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by Published on 2014-08-29 09:14 AM

Thursday Stream Highlights, First Live Season Begins Tomorrow!, Leveling Tips and Tricks, Legendary Gems Guide

Free Arachnid Quarter Ends Sept. 30th, Versus Series: Fire vs Wuaschtsemme, Naxxramas Speedrun

Hero Rotation for August 26th, Kerrigan Hero Week, Into The Nexus #17 - Draft Mode

Warlords of Draenor - Weapon Enchants
Today we are taking a look at the new weapon enchants and Illusions added in Warlords of Draenor. Three of the new effects listed below are Illusions, which are weapon enchant transmogs available to those who have the Enchanter's Study building in their Garrison. This building doesn't appear to function correctly in the current beta build, but it should offer many enchant transmogs. Flames of Ragnaros is unique, as it is an item and not a crafted Illusion.




Name Description
Mark of the Thunderlord Enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increase your critical strike by 500 for 6 sec. While active, critical heals and attacks may extend the duration.
Mark of the Shattered Hand Enchants a melee weapon to sometimes bleed your enemy for 1,500 damage, plus an additional 4,500 damage over 6 sec.
Mark of Warsong Enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increase haste by 1,000, diminishing by 10% every 2 sec.
Mark of the Frostwolf Enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increases multistrike by 500 for 6 sec. Effect can stack 2 times.
Mark of Shadowmoon Enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increase Spirit by 500 for 15 sec.
Mark of Blackrock Enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increase Bonus Armor by 500 for 12 sec. Effect can only occur when you are below 50% health.
Mark of Bleeding Hollow Enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increase mastery by 500 for 12 sec.
Illusion: Butterflies Makes your weapon appear as if it were enchanted with Butterflies.
Illusion: Poisoned Makes your weapon appear as if it were dripping with Poison.
Illusion: Flames of Ragnaros Makes your weapon appear as if it were imbued with the Flames of Ragnaros.


Warlords of Draenor - Rare Spawn Mount Drops
Muffinus shared some information about the Warlords versions of the Time-Lost Proto-Drake style mount drops.



Warlords of Draenor - Call to Arms Removed
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We've removed Call to Arms in Warlords. Originally, the feature was added to bring some variety to the battleground experience and allow players who like a specific battleground to occassionally binge on it. But, like any feature, we have to weight the benefits with the consequences. Call to Arms has an adverse affect on queue times in a pretty profound way. When certain battlegrounds are up, one faction will tend to queue for Call to Arms while the other tends to avoid it. As a result, we're going to remove it so that the majority of players are queuing through Random Battlegrounds.

Beta Stability Issues - 8/28
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We're currently aware of the stability issues you folks are seeing on the beta realms: usually presented as either a difficulty staying online for an extended period of time, or getting disconnected when attempting to login to one or more characters.

These issues are known to us, and we're trying to back up to 100% capability. Our Server Engineers are doing a lot of the behind-the-scenes work to fix things like this. I'll be updating this thread with more info and/or any ETAs as I receive them.

So basically there's a few things going on here: The restarts are issued for a number of reasons, sometimes to pickup some code changes that we push out to improve stability, like fixing a client or server crash.

Another issue that has happened the last few days involves some actual hardware. It gets a bit technical, but the short version is that you may run into disconnects or issues loading anytime you try to access the instance server. This also means garrisons are impacted, since they don't "live" on the Draenor continent.

Anyway, the real thing to take away here is that our server folks are working on this and keeping a very close eye on things.

We've completed our maintenance on the Beta Realms, although we'll keep a close eye on the overall stability of the realms.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Mount speed nerfs for DK's/Pala's is this an oversight or legit?
Due to the additive vs multiplicative changes, yes. (Celestalon)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
How did you find your time as an Unholy DK yesterday? Speaking as a casual PvPer, interested in seeing how things look post-NS.
Similar to other classes it is nice to have less buttons. Loss of double grip might make Gorefiend's Grip more attractive. (holinka)

Druid (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Not sure if its been brought to your attention, but resto druid healing seem to be OP-Using only two buttons http://t.co/KsxKgQKAPL
Yes we're bring rampant growth down to 50% perhaps even more if necessary. (holinka)

would it be possible to bring Hibernate back to WoD? It was a pretty fun CC for the druid to have. It definitely was very useful
No we're glad to have removed a lot of those niche use, rarely used CC buttons. (holinka)
Meanwhile: "Think of it as "that niche spell that I sometimes get to use skillfully for great gains"."
Arena players tend to want classes to become increasingly complex, because all arena has for depth is class design. (holinka)
The rest of the game (including PvP parts like battlegrounds and Ashran) does not work this way. (holinka)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Agree, from the looks of it monks were hardly changed. They have way too many ways to disrupt casts.
In comparison to most classes, monks didn't have many abilities. They didn't really need much pruning. (holinka)
Ah ok They have a lot of stuns, disarms and that. I'll keep an eye on notes in case I missed CC changes.
They lost their disarm, their silence & CC break trinkets work better vs fists of fury & ring of peace. (holinka)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
stop that you're going to get us paladins cheesing the beacon macro nerfed. #intended #unfunplaystyle
.Relately, we're going to make a change that skews away from the Beacon macroing: a tiny mana cost. (Celestalon)
Won't be a ton; the intention is that moving your beacon around frequently is still viable and min/maxy. (Celestalon)
Just a bit to nudge away from doing it wastefully. Thinking 1000mana. (Celestalon)

Do the level 90 Holy Paladin talents really need a mana cost(that HIGH)? Similar other class abilities are much cheaper/free.
They should still be very efficient. Cost offsets their high healing, while not being restrictive. (Celestalon)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Rogues will have too many ways to stop casts.Deadly Throw didn't need a buff, it'd be fair if DT replaced Kick.
It wi require 5 pts to interrupt in the next build. (holinka)

Character / Items
there will be *no* Benediction transmog in the 10th MC raid, right?
Nothing Benediction/Anathema-related in the anniversary raid, no. (WatcherDev)

PvE
Is 7min enrage on twin ogron mythic intended as well? We hit that at 30%
Berserk timers are intended; health is artificially high. (WatcherDev)

you said LFR would be smoothing out spikes to make it easier than mists due to not dropping tier - now it’s remaining the same?
Mists LFR wings varied a lot in difficulty. We'll be smoothing out those peaks in Warlords. (WatcherDev)

Will it be possible to go Quest > Normal Dungeon > Heroic Dungeon > Normal Raid in Warlords, or is LFR a required step?
It will not only be possible, but is in fact the expected path for people who want to do organized raiding. (WatcherDev)

PvP
The 'Kick' bonus - how does this help vs. melee? 2pc bonus only valuable vs. casters? I don't understand
PvE bonuses don't work in PvP. Versatility bonuses are all undertuned. (holinka)

small detail in WoD but has a huge impact: being able to take queues while in combat. Queuing arena during Ashran with no worry=win
.Indeed, we think it will be great to participate in Ashran, or the rest of the world for that matter, while you wait in queue. (holinka)

do you envision ashran as something that will be used in future xpaks? Or just WoD
Ashran will be a part of the Warlords of Draenor expansion but much like old raids, it's relevance will diminish afterwards. (holinka)
If it's successful we'd probably do something new based on lessons learned. (holinka)

