost damage.

  • Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • All Specs
      • Mass Entanglement is now a 15-yard AoE around the target.
      • Prowl cooldown reduced to 6 seconds (was 10 seconds).
      • Rebirth is now castable in all forms.
    • Feral
    • Feral’s updates are focused on addressing two issues with the spec: reducing the dominance of complexifying talents such as Savage Roar, Jagged Wounds, and Bloodtalons, and reducing the damage gap between learning the spec and playing it perfectly. Feral has traditionally been a high skill-cap spec, and we have no intention of changing that, but this suite of updates should make the spec more approachable and less punishing for those still learning its nuances.
      • All damage increased by 33%.
      • Bloodtalons damage bonus reduced to 20% (was 50%), and now additionally procs from casting Entangling Roots.
      • Elune’s Guidance cooldown reduced to 30 seconds (was 45 seconds), and combo points granted reduced to 5 + 5 over 5 seconds (was 5 + 8 over 8 seconds).
      • Fixed a bug with Incarnation: King of the Jungle, where Ferocious Bite’s optional additional 25 energy cost wasn’t being reduced by 50% as intended.
      • Incarnation: King of the Jungle now only allows the use of Prowl while in combat once throughout its duration, and now reduces the cost of all Cat Form abilities by 50% while active (was 60%).
      • Jagged Wounds now causes your Rip, Rake, and Thrash abilities to deal the same damage as normal, but in 20% less time (was 33%).
      • Moment of Clarity’s damage bonus to affected abilities increased to 20% (was 15%), and now affects Brutal Slash.
      • Predatory Swiftness no longer affects or is consumed by Rebirth.
      • Sabertooth damage bonus to Ferocious Bite increased to 20% (was 15%).
      • Savage Roar duration increased by 50% at all combo point levels, and damage bonus reduced to 15% (was 25%).
      • Tear the Flesh (Artifact trait) now increases damage dealt by Rake by 6% (was 7%) per rank.
    • The following talents have shifted around in the talent tree to provide more choices and allow for better balanced options.
      • Elune's Guidance has moved to level 100 row, swapping with Brutal Slash, which is now on the level 90 row.
      • Jagged Wounds has moved to level 75, swapping with Savage Roar, which is now on the level 90 row.
    • The rhythm and pacing of AoE situations should now feel more consistent with the rest of Feral’s abilities.
      • Swipe Energy cost reduced to 40 (was 45).
      • Thrash Energy cost reduced to 45 (was 50).
      • Thrash Now generates 1 combo point if it hits a target.
    • Savage Roar is generally maintained at full uptime, so the “deals increased damage for their full duration” on it provided no gameplay, only added complication. In comparison, Tiger's Fury and Bloodtalons still provide interesting gameplay due to their limited nature.
      • Savage Roar now increases the damage of Feral damage over time effects dynamically, based on whether Savage Roar is active or inactive at the time of dealing damage. Previously, Feral damage over time abilities dealt a set amount of total damage over their full duration based on whether Savage Roar was active or not when the damage over time abilities were cast. Tiger’s Fury and Bloodtalons functionality remains unchanged.

  • Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • The Porcupine family has been re-named to Rodent.

  • Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • Windwalker
    • Nearly all damage sources are now covered by Versatility, and these were two that didn't need to be left out.

  • Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • The Paladin class mount vendor now offers a glyph that allows Paladins to transform their Divine Steed into their class mount.
    • Blessing of Sacrifice should now robustly prevent against reducing the casting Paladin below 20% health.
      • Developers’ note: This is a bugfix to Blessing of Sacrifice to eliminate the issue with it reducing you to below the listed health amount, and even occasionally killing you. It should now be safe to rely on it to perform as expected.
    • Retribution
    • Traits and legendaries that buff Crusade should still be attractive, but not as far ahead of the pack as they previously were.
      • All damage abilities increased by 6%.
      • Chain of Thrayn now correctly, additively stacks with Crusade.
      • Wrath of the Ashbringer trait bonus reduced to 2 seconds per rank (was 2.5 seconds per rank).
      • Mastery’s effect on Judgment damage increased by 46%, and Mastery’s effect on Judgment debuff strength increased by 17%.
      • Execution Sentence damage increased by 17%.
      • Righteous Blade trait bonus reduced to 4% per rank (was 5% per rank).
      • Unbreakable Will is no longer triggered when you’re under the effect of Sleep Canister.
    • Protection
    • There should now be much less DPS and survivability swing between Seraphim and non-Seraphim builds. Non-Seraphim builds now do better damage, and Seraphim builds do not sacrifice as much defense as they previously did.
      • Seraphim cooldown increased to 45 seconds (was 30 seconds)
      • Damage increased by 8%: Avenger’s Shield, Judgment, Hammer of the Righteous, Blessed Hammer, Consecration, Shield of the Righteous, Eye of Tyr.
      • Bulwark of the Silver Hand now gives 35% Armor (was 20%).

  • Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • Elemental
      • Earthquake damage increased by 19%.
      • Static Overload redesigned: After using Stormkeeper, your next Chain Lightning causes Elemental Overload to trigger on every target.
    • Elemental continues to have strong AoE capabilities, but we want to help make their single target damage a bit more attractive.
      • All damage abilities increased by 6% (with the exception of Chain Lightning).
      • Earth Shock damage increased by 7%.
      • Frost Shock damage increased by 13%.
    • This set of changes gives Elemental much more room to benefit from their mastery stat before reaching the hard cap of 100% proc rate.
      • Elemental Blast damage increased by 7%.
      • Elemental Blast now provides 2000 stats at level 110 (was 2400).
      • Elemental Overload now does 85% of base damage (was 75%) and its proc rate has been reduced by 17%.
      • Totem Mastery: Storm Totem bonus reduced to 5% (was 10%).

  • Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • Healthstone now heals 25% of the user’s health at all levels.
      • Developers’ note: Healthstones should be more useful at current endgame health amounts.

  • Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • Fury
      • Juggernaut damage bonus reduced to 3% per stack (was 5% per stack).
      • Execute damage increased by 20%.

Class Halls
  • The Tier 3 Class Hall research bonus now costs 1,000 Order Resources (was 2,000).
  • The Tier 4 Class Hall research bonus now costs 2,500 Order Resources (was 4,000).
  • The Tier 5 Class Hall research bonus now costs 5,000 Order Resources (was 8,000).
  • All research durations for changing a bonus have been reduced 1 day (was 3 days).
  • The cost to change the Tier 7 research bonus has been increased to 5,000 Order Resources (was 2,000).

Companion App
  • Added support for Argus world quests and missions.

Dungeons
  • Players can no longer swap equipment in Mythic Keystone dungeons while under the effect of the Bursting or Grievous damage-over-time effects.

Items
  • Attack Power has been removed from all player gear and replaced with Strength or Agility, except in cases where those stats would be inappropriate (such as guns).
  • Many holiday-themed items now have substantially-reduced cooldowns when their associated holidays are active.
  • Many legacy class set items that did not have a sell price now have a sell price.
  • Contributing to a building on the Broken Shore no longer awards a Legionfall Recompense item, and the Artifact Power value of the Artifact Power token awarded has been reduced.
  • Artifact Power items no longer have a sale price, as they should always be useable.
  • Artifacts
    • Hidden Appearances – You are no longer required to be using your current specialization’s Hidden Artifact Appearance to gain progress towards unlocking its 3 color variants. You can now gain progress towards unlocking the 3 color variants of your Artifact’s Hidden Appearances set while you are in any spec and using any Artifact appearance.
    • Challenge Appearances – You are no longer required to be using your current specialization’s Challenge Artifact Appearance to gain progress towards unlocking its 3 color variants. You can now gain progress towards unlocking the 3 color variants of your Artifact’s Challenge Appearances set while you are in any spec and using any Artifact appearance, as long as you have unlocked the base challenge appearance for a given spec.
    • The Appearance requirement “Defeat all Legion dungeons” has been changed to “Complete 10 different Legion dungeons”, and now includes Seat of the Triumvirate.
  • Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • Feral
      • Garb of the Astral Warden 2-piece set bonus redesigned and now causes Thrash to deal 15% increased damage (was “Thrash generates 1 combo point if it hits a target.”).
      • Garb of the Astral Warden 4-piece set bonus now causes Shred and Swipe to deal 8% increased damage for each Bleed effect you have on the target (was 15%).

  • Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • Elemental
      • The Regalia of the Skybreaker 2-piece bonus now reduces Storm Elemental cooldown by 2 seconds (was 1.5 seconds).

Player versus Player

  • Fierce Gladiator’s Cloak’s rating requirement has been increased to 2300.
  • Additional Artifact Power tokens are awarded to players that win Arena matches based on the player’s rating, starting at 1800.
  • Enchanter’s Illusion - Glorious Tyranny is now available to purchase from Prideful Gladiator vendors, for characters who earned Duelist: Season 14 or Duelist: Season 15.
  • Enchanter’s Illusion - Primal Victory is now available to purchase from Warmongering Gladiator vendors, for characters who earned Duelist: Warlords Season 1, Duelist: Warlords Season 2, or Duelist: Warlords Season 3.
  • All Classes
  • Pets in PvP are now immune to Taunt effects for 20 seconds after being Taunted.

  • Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • Restoration
    • The totem summoned by Grounding Totem will no longer take damage from spells that are redirected to it.

Quests
  • The Broken Shore now offers an Emissary Quest.

User Interface
  • A “Summon Random Favorite Battle Pet” button has been added to the Pet Journal.
  • Legendary quests now display as orange markers on the world map.
  • Legion dungeon and raid maps now have clickable icons where sub-maps connect, making it easier to navigate between floors.
  • Mount and pet unlocks now have a unique toast.
  • The Dressing Room pane is now larger.
  • The Shop has a new checkout interface.
  • You can now turn left and right with the Move Pad accessibility feature.
by Published on 2017-08-23 03:55 PM

Gamescom - Blizzard Reveal Ceremony
Ion confirmed that all they will be talking about is Patch 7.3. Shadows of Argus releases on August 29th!




  • The fate of our world and all worlds hangs in the balance.
  • Argus has a story heavy epic experience, spanning three regions, including a new dungeon.
  • More world quests, missions, and artifact changes are coming.
  • A rift links our world to Argus, the homeworld of the Legion. We have an opportunity to strike and defeat them now.
  • You land at Krokun first, meeting the Army of the Light. They have been fighting the Legion across the galaxy.
  • We will meet new types of demons, stronger than demons we have seen ever before. Pit Lord spawning grounds, and more.
  • Mac'Aree, the Jewel of Argus, is next. It is mostly intact, reflecting the old civilization that was here long ago. The Seat of the Triumvirate dungeon is also located here.
  • Invasion Points allow you to travel to other worlds to defeat the Legion, giving us a glimpse of worlds all over the galaxy that we have never seen.


Hearthstone
A series of animated shorts and comics are coming, featuring the characters in this short!



Overwatch
A new cinematic short has been released!



Heroes of the Storm
Part of a multi-part documentary will release next week that demonstrates how much work goes into creating a new hero.



by Published on 2017-08-22 06:40 PM

Why are the Nephalem So Powerful?

Get a Free Frozen Throne Pack Today? You Were Bugged!

Blizzard Gamescom Preview
Blizzard released a preview of what we can expect to see at gamescom. The World of Warcraft section focused on upcoming content in Patch 7.3. You can catch the reveal ceremony at 9 AM PDT / 18:00 CEST on Wednesday, August 23.



New Esports Show, Gladiator's Summit - Watch Now!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The Gladiator’s Summit is a brand-new show dedicated to World of Warcraft Arena events, globally. In each new episode, released regularly during the year, we’ll keep you up to date with everything happening in WoW esports. That includes all the latest information, inside scoops on regional and global championships, and more about the teams and players themselves.


Get The Esports Lowdown
Want to know what’s happening when? This is the show to watch. Want to know how players prepare for battle, and how teams are formed? We’ve got it covered. Ever wondered why teams pick the combos they do? Now’s your chance to learn more. It’s a 360° WoW esports view, brought to you by our expert esports team.

What is the Gladiator’s Summit?
It’s a series of shows we’ll record throughout the season, released on our WoW YouTube channel. You can find out more about all our esports events, catch up with news and results, take a look at what’s coming up, and get genuine insider information on the talent, the tournaments, and the teams.

Where can I watch the Gladiator’s Summit?
All the latest episodes will be on our World of Warcraft YouTube channel. To find out when upcoming episodes will be available, head to our WoW esports site for all the latest news, and all upcoming esports events.