How long have you invisioned Ashran and why was something like it not made sooner? I'm strictly PvE but not anymore! Thanks #Ashran
A number of reasons. First, some of the technology necessary to pull it off. Second, the design resources to make it. (holinka)
But we think it's great to introduce a new kind of PvP content to the game which we think has broad appeal. (holinka)
I agree. Queing is ok, but jump right in and play is the best! Interesting gameplay I think all PvP/PvE players can enjoy. #Ashran
.A lot of people grinded High Warlord/Grand Marshal back in the day but have no interest in Arena/RBG. So adding Ashran too! (holinka)
What does that mean do we have chance to get those titles from playing ashran?
No those titles are not available from Ashran (holinka)
It means there are people out there who like PvP enough to grind hours for those titles but they don't like instance PvP. (holinka)

World
True story: the original farm supports different outcomes based on weather and seasons, but I cut them to reduce complexity (_DonAdams)
did you just say you dumbed down the farm too? Thanks, Blizz! That would have been awesome!
It *supports* those things, but they were never implemented. That is not dumbing down. (_DonAdams)
I should also point out that the original farm was 6 plots at best. So it's actually way bigger than planned. (_DonAdams)
Not doing a thing you originally wanted to do is the day to day reality of game dev. You cut and trim. (_DonAdams)
In the end I'm very proud of the farm, even if I wanted to do more with it. That's most of our content. (_DonAdams)

Misc
Random question, but do you know why there's such an absence of blue responses on the WoD beta forums? It's very discouraging.
Simply because it's extremely time consuming to do, and there's none of us dedicated to doing it, so only in spare time. (Celestalon)
... monitoring and providing feedback then what the hell is the point? Might as well bury your head in the sand
Reading and Responding are two *extremely* different things. We do read all the feedback, with dedicated people. (Celestalon)

Warlords of Draenor - Tanaris Changes
Forum users CosmicGuitars and Reignac noticed some interesting changes in Tanaris. A new Infinite Vanguard NPC has appeared outside of the Caverns of Time, along with a Black Morass style portal a little bit farther out. A total of 7 new Infinite NPCs were added in Warlords.

by Published on 2014-08-28 01:29 AM

Warlords of Draenor Beta Patch Notes Update - August 27
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Racial Traits
  • Pandaren
    • Epicurean now increases the benefit of Well Fed effects by 75% (down from 100%).

Crowd Control and Diminishing Returns
  • Druid
    • Typhoon now has a range of 15 yards (down from 30 yards).
  • Hunter
  • Priest
    • Silence is now available to Discipline and Shadow Priests.
  • Rogue
    • Deadly Throw now requires 5 Combo Points in order to interrupt spell casting (up from 3 Combo Points).
  • Warrior
    • Safeguard no longer removes movement-impairing effects.

Class Changes

Death Knight
Ability Consolidation and Refinement

Frost Changes
  • Icy Talons now increases attack speed by 20% 35% (down from 45%), and haste by 5% (up from 0%).
  • Might of the Frozen Wastes now increases the damage of Obliterate by 50% (up from 40%) and melee damage by 35% (up from 30%) while wielding a two-handed weapon, and increases the damage of Frost Strike by 50% (up from 35%) while dual-wielding.
  • Razorice now deals 4% additional weapon damage (up from 2%), and increases Frost damage by 2% 4% per stack (down up from 3%).

Blood Changes
  • Improved Blood Presence now increases all damage dealt by 15% 20%, instead of increasing rune regeneration rate.
  • Veteran of the Third War now increases your critical strike chance, Multistrike chance, haste, and Stamina by 10% (up from 9% to Stamina only), reduces the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%, increases the damage of Death Strike by 100%, and grants 1 Runic Power per second while in combat.

Miscellaneous
  • Conversion no longer has an initial tick, and now costs 30 15 Runic Power/second for Blood, 10 Runic Power/second for Frost, and 20 Runic Power/second for Unholy.

Druid
Ability Consolidation and Refinement
  • Barkskin no longer provides pushback protection, but its cooldown has been reduced to 30 seconds.

Talents
  • Nature’s Vigil, while active, increases single-target damage and healing caused by healing spells by 30% (up from 25%), and all single-target damage spells also heal a nearby friendly target for 40% of the damage done (up from 25%). Its healing now targets allies within 40 yards of the Druid (instead of within 40 yards of the target).

Hunter
Ability Consolidation and Refinement
  • Cobra Strikes now has a 20% chance to trigger (up from a 15% chance), but now only grants 1 charge each time it triggers (down from 2 charges).
  • Lock and Load effects have been incorporated into Black Arrow.
  • Black Arrow’s cooldown is reset if it is dispelled.

Rotation Depth and Talents
We’ve changed the combat rotations of each Hunter specialization (primarily through Ability Pruning) with the goal of them being a platform to build upon with talents. To facilitate this, we’ve modified several talents to add additional rotational depth. Hunters had many talent options which added abilities to their rotation, but most of them had quite simple usage, with little interaction with your rotation or other abilities. Now, there should be more of a variety; still some simple talents, but also some talents that create a more engaging combat rotation.
  • Barrage now has a 20 second cooldown (down from 30 seconds), costs 60 Focus (up from 30 Focus), and its damage has been increased by 100%.
  • Murder of Crows has been changed. Its duration, cost, and cooldown have been reduced by 50%. It no longer has a shorter cooldown when used on low health targets. Instead, its cooldown is reset if the target dies.
  • Fervor has been replaced with a new passive ability, Steady Focus.

Survival Changes
Apart from rotational changes through Ability Pruning, changes for Survival Hunters mostly center on Lock and Load. We changed how Lock and Load is triggered to increase the value of Multistrike, provide gameplay depth and the ability to pool damage more. Also note the new passive ability, Survivalist, which increases multistrike chance by 10%, in order to give Survival Hunters some baseline Multistrike chance.
  • (Line moved to Ability Consolidation and Refinement.) Black Arrow now deals 60% more damage, inflicts Shadow damage every 3 seconds (up from every 2 seconds), has a duration of 18 seconds (down from 20 seconds), and triggers Lock and Load on Multistrike hits.
  • (Line moved to Ability Consolidation and Refinement) Lock and Load effects have been incorporated into Black Arrow and have been redesigned.
    • Lock and Load now causes the next Explosive Shot to not trigger its cooldown, but no longer causes it to be free or reset the ability's current cooldown. This effect can stack up to 5 times.
  • Survivalist is a new passive ability learned by Survival Hunters at level 10.
    • Survivalist increases Multistrike damage by 20% the chance to Multistrike by 10%, and causes the Hunter to gain 15% health over 10 seconds after killing a target.

Mage
Ability Consolidation and Refinement
  • Frostbolt can no longer be used to heal the Mage's Water Elemental.

Frost Changes
  • The Brain Freeze effect now increases Frostfire Bolt damage by 25% 15%, and can now stack up to 2 times. It also no longer triggers from the Bomb Talents, and instead has a 10% chance to trigger from Frostbolt casts. Each Multistrike of Frostbolt increases that cast's chance by an additional 25%. (Total of 60% on double-Multistrikes).

Monk
Ability Consolidation and Refinement

Paladin
Ability Consolidation and Refinement

Holy Changes

Priest
Ability Consolidation and Refinement
  • Shadow Word: Pain’s initial damage is now considered direct damage, not periodic damage.
    • Shadowy Apparitions and Shadowy Insight are no longer able to trigger from this initial direct damage.

Holy Changes
  • Divine Providence is a new passive ability for Holy Priests.
    • Divine Providence increases the amount of the Multistrike stat gains from all sources by 5%, and increases the damage and healing of Multistrikes by 20% 25%.