What will the first episode be about?

In the first episode, we go over the European Arena Cup season, just in time to get us all pumped ready for the European Championship Final!

What will future episodes be about?
We’ll be talking about the recent North America cups, recapping the action and discussing how the finals will go. We’ll also take a look at the European cups, and look into teams, players, and epic moments. Information on later episodes can be found on our WoW esports site.

Who’s hosting the show?
All the action will be brought to you by two of our most popular and knowledgeable hosts: Jackson “Bajheera” Bliton and Elliott “Venruki” Venczel.

Jackson ‘Bajheera’ Bliton

Elliott 'Venruki’ Venczel

Where can I find out more?
Find out when the latest episode will be released on our dedicated WoW esports website.

World Boss - Levantus
Levantus is up this week! He drops item level 860 gear and a Blood Relic. Shaman can also get the The Warmace of Shirvallah hidden artifact appearance for Doomhammer.



PvP Brawl - Warsong Scramble
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Every other week a new PvP Brawl will be available to players looking for something just a little different. Each Brawl will offer a variety of modes, rules, and scenic changes to the usual Battleground gameplay, and you’ll find them in the Group Finder tool (hotkey “I”) in the Player vs. Player tab. Just like Random Battlegrounds, you’ll receive a reward for achieving victory.

Warsong Scramble – Capture the Flag
Do you have a flag? Warsong Gulch has always been the scene of an epic Capture the Flag battle, but what happens when you can capture your enemy’s flag without your own at base? Find out when you step into this PvP Brawl! We’ve also added a few more power-ups to the field of battle to stir things up a bit. To win, your team will need to be the first to capture 5 flags.


Weekly Bonus Event - Pet Battles
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
An extra weekly quest and rewards are here— the Pet Battles bonus event is underway!

This Week
All week, get out there and fight with your mighty minions. When the time comes to take on other players, open your Pet Journal and hit the “Find Battle” button to be matched up with an opponent whose team is competitive with yours.

Look for the following all week long:


Heroes of the Storm - Obey the Call
Dreadlord Jaina confirmed and Kel'thuzad is coming to Heroes. Don't forget to grab the Legendary loot chest from Twitch Prime.



Overwatch - New Map: Junkertown
A new map is coming to Overwatch! Check back Wednesday for the new animated short.



by Published on 2017-08-21 10:25 AM

Why are the Nephalem So Powerful?

Popular HearthPwn Standard and Wild Decks of the Week for August 20

Patch 7.3 - Vile Fiend
Patch 7.3 adds the Vile Fiend mount.






Patch 7.3 - Heirloom Neck
Patch 7.3 adds a new Heirloom neck item, the Man'ari Training Amulet. This item allows you to sacrifice 10% health to increase movement speed by 40% for 10 sec.

It is rewarded from the Assault on Felfire Armory Order Hall mission.



Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Back when you were working on WoW, how much did the concept of “theme park” vs “sandbox” influence the drawing board? Did you guys identify with one side more than another on a scale, or did you consider WoW to be it’s own entity, and introduce features to fit the current trend of gameplay?
WoW followed the theme park philosophy pretty strongly. Before WoW, MMOs were much more about creating an “interesting” (quotes intentional) world in which players could go find “fun” things to do. But often that fun devolved into grinding mobs. WoW was explicit about constantly providing directed gameplay, largely through quests. Rather than the quests petering out and reaching the point where you have to grind, in WoW the quests just never ran out. There are even way more quests than you need in order to reach max level, and increasingly there are even quests at max level. Quests aren’t even the only system that provides stuff for players to do.

Beyond just WoW, I’ll be a little controversial here and say that I worry that the importance of sandboxes to successful game design gets overstated. I’ve also noticed that it is game reviewers who get really excited about open-ended gameplay, and I’m sure part of that reason is because they have to play through so many games at a frenetic pace that something where they get to set the rules is appealing.