Rogue
Combat Changes

Shaman
Ability Consolidation and Refinement

Elemental and Enhancement Changes
  • Magma Totem’s damage has been increased by 100%, and now ticks faster with Haste.
  • Maelstrom Weapon’s chance to trigger has been reduced by 20%.
  • Searing Totem Searing Bolt now has a 2-second cast time (up from 1.5 seconds), but casts faster with Haste, and its damage has been increased by 120% 65%.
  • Shamanism no longer reduces the cast time of Chain Lightning, but instead now increases the damage of Chain Lightning by 100% (up from 70%).

Warlock
Raid Utility
  • Healthstone's cooldown will now not reset until the player leaves combat. Healing from this ability is now a flat amount (instead of a % of maximum health) and can no longer be a Critical Effect.

Affliction Changes
  • Haunt now increases periodic damage by 30% (down from 35%).

Demonology Changes
We also tweaked the design of Master Demonologist, in order to solve some edge cases, and simplify and clarify its effects.

Warrior
Ability Consolidation and Refinement

Talent Changes
  • Staggering Shout has been removed and replaced with 3 new talents that vary by specialization.
    • Protection: Heavy Repercussions: Shield Slam deals 50% additional damage while Shield Block or Shield Charge is active.

Enrage and Deep Wounds
With the introduction of one of the level-100 Warrior Talents, which deals Fire damage, We also expanded Enrage to affect all damage, not just Physical damage, and increased its duration slightly so that it can cover burst windows like Colossus Smash adequately. We're also making a change to the design of Deep Wounds, to try to limit is effectiveness in PvP, without hurting its effectiveness in PvE.

Blizzard at PAX Prime - August 29 to Sept 1 2014
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
If you’re heading out to PAX Prime this weekend, we’d love for you to come by and check out all of the action.

PAX attendees should prepare themselves for 4 epic days of portal storming, card slinging, and Hero playing awesomeness as this year’s booth will feature all-new builds for our most recent and upcoming games, hands-on time at demo stations, and awesome giveaways including a *limited quantity of PAX Prime exclusive pins. Pinny Arcade enthusiasts will be happy to learn that they could collect either the exclusive Elite Tauren Chieftain pin for playing Heroes of the Storm or the Iron Horde symbol for playing the Warlords of Draenor beta while visiting the booth.

What: Hosted annually in Seattle, PAX Prime is a celebration of gaming culture and community

Where: The Washington State Convention Center booth #352 of the Expo Hall

When: August 29- September 1


Come and Play
As an attendee, here’s a taste of what you can expect at this year’s Blizzard booth:
  • Warlords of Draenor hands-on with the live beta featuring updated character models and the intro experience for the upcoming expansion.
  • A chance to find out what’s in the cards for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and experience all of the fun of epic card-slinging duels on the PC.
  • Attendees will have the opportunity to play a brand-new demo for Heroes of the Storm, and be among the first to try out three exciting new heroes! New to the game or eager for some clutch tips? The Heroes Community Team will be on-hand to help get you up to speed and ready to brawl!
  • Blizzard developers will be on-hand to chat about your favorite games.
  • And did we mention there will be giveaways, prizes, and more? If not . . . there will be giveaways, prizes, and more!

Be sure to check the prime.paxsite.com for the schedule, hotel and travel information, forums, and more. If you have an iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, or Windows 7 smart phone, you can also download the official PAX Prime 2014 app from Guidebook for free.

We’re looking forward to a great PAX Prime 2014 and can’t wait to see everyone there!

*Pins are available while supplies last to those who visit the booth and play either Heroes of the Storm or Warlords of Draenor.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Hunter (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
.Well we all want to hear it. MM thoughts/impressions?
.I was pleasantly surprised, actually. The Bombardment weaving, Thrill of the Hunt, and Kill Shots added more than I expected. (Celestalon)
You seem to be the only person positive about MM in WoD. Why can't I find any positive reviews about MM changes ?
As a player, I had fun, but I'm coming into it from a very different perspective. Both mine and your perspectives... (Celestalon)
...are valid and valuable. (Mine=inexperienced playing it, at least recently, and yours=very experienced playing it) (Celestalon)
As a *developer* however, those are both perspectives that we need to try to satisfy, and we totally understand... (Celestalon)
...your point of view, and are looking at ways to satisfy both, better. (Celestalon)

are you guys gonna do another pass on talents? I think some hunter talents could use some work.
Unlikely at this stage that talents will be redesigned, but they will definitely be tuned. (holinka)

How come the extra 5 yards and camo not breaking for 6 sec was scrapped from MM and Surv? I thought those was really cool perks.
Range was replaced with Sniper Training. Camo was too strong/frustrating, so was cut. (Celestalon)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
so this supposed healer balance patch ignored MW ENTIRELY. Reason behind ignoring in this round of tuning? MW needs help BAD
False. Enveloping down 30%, Uplift up 30%, ChEx down 10%, ChiBrew down 1 tea, Jab cost up 8%, Emin up 43%, Pool Renews up 15%, (Celestalon)
Wait, Uplift got buffed 30%? Don't see that reflected in any patch notes or data mining. I see the rest of them.
Well it wouldn't be in patch notes. Double checked, looks like those two changes are actually in next build, not last. (Celestalon)

Character / Items
hey watcher. You tweeted me months ago about account wide tabards. no updates still?
It's something that will likely accompany a transmog revamp/UI since it's a very similar sort of system (cosmetic appearance). (WatcherDev)

I'll never give up. - This .39% DR and .72% Damage bonus is really terrible as a 4 set...
.The PvP set bonuses with Versatility are completely not tuned. They'll probably end up in the 10% range. (holinka)

PvP
Will there ever be an implementation of RBGs at BlizzCon? In example, a booth where some of the top RBG teams can Vs. One another?
Not this Blizzcon. Something to think about for the future perhaps. (holinka)

Something we're exploring in an upcoming build: Discipline gets Silence baseline. We expect mixed reactions. Please try it on beta. (holinka)
Not much help against mele specs, i think baseline fear still in need.
Warriors and Rogues, no. Ret and DK, yes. Monk and Enhance to a small extent. (holinka)

Misc
how do you feel about ghostcrawlers comment about working on Wow?
Different games have different goals. The best designers align their work with those goals...and Greg is one of the best. (holinka)

Fan Art Update
The World of Warcraft Fan Art Section has been updated with one new piece of fan artwork.

by Published on 2014-08-27 07:23 AM

Patch 2.1 is now Live

Deck Spotlight: Tehstool's Week 5 Priest, Expert Pack Rarity Drop Rates on 11.3k Card Packs, Funny & Lucky Moments #61

Hero Rotation for August 26th, Kerrigan Hero Week, Into The Nexus #17 - Draft Mode

Warlords of Draenor Garrisons - Inn and Tavern
Today we are taking a look at the Inn and Tavern building in the garrison. Currently only the first two tiers are accessible on beta until you earn the Stay Awhile and Listen achievement and unlock the Level 3 Blueprint.

The Inn/Tavern take up a Medium plot which can also be used for a Barn, Gladiator's Sanctum, Lumber Mill or Trading Post. Once upgraded to Tier 3, your garrison will have two Medium plots available.

Abilities
This building is good for earning more followers, novelty items from the daily quests, and gold from the Treasure Hunt missions.

  • Level 1 - Each day, a visitor offering a dungeon quest with generous rewards will spend the day at your inn.
  • Level 2 - Recruits random followers each week. You can specify traits and abilities you're especially interested in.
  • Level 3 - Unlocks the particularly lucrative Treasure Hunt missions.

Follower Recruitment
Once a week you can select a follower with a trait or ability that you are interested in to recruit. You are then offered a choice of three followers.


Interface Art



Level 1 Alliance Screenshots


Level 1 Horde Screenshots



Level 2 Alliance Screenshots


Level 2 Horde Screenshots



Quests
Most quests reward you with a follower, pet, toy, transmog item, or container of supplies. Currently two quests are offered per day and only a few of the quests are flagged as daily quests.