And I do get the appeal of sandboxes. It’s just that so often the game can’t often deliver on the massive expectations of what a sandbox really is. I get really bored of games where I have to go find the fun or invent my own fun, usually because games can’t ever really deliver on “Anything that you can conceive, you can do.” Instead I always find myself bumping into the limitations of the system. I can’t really be a thief who just survives stealing from other players. I can’t really be a merchant or a politician or a prophet because the game systems aren’t robust enough to support that. Minecraft lets you make ridiculously elaborate architecture. GTA is funny when the cop AI collides with semi-realistic car physics. But both are still pretty limited in terms of sandboxes.

(My favorite game is D&D, where a human dungeon master does allow you to do almost anything you can dream up. Computers are far behind.)

I could talk a lot about Breath of the Wild. It is a fantastic game. But I also do get bored sometimes when I climb a mountain just to find nothing interesting up on top. Yes, it’s great that the game lets me climb any mountain. That freedom is amazing. But I’m going to stop doing it if I keep finding boring mountaintops. Watching the different systems interact in ways that you would expect (”Lightning is attracted to metal!” “Bombs can move things when they explode!” is fun to witness and maybe entertaining from a creative expression standpoint. But that doesn’t automatically make it fun. I still want something engaging. If it can be an engaging open world game, great. But if it’s just an open world game, I’m going to move on to another game quickly.

I completely realize this is personal preference, but I’d rather designers give me an experience that they think would be fun for me, rather than giving me a tool set and letting me invent the fun. But I’m a guy who loves Lego, but never builds anything other than the model the boxed sets are designed to make. YMMV. (Source)



Dark Legacy Comics #595
DLC #595 has been released.

by Published on 2017-08-18 07:03 PM

Patch 2.6.1 PTR Notes - New Items and Significant Item Changes

New Fireside Gathering Features Now Live - Fireside Brawls & Tavern Signs

Patch 7.3 PTR - Build 24853
Build 24853 will be deployed to the PTR realms soon.

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Death Knight (Forums, Talent Calculator, PvP Talent Calculator, Artifact Calculator)
Frost
  • Frost Death Knight Increases damage/healing of Avalanche, Breath of Sindragosa, Death Strike, Frost Breath, Frost Fever, Frost Strike, Frost Strike Off-Hand, Frostscythe, Frozen Pulse, Howling Blast, Obliterate, Obliterate Off-Hand, Remorseless Winter by 30% 23%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Avalanche, Breath of Sindragosa, Death Strike, Frost Breath, Frost Fever, Frost Strike, Frost Strike Off-Hand, Frostscythe, Frozen Pulse, Howling Blast, Obliterate, Obliterate Off-Hand, Remorseless Winter by 30% 23%. Death Knight - Frost Spec.

Unholy
  • Unholy Death Knight Increases damage/healing of Apocalypse, Clawing Shadows, Death and Decay, Death Strike, Festering Strike, Outbreak, Scourge Strike, Soul Reaper by 8% 5%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Apocalypse, Clawing Shadows, Death and Decay, Death Strike, Festering Strike, Outbreak, Scourge Strike, Soul Reaper by 8% 5%. Death Knight - Unholy Spec.

Hunter (Forums, Talent Calculator, PvP Talent Calculator, Artifact Calculator)
Beast Mastery
  • Beast Mastery Hunter Increases damage/healing of Barrage, Chimaera Shot, Cobra Shot, Kill Command, Multi-Shot, Stomp, Volley by 10% 6%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Barrage, Chimaera Shot, Cobra Shot, Kill Command, Multi-Shot, Stomp, Volley by 10% 6%. Increases damage/healing of Bestial Wrath by 10 6. Hunter - Beast Mastery Spec.

Survival
  • Survival Hunter Increases damage/healing of Butchery, Carve, Flanking Strike, Fury of the Eagle, Hatchet Toss, Lacerate, Mongoose Bite, Raptor Strike by 10% 7%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Butchery, Carve, Flanking Strike, Fury of the Eagle, Hatchet Toss, Lacerate, Mongoose Bite, Raptor Strike by 10% 7%. Hunter - Survival Spec.