Level Name Rewards Objective
The Headhunter's HarvestRecruit a follower from Akanja in the Frostwall Tavern.
The Headhunter's HarvestRecruit a follower from Lysa Serion in the Lunarfall Inn.
94Budd's Gambit
Daily
Collect a Very Shiny Thing from the Iron Docks.
96Go Fetch
Daily
Collect a Nightmare Bell from Auchindoun.
92Ogre Ancestry
Daily
Collect an Ogre Family Tree from the Bloodmaul Slag Mines.
99Sky Dancers
Daily
Collect a Bottled Windstorm from Skyreach.
100And No Maces!
Collect a Huge Crate of Weapons in Grimrail Depot.
100Aviana's Request
Collect some Pristine Plumage in Skyreach.
100Cenarion Concerns
Collect a Strangely-Glowing Frond from Everbloom.
100Cleaving Time
Find an Iron Limbcleaver in Grimrail Depot.
100Cold Steel
Find an Iron Autocannon in Grimrail Depot.
100Cro's Revenge
Collect a Giant Ogre Head from the Bloodmaul Slag Mines.
100Damsels and Dragons
Collect a Shed Proto-Dragon Claw.
100Family Traditions
Find Finkle's Improved Skinner in Blackrock Spire.
100Feeling A Bit Morose
Collect a barrel of Horribly Acidic Solution from the Iron Docks.
100For the Birds
Find a Tiny Peachick Hatchling in The Everbloom.
100For The Children!
Collect a Miniature Iron Star from Upper Blackrock Spire.
100Gloriously Incandescent
Collect a Sun Crystal in Skyreach.
100Oralius' Adventure
Collect a Spire Flamefly in Upper Blackrock Spire.
100Shadowy Secrets
Collect a Dark Parchment from the Shadowmoon Burial Grounds.
100Subversive Infestation
Recover Phylarch's Research, Xeri'tac's Venom Gland, and 3 Depleted Everbloom Seeds from the Everbloom and return to Phylarch the Evergreen.
100The Brass Compass
Find the Brass Compass at the Iron Docks.
100The Cure For Death
Collect a Soulweave Vessel from Auchindoun.
100The Huntresses
Collect a Silver-Lined Arrow from the Shadowmoon Burial Ground.
100The Soulcutter
Collect a Soulsever Blade from Auchindoun.
100The Void-Gate
Find a Void-Gate Key in the Shadowmoon Burial Grounds.
100Time-Lost Vikings
Collect Olaf's Shield from the Bloodmaul Slag Mines.
100Titanic Evolution
Collect an Overgrown Artifact from The Everbloom.


Warlords of Draenor - Dev Interview
Icy Veins had the chance to talk to Tom Chilton at Gamescom. You can find the full interview transcript on their site.

  • The team hoped to have Warlords of Draenor released a few months ago, but scaling up the team by almost 50% slowed things down.
  • Zones are already in production for the next expansion, so things should finally be better moving forward.
  • If more people start doing challenge mode dungeons then challenge mode raids would be something to consider. The team has to be careful not to spend too much time on content that isn't ever seen by most players.
  • One idea that came up was to make both Northrend and Outland a level 60 to 80 zones at half of their current speed and then allowing players to pick one to level through. Making this change would be fairly time consuming, so it is just an idea for now.
  • After the new character model revamp is done, adding physics and improving the look and feel of combat are options.


Upgrade your Launcher to Battle.net Desktop App!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As we had previously announced, an upgrade has been on the way for all World of Warcraft launchers to change to the Battle.net desktop app. We’re excited to say that it is finally the time and that as of today, players will begin automatically upgrading to the Battle.net Launcher!

To read about all the new things which the Launcher offers, check out our desktop app features blog here. We also have a wallpaper you can enjoy by downloading it here!

We also prepared an FAQ in case you have any questions during the transition.

We’ll see you online!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
/console spellClutter 1 or 0 not working please fix
What are you basing this on? (Celestalon)
being in a raid an never being able to see the ground through consecrate/effo/sanctuary? Idk I though clutter would be gone.
Ground effects are unaffected by spellClutter. We're working on those separately. (Celestalon)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
How do you see festerblight Unholy playing? Keeping NP up forever or only long enough for Outreak/Unholy Blight to come off CD?
We're fine with either of those outcomes, so haven't tried to push it one way or another. (Celestalon)

Priest (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Is the damage on VEnt for Spriests being scaled down to make room for a secondary effect, like cleace or something?
Yes; the Devouring Plague refresh. (Celestalon)
It wasn't worth casting pre-nerf even with DP refresh, what are we missing here?
What are you basing that "worth casting" on? It varies by effective duration, right? (Celestalon)
Wrote up a mathy summary for you, but we have full simulations if you like http://t.co/Khq0GsPiaJ
Not that your conclusion is wrong, but you're making some pretty extreme assumptions in one case. I'd be curious... (Celestalon)
...about what combination of procs can give you a full double damage on DP. And more importantly, you should compare to an avg DP. (Celestalon)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Why did you kill off the Hemo snapshotting? It was adding cool mechanics to the spec...
It was kind of neat how it played out, but very unintuitive, and would eventually favor addons. Trying to go a different route. (Celestalon)

Character / Items
With Justice and Valor going away, assuming Justice vendors will turn to gold?
Yep. (WatcherDev)

Hi, just to know, What will happen to the charms of MoP in WoD ? Will they be made into WoD's charms, or converted in gold ?
We'll likely be giving some new options to spend your excess Lesser Charms in 6.0 - details will follow in a blog or forum post. (WatcherDev)

Warlords of Draenor Stats
For PVE DPS, you'd never take a piece of gear with Vers on it as a pure DPS. It's a worthless stat.
By "never", you mean "only when it's on a higher ilvl piece, or you value significant DR over slight dps loss." (Celestalon)
IS there really any situation where primary stat isnt like 30-50% more valuable than any secondary stats?
Not that I can think of. Primary>Secondary, intentionally. (Celestalon)

PvE
What's the intended number of healers for Mythic? 3-4, 4-5, or 5-6?
5, though 4 or 6 on some fights is something I expect to see. If we see 3 or 7, we'd consider that a tuning error on our part. (WatcherDev)

Would it be better if the Dungeon Journal was more for Dungeons, Normal & LFR Raids. But Heroic & Mythic Raids don't use it.
The number of "the DJ wasn't clear about ____" posts I see from Mythic raiders in our feedback threads would suggest otherwise. (WatcherDev)

Will mythic in 6.0 revert to same-server players only? Not sure because of the systems changes coming for raids to prep for WoD.
Mythic SoO will remain cross-realm, but Highmaul/Foundry Mythic are same-server-only until the next tier releases. (WatcherDev)

Lore
Not sure if that's something we can even say at this point, but my talented friend may have an answer.
No lorewalker equivalent in this expansion, but we're keeping the idea alive for later expansions! (DaveKosak)

Garrisons
I'm confused. Is having an Inn the only way to get followers/nifty followers?
.Many followers come from quests, Inn gets you a few extra of the widest randomness (any race/class/abilities/etc) (Muffinus)
Why isn't the innkeeper in the inn and why doesn't the inn offer rested xp as well?
Actually felt weirder binding you to two points, but I see the argument, will discuss (Muffinus)

Fan Art - Dark Portal Login Screen
KaNNis is back with another login screen fan art.

by Published on 2014-08-26 05:09 AM

2.1 Releases Tomorrow! Patch 2.1 Roundup!

Icy Veins Developer Interview, Arena Issues Update, HyperX Invitational Decklists, Naxx T-Shirt now in the Blizzard Gear Store

Extended Maintenance Tomorrow: No New Content, Skin Spotlight: Master Illidan

Warlords of Draenor - Solar Spirehawk Mount
You may remember the Stormcrow mount which was added to the files during Patch 5.4, but never went live. A similar fiery mount has appeared : Solar Spirehawk.