Monk (Forums, Talent Calculator, PvP Talent Calculator, Artifact Calculator)
Windwalker
  • Windwalker Monk Increases damage/healing of Blackout Kick, Chi Wave, Crackling Jade Lightning, Crosswinds, Eye of the Tiger, Fists of Fury, Flying Serpent Kick, Rising Sun Kick, Rushing Jade Wind, Spinning Crane Kick, Strike of the Windlord, Tiger Palm by 5% 0%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Blackout Kick, Chi Wave, Crackling Jade Lightning, Crosswinds, Eye of the Tiger, Fists of Fury, Flying Serpent Kick, Rising Sun Kick, Rushing Jade Wind, Spinning Crane Kick, Strike of the Windlord, Tiger Palm by 5% 0%. Monk - Windwalker Spec.

Rogue (Forums, Talent Calculator, PvP Talent Calculator, Artifact Calculator)
PvP Talents
  • Thief's Bargain The cooldown of your Vanish spell is reduced by 60 45 sec. Your damage is increased by 10%, but your maximum health is reduced by 15%. Subtlety Rogue - Tier 5 PvP Talent.

Assassination
  • Assassination Rogue Increases damage/healing of Deadly Poison, Death from Above, Envenom, Fan of Knives, Garrote, Hemorrhage, Kingsbane, Mutilate, Mutilate Off-Hand, Neurotoxin, Poisoned Knife, Rupture, Shiv, Sinister Strike, Toxic Blade, Wound Poison by 28% 22%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Deadly Poison, Death from Above, Envenom, Fan of Knives, Garrote, Hemorrhage, Kingsbane, Mutilate, Mutilate Off-Hand, Neurotoxin, Poisoned Knife, Rupture, Shiv, Sinister Strike, Toxic Blade, Wound Poison by 28% 22%. Rogue - Assassination Spec.

Outlaw
  • Outlaw Rogue Increases damage/healing of Ambush, Between the Eyes, Death from Above, Ghostly Strike, Main Gauche, Pistol Shot, Riposte, Run Through, Saber Slash by 4% 0%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Ambush, Between the Eyes, Death from Above, Ghostly Strike, Main Gauche, Pistol Shot, Riposte, Run Through, Saber Slash by 4% 0%. Increases damage/healing of Death from Above by 30%. Rogue - Outlaw Spec.

Shaman (Forums, Talent Calculator, PvP Talent Calculator, Artifact Calculator)
Elemental
  • Earth Shock Instantly shocks the target with concussive force, causing up to [*1,300% [*1,230% of Spell Power*] Nature damage based on Maelstrom spent. Shaman - Elemental Spec. 10 Maelstrom. 40 yd range. Instant.

Enhancement
  • Enhancement Shaman Increases damage/healing of Crash Lightning, Earthen Spike, Flametongue, Flametongue Attack, Frostbrand, Fury of Air, Lava Lash, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Shield, Rockbiter, Stormstrike, Stormstrike Off-Hand, Sundering, Windfury Attack, Windsong, Windstrike, Windstrike Off-Hand by 13% 10%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Crash Lightning, Earthen Spike, Flametongue, Flametongue Attack, Frostbrand, Fury of Air, Lava Lash, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Shield, Rockbiter, Stormstrike, Stormstrike Off-Hand, Sundering, Windfury Attack, Windsong, Windstrike, Windstrike Off-Hand by 13% 10%. Increases damage/healing of Crash Lightning, Earthen Spike, Flametongue, Flametongue Attack, Frostbrand, Fury of Air, Lava Lash, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Shield, Rockbiter, Stormstrike, Stormstrike Off-Hand, Sundering, Windfury Attack, Windsong, Windstrike, Windstrike Off-Hand by 13 10. Shaman - Enhancement Spec.

Raid & Dungeon Abilities
  • Swing The caster swings their weapon in a devastating arc, inflicting 1,070,500 538,000 Fire damage to all enemies caught in the weapon's path. Melee range. 2 sec cast. 5 sec cooldown.

Item Effects
  • Attuning Attune the crystal with the spirit's essence. Results may be unpredictable. Melee range. Instant. 7 yd range. 3 sec cast (Channeled).



Some New Blue Faces
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Over the coming weeks, you’ll be seeing some new Blue accounts posting here in the forums. These fine folks are joining on to help us be more present and active in discussions with you all.

Our new additions will be labeled “Forum Engagement.” While these people are Blizzard employees, they aren’t game designers and won’t be able to answer those deeper questions about topics like game balance. And no worries; you’ll still see the same names you recognize.

Thanks for giving them a warm welcome!

Patch 7.3 - Dressing Room Update
Patch 7.3 enlarges the dressing room window and adds class specific backgrounds.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Draenor Pathfinder
While at this point in time we don't have any plans to remove the Draenor Pathfinder requirement for flying in Draenor, I just wanted to add that there's a lot of great feedback on both sides of the fence here, thanks everyone for remaining mostly constructive. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

PvP Like a Pro - Practicing Effectively
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Two weeks ago, we kicked off the PvP like a Pro series, where we talk to some of the best Arena players in the world and gain their insights.

Part 3 - Practicing Effectively

Minpojke of team Northern Gaming Blue has achieved rank one in Arena every season since 2011. His current squad has been playing together for more than two years, and came third in the Global Finals at BlizzCon 2016. With his help, we’ve built a five-step guide to help you practice like a pro!

Synergy - Align Your Team
Before setting out on your quest to the top, make sure you’re “aligned as a team,” says Minpojke. Like in any group activity, “it’s very important that everyone has the same goals and the same drive to do what it takes to win.” Make sure your team shares similar ambitions, and is aligned on how much effort will be required to achieve them. And of course, make sure you have similar gaming schedules so you can play and practice together!

Atmosphere - Stay Positive
It’s important to have a good atmosphere while playing. Minpojke says, “If you and your group get along and even become friends, you’ll like playing and actually learn more as well.” Be sure that the mood stays positive so that you can enjoy competing and improving together. It’s much easier to keep a team motivated if you’re all having fun—it’s a game after all!

Stated more simply, Minpojke says, “It’s easy to win as a team—in the sense that it’s easy to be happy and celebrate—but if you’re capable of losing together, then you’ll be a great team.”

Strategy - Know the Meta
When it comes to making practice effective, Minpojke feels it’s a priority to stay up to date with the current meta. He told us that the best way to do this is to follow tournaments, high-level Arena streams, and the PvP Leaderboards to see which classes are on top.

“It’s quite easy to keep up with the meta. Watch streams to see what the pros are playing, and track the ladder to see which classes and compositions are at the top. And don’t forget to follow tournaments to see the best comps shine.” Once you’re confident in what you want to play, it’s time to queue up! As FabsS discussed in our previous interview, Minpojke says that it’s important to set your win condition before the gates open. “Ask what you want to achieve as a team; will you focus on a lot of CC or try to draw out the game longer?” Since you know what matchup you’ll be playing against, you can start to ask these questions and develop your strategy.

Analysis - Review Your Games
If your setup supports it, Minpojke recommends recording as many sessions as you can—they’re much more valuable then looking at a damage meter. He says that the first objective is to see if you followed your game plan. Did you stick to it? Did it work? If the answer to either of these questions is no, you need to work on executing the plan better in future or possibly changing it up all together.

Watching your own recordings is also a chance to highlight individual mistakes. As Minpojke says, “Always stay self-critical, and always look for ways to improve—you’ll notice pretty quickly your most crucial and common mistakes.” While Minpojke emphasizes that “losing is arguably the best way of learning,” he also reminded us that “it’s very important to recognize when you do well.” Think positively here: no one can play the perfect game, but there are often good takeaways to be emulated going forward.

Reviewing recordings of his gameplay is a regular part of Minpojke’s routine, as well as discussing previous matches with his team between games while queueing. You can learn from a win as well as a loss!

Execute - Implement Your Analysis
After watching the replays, it’s time to set your goals. Decide what you want to focus on, and “make plans before you queue for a session.” If there was a specific matchup you were struggling with, you can discuss plans for how you’ll react to it next time.

In some instances, it could be worth writing some notes, especially if you have many things to focus on versus many compositions. Minpojke equated it to studying for a test, “Practice it, and read it over and over until it sticks in your head.”

Minpojke attended his first BlizzCon with current teammate Zunniyaki in 2013, finishing in second place. Northern Gaming Blue are the defending European Champions, and with nine BlizzCon appearances between their players, they’re one of the most experienced rosters in the field.

You can watch Minpojke and Northern Gaming Blue compete live at gamescom from August 23-26. For the full details on when and where you can watch, head on over to our European Championship Finals blog.

Dark Legacy Comics #594
DLC #594 has been released!


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