Some people appear to have forgotten as of late, so keep in mind that this is beta. Animations, models, sounds, and everything else are not final.



Warlords of Draenor - Laughing Skull Helms
The latest beta build added some new Laughing Skull helms. It looks like they will be available to more than just cloth users for transmog.


Level Type Slot Name Model Viewer
1ClothHead Frozen Visage of the Laughing Skull
Modelviewer
1ClothHead Bloody Visage of the Laughing Skul
Modelviewer
1ClothHead Golden Visage of the Laughing Skull
Modelviewer
1ClothHead Visage of the Laughing Skull
Modelviewer


Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
FEEDBACK: Highmaul - Walled City (LFR)
Highmaul seems to be open (before Twins) so technically he could be the first boss.

Ye but its very wierd that Tectus is simply not there. The achiev is called the Walled City after all and thats clearly the "first floor" of Higmaul. It would be senseless if the second wing started on Tectus and had the other 3 bosses when the area where the last 3 bosses are situated is clearly distinct from the area of the first 4. just make it so that the first wing has Kargath, Tectus, Butcher and Brakenspore and the second wing the other 3 bosses.

We changed the wing structure and the achievement hasn't been updated yet - that's fixed next build.

The first wing consists of these three bosses. The second wing consists of Tectus, Twin Ogron, and Ko'ragh. There will be some obstacles to bar your path when this is all finalized, and the zone-in location logic is currently letting you wander around parts of the city that should be inaccessible. Converting a non-linear layout into a linear path for Raid Finder is nothing new (e.g. the door to Blackfuse being locked when you queue for Underhold, or the entrance to Spoils being closed for Downfall). We want to keep Raid Finder wings to 3 bosses maximum unless we have absolutely no choice, to help keep the time commitment for doing a wing to a reasonable level. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hunter Feedback
Originally Posted by Celestalon (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hunter (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Hey all. Please focus on continuing to give good feedback, not the style/amount of our responses to said feedback. We're just extremely busy, not ignoring or spiteing you.

Now then... Yes, the Marksmanship and Survival rotations are simpler than they were before. The goal is to have a simpler baseline rotation, and have meaningful choices that allow you to layer more depth onto that in talents, if you choose.

Hunters have a ton of talents which grant rotational or short CD abilities, to support this design. However, they were lacking in rotational depth. The gameplay of most of them boiled down to "use on cooldown". No need to think about preparing for when you're going to use it, or how it interacts with your rotation, etc. So, we're going to make some tweaks to try to add some rotational depth to several of the talent choices.

  • Barrage is being changed to make it more rotational, with Focus-pooling gameplay required to min/max its benefit. You'll want to pool 60 Focus in anticipation of it coming off cooldown.
  • Barrage now has a 20sec CD (down from 30sec), costs 60 Focus (up from 30 Focus), and deals 100% additional damage.
  • Murder of Crows had a cooldown-shortening effect that hardly mattered in practice; either the fight would likely be over within 1min if used on a low-healh boss, or you'd likely waste most of the damage of the crows if used on a low-health add. Instead, we're changing that mechanic, so that it's primarily useful on those low-health adds. You'll want to time it well to finish off low health targets, while still being as Focus-efficient as possible.
  • Murder of Crows has been changed. Its duration, cost, and cooldown have been reduced by 50%. It no longer has a shorter cooldown when used on low health targets. Instead, its cooldown is reset if the target dies.
  • The gameplay of Fervor and Dire Beast were extremely similar, so we opted to replace Fervor completely. It's rather late in the development process to be doing that, so went with something tried and true: Steady Focus. This iteration of Steady Focus purely increases Focus regeneration, and has a duration short enough to add depth.
  • Fervor has been replaced with Steady Focus: Using Cobra Shot or Steady Shot twice in a row, or using Focusing Shot, increases your Focus Regeneration by 50% for 10 sec.

We think that these changes will allow Hunters of all types to customize their gameplay to their liking.

Oh, completely forgot that another relevant change hasn't made it into one of your builds yet. Apologies.

Lock and Load is returning to the previous version of it, and Multistrikes will simply do more damage for Survival instead.

To clarify.. is it reverting to how it works on Live servers or the version that relies on Black Arrow. I assume the Black Arrow one which I am pretty okay with.
It's changing to... 20% chance on Black Arrow tick (not multistrikes, and guaranteed to get at least 1 proc per Black Arrow cast). Effect is to reset ExS's cooldown, and cause the next two ExSs to cost no focus and trigger no cooldown.

Lots of responses like this so far:

These changes are great. However, they still don't address anything about MM's core issues.
We don't view specs by their baseline untalented rotations, because their baseline untalented rotations never matter. What matters is the complete package. The complete package includes some baseline abilities, some talent on rows where all affect your rotation, and some optional rotation-affecting talents to complicate things further. It makes it very customizable. Most of you are quite experienced and will enjoy significant added rotational complexity, which is available to you.

Oh one more VERY important thing: Will the LnL effect have a 10 second internal cooldown as it does on live? Would be fantastic if it didn't.
No.

This is concerning. It means that "cookie cutter" talent builds are coming back, correct? Despite the possibility to choose, it seems that we'll be stuck at a "superior" talent choice (e.g. the L45 row for warriors)
No, that is not implied in what I said.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Racials
Months of beta testing, release 3 months away, yet no changes to EMFH? Still "wait and see" or are you keeping the OP racial as is?
We aren't planning changes to Every Man for Himself. (holinka)

Classes
PSA: On beta, it's very hard for you to have much perspective of how you spec's performance compares to others. The goal is everyone equal. (Celestalon)
.So when you see nerfs/buffs, keep that in mind. Very easy to be overpowered and not realize it, and be surprised by nerfs. (Celestalon)

Although pretty the spell effect for Light of Dawn looks like an explosion, could we get a glyph so it looks less like raid AE?
No need; only you see it like that. (Celestalon)
M'kay still annoying but i assume it won't take long to get used too.
Yeah. We find that people are able to quite easily adapt to their own flashy visuals. No need to tone down your own. (Celestalon)

Healing Tonics heal for 68k, and Healthstones heal for 50k at lvl100. (Celestalon)
Why not make both %healing? That way after first tier they won't be nearly worthless. In MoP Pots went from 20% to ~3%
Hyperbole is a wonderful thing, isn't it?But no, crafted items need to be replaced each expansion. (Celestalon)
I'd like to see how far Versatility takes the Tonic/HS each tier before I call the flat base heal "worthless."
Versatility would indeed affect both of them. (Celestalon)

does the change to improved server responsiveness have any impact on the "not in range" problem with melee?
Somewhat, yes, though not as huge as it does on other issues. (Celestalon)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Are y'all going to buff Surging Mist for WW? Because right now, I much rather have my healing orb than weak cast
What you're seeing is not a difference between Healing Sphere and Surging Mist, but rather Mists vs Warlords healing. (Celestalon)

Can BrM get healing spheres back? And/or afterlife glyph effect for BrM too? Hard cast surging mists != the ease of droping orbs
It's just not intended to be used while actively in combat. (Celestalon)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Merging two Blessings would free up a keybind for paladins. Is there a reason why we have two of them?
Because the alternative isn't merging, it's removing. Having two blessings is a slight *gain* for Paladins. (Celestalon)

any thoughts of the manditory beacon of faith switching gameplay holy pala got atm? You guys happy with it being as effective?
Happy with it being a minor min/maxy thing, yeah. As long as its impact stays minor. (Celestalon)
BoF is mandatory which makes Glyph of BoL mandatory aswell. Any chance the glyph baseline will become baseline?
Neither of those is true. (Celestalon)
how are we supposed to build HP if not with macroing glyped BoL or BoF with HL/FoL?
The same way you always have. You don't have to go *that* heavy on HoPo abilities, you realize, right? (Celestalon)
Like, if you do that, you're giving up a significant amount of healing elsewhere. That's not insignificant. (Celestalon)
So with casting HR? That's way too expensive. or are you also tuning that with the healer tuning passes?
HR is one tool you have, sure. You also can just use beacons as beacons, and heal. (Celestalon)
I mean, obviously, the quintessential healing style for Paladins is to Beacon a tank, heal the party with HL/WoG/LoD. (Celestalon)
The problem with that is that all our non-HP abilities heal for a pittance currently.
Not if you're actually using your Beacon(s) for healing, instead of HoPo. (Celestalon)
What about the other 100 talents then? Hope you can make those viable as well.
Indeed we can. Talents have strengths and weaknesses. Ignoring them is a bad idea. (Celestalon)

Priest (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Shadow CC is good? In comparison to what? A Discipline or Holy Priest that forgot to spec their CC talent?
In comparison to most specs in the game. (holinka)

Chastise is more of an interrupt than a CC, it's short and constantly on DR. May change in WoD but maybe make it 4-5s?
It allows you to set up further CC. I don't see us buffing the duration of Chastise. (holinka)

We don't have 4, two are on same tier and why are you brushing aside the weaknesses highlights? Address our concerns!
I'm brushing them aside because they are all totally reasonable "weaknesses." There are 4 in MoP. They left out scream (holinka)
Scream, Fiend, Tendrils, MC, Silence, Horror, Chastise. Shadow=4, Holy=3, Disc=2. Easily counterable is not reasonable!
I'm open to concerns from Disc about CC, but not shadow. They're fine. (holinka)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
is unleash life supposed to help with high movement? If it is, why tie it to a proc talent? It is currently not worth the gcd
It's definitely worth the GCD while moving... And talents provide options. (Celestalon)

what's the point of unleash elements in wod? feels like an ability that should've gone away with pruning, just a buff in wod
Primarily for movement. (Celestalon)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
arms mastery affecting the primary target for whirlwind. Feasible? Possible?
No, that's not its intended goal. Masteries work best when they affect *some* of your damage. (Celestalon)
makes mastery seem terrible then in current beta outside of pvp. Especially given cleave situations vs crti/multistrike
Err...That's not even remotely true. (Celestalon)

Why does Siegebreaker replace Intimidating? It's a one second knock-down..on a 45sec CD...
Frequency matters a lot, as does the power of the knockback. We don't want to increase Warrior CC. (Celestalon)

right now it's like 10-15 yards. Honestly put the stun on the end up 1-2 seconds and it fits better where DR is now.
Yeah, it's a knock *back*, of about 10yd. That's a big deal, especially on a Warrior. (Celestalon)
In what scenario would you want to knock them away from you?
When you want to interrupt a cast. When you have Charge up. When you want to knock a target out of an AOE clump, to CC it. (Celestalon)
When you've just Heroic Leaped past them and want to knock them back toward your teammates. When you want to get a mob to a clump. (Celestalon)

.. You should just remove the knock-down then. As that basically makes the talent unusable in pvp. Maybe that's the point but...
Uhh... So very confused. (Celestalon)
Giving up intim is a lot to ask for. You're giving up one ability for another... Trading CC for damage...
And for a different but also quite strong CC. (Celestalon)
Not found of new lvl 100 talent to be honest. It looks like nerfed DR. 1 sec is a strong cc? Not really.
It's not DR'd, and the knockback is the big part of its CC value. (Celestalon)
Why not put it on the stun tier instead if it's meant to be a strong CC?
Because it's a tradeoff, not a direct gain. (Celestalon)

after all these changes, warriors get a new talent because they had a boring passive one. What about venom rush? Thoughts?
That's distinctly *not* why Ignite Weapon was replaced. And it wasn't boring/passive anyway. A passive on each row is a good thing. (Celestalon)
If the passive is good/fun design. Basic resource regeneration for the final tier is underwhelming?
With a bit of gameplay of trying to maintain it on multiple targets? Yes. We like to have one talent that doesn't complexify things. (Celestalon)
I worry you don't realize how big Ignite Weap was for us who -hate- CS pooling gameplay. RB extending CS just further added 2 it
The glyph is there for that gameplay desire. (Celestalon)

Character / Items
I gotta ask, what is design philosophy in making the CD's on Mr Smite's Compass, Manastorm Duplicator, et al so long (2 hours!!!)
So we can add a ton more of them without you annoying your raid by insisting they "check out that noise" on every pull. (Muffinus)

Warlords of Draenor Stats
What's the secondary stat value design philosophy in Warlords? Worth 1/4 as much as Primary stats? 1/2 as much? Equal to?
Generally 1/2. Spirit and Bonus Armor are more in the realm of 3/4. (Celestalon)
Those are rough estimates though; what's important is that secondaries are balanced against each other. (Celestalon)

PvE
abit confused about how WoD lockouts works. Can i do(wipe) mythic with guild and then run heroic with friends for loot?
Yes. Every difficulty has a separate lockout. (WatcherDev)

Will 6.0 Mythic SOO still be cross realm?
Yes. (WatcherDev)

PvP
Melee dodge/parry still too high in beta pvp, some rng ok but having entire rotations dodged/parried without cooldowns is too much.
Yeah we're looking at the values. (holinka)

Hello you, wondering if skirmishes will come with Wod or pre wod patch ?
Pre-WoD patch. (holinka)

What about Parry in PvP? Chances are still very high. Got ~20% DKs should go up to ~35%. Any plans to change this?
We're looking into it (holinka)
why not 100% chance to hit, 0% chance to be dodged, 3% chance to be parried, 3% chance to be blocked for everyone?
Many classes have survivability built around the amount of dodge/parry they receive from stats. (holinka)

Lore
But all the veils were haunted at best during BC - So they were built by ghosts..?
There is one haunted veil in SMV. The rest are live arakkoa. Go check out Terokkar again. (_DonAdams)

Garrisons
Lots of cool rewards from Garrison buildings, do we keep them if we earn them then swap the building out?
For the most part, yes, except passives. Example: not the stables tier 3 global speed bonus, but you do keep the mounts. (Muffinus)

So many 1k+ items in garrison. Blueprints. Farm tools. Any worries it's too expensive?
Get a feel for it when you have multiple buildings producing for you, open to feedback. (Muffinus)

Misc
Why do official notes tend to go up after the builds get pushed live Would it not make alot of these questions alot less common?
They take time. Rather not delay one to wait for the other. (Celestalon)
Fair enough, but is a list not already in existence between the idea and the actual code changes being made?
Yes. There's just a lot of work that goes into getting it into full Patch Note quality. (Celestalon)

So the official story is Gamon died I guess to the heroic fight? Even though you can save him in normal mode.
.Canon is that he survived, and is called Hero of Orgrimmar. You'll find him drinking upstairs in Org Inn, with a lady friend. (Muffinus)

Dark Legacy Comics #454
DLC #454 takes look at how flying in Draenor will work at the start of the expansion.

by Published on 2014-08-24 11:31 PM

D3 and Reaper of Souls on Sale, Wyatt Cheng on Trial Rifts, D3 Honest Trailer

Maintenace, Weekly News Recap - News, Popular Constructed Decks, Community Videos

Gold Refunds Issued, Icy Veins Heroes Dev Interview - eSports, Leavers, Rejoins, Team AI

Warlords of Draenor - Iron Docks
Today we are taking a look at the Iron Docks, a dungeon located in Gorgrond.





Warlords of Draenor - Dev Interviews
GAME recently had the chance to interview Tom Chilton at Gamescom.


  • Retaining the soul of the character with the new character models is very important, so players should feel that the new model looks like a higher quality version of the older one. Players have helped to address areas in which the models fell short of that goal during the design process.
  • The more human like races have more player sensitivity to changes, as players are more in tune with how their character looked before. Other races, such as Tauren, are a little harder to spot changes on.
  • Garrisons were originally called Frontier Forts when the team was brainstorming. Eventually the idea was refined to the Garrisons we see today, which finally answer the question of what players would actually do with player housing.
  • For the most part, players have accepted the stat squish.
  • The number of abilities classes have has gotten out of control, as most classes had enough abilities at WoW's launch, but more and more have been added since then. We finally reached the point where pruning had to be done.
  • The design of the Arms Warrior lost its way over the years, moving away from what Arms felt like when WoW was launched. The changes in Warlords should solve this and bring back the identity of the spec.
  • Tol Barad went the wrong direction after Wintergrasp, as it focused more on battleground like gameplay instead of the World PvP aspect. Wintergrasp did feel like an epic battle though.


Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Paladin (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Any chance for a on-screen visual for empowered divine storm? (Alike to what we have with exorcism etc.), would be lovely.
Yep, Empowered Divine Storm is getting a spell alert. (Celestalon)

Clemency is pretty mandatory for Paladins. Any plans to chance the other two talents, to be more an option for Paladin?
Unbreakable Spirit is a great option if you're worried about survival, which seems to be a big Ret complaint. (holinka)

Achievements
If no "real" scenarios 100, why add achievement to do 1000 scenarios in WoD, seems like overkill to go spam 90 scens
Agreed. Those were created long ago before we decided to focus on using scenarios as epic storytelling moments. Will fix. (WatcherDev)

Brawler's Guild
Will we see new Brawler's Guild at launch or later in the expansion?
Updated at launch, hopefully expanded later in the expansion. (WatcherDev)

PvE
I'm really happy with the somewhat slower raid release schedule. I'm hoping the "several weeks" turns into, like, 8. Better for me!
I like the number 8. (WatcherDev)
But seriously, probably in that ballpark. 4 weeks for MSV -> Heart of Fear was too fast. (WatcherDev)

Will Challenge Mode bosses drop loot? Or will they be rewards at the end? (Figuring out database tech)
Neither. Daily quest to do a specific CM dungeon of the day, like the daily CM quest that gives a bunch of Valor in Vale currently (WatcherDev)
So GOLD isn't required to get the LFR level gear?
Correct, it's literally just to complete a harder-than-Heroic dungeon. Speedrun is for cosmetic rewards. (WatcherDev)

Sort of confused on CM gear rewards now. Can you clarify the different ways to get different gear? Daily? Getting all Gold? Mix?
Daily CM quest for a shot at LFR quality loot with stats. Then all Bronze/Silver/Gold for title/mount/transmog like in Mists. (WatcherDev)

PvP
Why not make the crowd cheer in arenas when someone gets below 20 percent? And add some random yells from the audience.
We would like to do some more atmospheric things like this...but you may notice, that right now, there are no crowds. (holinka)

Please make skirmishes available for lvl 19s, a community that have been wanting them back for years and was so excited for WOD.
Understand the requests. Looking into it. No guarantees until it's in the game for sure. May be issues at these late stages. (holinka)

Alliance is being destroyed in Ashran right now.
It's rough on beta as there's really no population control going on. But I've seen it swing both ways. (holinka)

What happens to Spirit of Conquest enchants, etc. in WoD? Will still be able to be purchased? Maybe with honor like other items?
We're going to incorporate them into the Garrison enchant transmog system. (holinka)
with 2200 requirements still?
Yes still a rating requirement. Not final on the exact rating yet. (holinka)

Lore
Am I the only one who noticed Kargoth's wrong hand being ripped off in the Lords of War?
Shattered Hand generally replace their left hands. The original Warlords key art was mirrored. (WatcherDev)

So.. we haven't seen Naga yet in Draenor. Will we, or how did they get to Outlands?
No naga in Warlords. They came to Outland with Illidan and Lady Vashj, and weren't here in this time. (DaveKosak)

World
I don't understand why don't they make every FP conneect to every other FP. All problems solved with a straight line,
There's a custom path that the gryphon/whatever takes from each point to each other one. Has to be manually created. (Celestalon)
I thought these were being rethought from the ground up? Seems like the same issues they've always had.
Not sure what 'rethinking' you're referring to. Flight paths are still flight paths. Just need to be more efficient (Celestalon)
These problems have persisted for years. Wonder if FPs were put aside for a bit a better way could be found.
It comes down to what you want flight paths to do, from a game design point of view. Point is not just fast travel. (Celestalon)

Garrisons
---recruitment felt like the big draw of the Inn to me.
Epic dungeon quests with unique rewards a la WOTLK dungeon dailies, from awesome visitors like Gamon, Budd, Lunk, Oralius, etc. (Muffinus)

can you add a garrison follower to spires of arrak inn or was one recently added?
Several spires followers still to come. (Muffinus)

Misc
So, any chance Reshad is this expansion's "Lorewalker Cho"?
Cho was definitely an inspiration. Reshad probably won't be quite as involved, though. (_DonAdams)
That being said, I would love to see Reshad come back. He was fun to write and his voice actor is legendary. (_DonAdams)

Computers - Setup of the Month
Each month or every 2 months, depending on the hardware evolutions, we will post a couple of hardware setups for those of you who are thinking of upgrading their computer!

This month
The current SSD prices are trending slightly downward over the past few months, with most SSDs under $0.50 per gigabyte when on sale.

The Devil's Canyon CPUs are here and they offer somewhat better overclocking performance and lower temperatures. Depending on how much you want to overclock, you may need to spend a bit more for a better CPU cooler like the NH-D14.

Unless you are doing a lot of video rendering or streaming, you do not need the 4790K and should spend that money elsewhere.

Make sure to keep your AMD and Nvidia drivers up to date.

Don't hesitate to post any feedback in the comments of that news post, and don't forget to visit the Computer Forum for any extra questions! If you are interested in Folding@home, take a look in our team's thread.


Peripherals/Monitors
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorASUS VS228H-P 22-Inch Monitor - $130ASUS VS248H-P 24-Inch Monitor - $170
KeyboardKensington Pro Fit Media Keyboard - $14Cyborg V.5 - $48
MouseLogitech G400s - $46Razer DeathAdder 2013 - $64
SpeakersCreative A250 2.1 Speaker System - $26Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $45
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorDell P2414H Monitor - $200HP ZR2440W 24-inch - $386
KeyboardLogitech G510s - $90CM Storm QuickFire XT - $120
MouseLogitech G500s - $54Razer Naga 2014 - $60
SpeakersLogitech Z323 2.1 Speaker System - $50Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $70


Puppy and Dolphin
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Puppy and Dolphin.
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT Source 210 - $35NZXT Source 210 - $35
Power SupplyEVGA 600B - $50EVGA 600B - $50
CPUAMD FX-6300 - $108AMD FX-8320 - $154
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $32Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $32
MotherboardASUS M5A97 R2.0 - $91ASUS M5A99FX PRO - $115
MemoryKingston HyperX Blue 4GB 1600 - $468GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $86
Graphics CardGigabyte R7 260X - $100XFX R9 270X - $160
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $51Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $78
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$535$732


Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn.
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master HAF 912 - $60Corsair Air 540 (Special Layout) - $130
Power SupplyRosewill Capstone 650W - $90Rosewill Fortress 750W - $130
CPUIntel 4690K - $230Intel 4690K - $230
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $63Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $77
MotherboardASUS Z97-A - $145ASUS Z97-A - $145
Memory8GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $8616GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 - $182
Graphics CardXFX R9 270X - $160XFX R9 280X OR EVGA GTX770 - $260 / $300
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $78Western Digital 2TB Caviar Black - $137
SSDCrucial MX100 128GB (Review) - $75
OR
SanDisk Extreme II 120GB (Review) - $80
SAMSUNG 840 EVO 120GB (Review) - $87
OR
SAMSUNG 850 Pro 128GB (Review) - $125
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $22
Total$934 - 1059$1388 - $1478


Ghostcrawler on WoW
Ghostcrawler took the time to talk about WoW at the end of last week on the LoL forums and Twitter.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
For a REALLY long time, you either had to play RMP, or pray you weren't queueing for 3v3 with the good RMPs were. RMP mirror matches were common on both the live game and in tourneys.
Yeah, I agree this is another good example. At the time it felt like the choice was between PvP dominated by rogue-mage-priest or more diverse comps. The rogue-mage-priest ecosystem did have a lot of depth and a lot of what Riot calls counterplay. But if you mained a hunter or paladin, you felt shut out, and leveling viable alts was a much steeper proposition back then. We made the call to open up more Arena comps, but that did come with the added "bonus" of a lot of disruption and instability. Giving more CC and other PvP cooldowns to other classes did create some burst comps that lacked a lot of the depth and finesse of the RMP monoculture. (Trying to balance abilities for both PvP and PvE didn't help at all.) It took several expansions before this felt better once again.

Was there a specific wow example that you think changed the balance too much? Whether you meant to shift the game that way or not, it seems like the playerbase thinks this has happened.
There were a lot of specific class changes where players were convinced they were weaker than we thought they were, or others where players just had a different vision for the class than the developers did, which is always a tough path to navigate.

If I had to point to one controversial change, I'd say that in vanilla and BC to a lesser extent, there were many specs that weren't really viable for PvE or PvP. We felt like they needed to be viable in order to justify being in the game, and we were reasonably successful in getting all of them much more competitive. I'll be honest that there were times when there was still one dominant PvP spec, one dominant PvE spec and one more-or-less dead spec per class, but we did get a lot closer than ever before, especially in the most recent expansion. (And that was the team that accomplished that -- I take very little credit.)

So why was this direction controversial? One, it was just flat out harder to balance since there were more variables. It led to all sorts of religious debates such as whether pure classes "deserved" to do more damage than hybrids. In order to guarantee that a particular class or spec wasn't mandatory for raiding or Arenas, we had to share utility among more classes. (One example is shaman were no longer the only ones to bring Bloodlust.) This did homogenize classes, and some players were understandably not excited about that direction. I'm not sure of a better approach though. Maybe WoW should just have had 10 classes and not the 30 that different specs brought. Maybe some specs should have just stayed dead. I still think about this a lot.

I was the lead systems designer on WoW. I managed about half the design department. My team was responsible for class design, combat, item design, encounters, and many of the features in the game like Dungeon Finder, Transmog and Achievements. As one of the leads on the team, I helped set the vision for the game as well. I was not the lead of WoW overall. I had much less to do with say world design, lore, quest design or anything business related. I didn't do very much implementation myself, because I didn't have the bandwidth to do it right, and because there were designers more qualified to do that. I was ultimately responsible for balance and that includes PvP, but I didn't make every change myself, and mostly I focused on removing barriers so other designers could do their jobs. I make that distinction because I don't mind being blamed for anything, but it does a disservice to a very large team to imagine one dude sitting on a throne spewing out edicts. Blizzard, like Riot, was very consensus based and focused on alignment.

Did I and my team make mistakes? Sure. Every game designer does. I'm pretty honest about admitting them, though it's tacky to throw colleagues under the bus, so I tend to stay away from areas where I had limited influence. I'm pretty happy with the work we did overall, and very proud of the team we were able to build.

Why am I spending all this effort to explain my role on another game? Because I don't want you or any other player to worry what my work on League means for the future of the game. While I think there are contributions I can make, I'm not interested in overhauling League by any stretch, and Riot would never let me get away with making dramatically bad choices that negatively affected our flagship, our only, product.

So, if I may, here are some distinctions between truth and rumor, offered in the spirit of getting to know me better.

1) I'm not super interested in compromising LoL design in the name of accessibility. Yes, League is obnoxiously hard to learn if you don't have a friend showing you the ropes. That sucks, but it's not worth stripping away the depth or potential for mastery for our core audience -- you guys -- in order to attract new players. That's not an approach every game can or should take, but it's the right call for League.

2) I never played a Frost mage in WoW, or any caster really. I played healers and melee. Frost was hard to balance in WoW because of the kit of control plus burst, and I'm fine taking flak for that. But it wasn't because I wanted to dominate in PvP with my character. I would have been fired for that. It was hard in general to balance combat and rewards for a game with both PvE and PvP components. It's very nice to be on a game that is emphatically competitive, team-based PvP.

5) I care enormously about player feedback and trust. That is why I spend so much time reading forums, Reddit and Twitter (@occupygstreet). In fact, that is one of the things I love about Riot and why I wanted to come work here. Anyone from my WoW days will tell you, I hope, that even if they disagreed with a design, they appreciated the effort I made to explain our reasoning and hear out their concerns. And this is the TLDR really. I have always been very vocal in my communication with players. I didn't intend to be the spokesperson for WoW, but my name was recognizable by a lot of players, and when they wanted to complain about something, they wanted to focus on a name. Again, I can take it. But that doesn't mean I called every shot on WoW and neither do I for League.

6) I do like ponies, gin and long walks on the beach. That part is true.

Do you ever regret opening the game up to be more casual? Instead of taking the kind of direction you are with league?
Different approaches work for different products, and I don't want to second guess the WoW team. Let's just say that after working on Age of Empires and World of Warcraft for a total of 16 years, it's really refreshing to work on a game where I don't have to worry whether someone's grandmother can pick it up or not.

Would like to see GC's grandmother (or mother or father or brother etc) kill Heroic 25m Siegecrafter Blackfuse!
Blackfuse is not the standard by which most of the game is designed. It's memorable in fact because it's so much harder than 99% of what you do in the game. Very few players even try (though it is a great fight). You don't wipe 100 times leveling up. Few players quit running dungeons because they're too hard. In much of the game, death is unlikely and not much of an obstacle when it does happen. That's just the way the game was designed and the way nearly all players experience it. I'm not even commenting on whether I agree with that philosophy or not, but it was the philosophy.

Regardless of whether anyone's grandmother can beat Blackfuse or attain Challenger tier is really besides the point. The points (and these are facts, because I was on the staff of both dev teams) are:

1) WoW spends a lot of effort to make sure almost any player can pick up the game, learn the ropes, level to 90 and even raid if that's their interest. LoL spends almost no effort making sure almost any player can pick up the game. It does expend some effort to make sure that players who self-identify as gamers can pick up the game.

2) As a result of these efforts and different definitions of potential audience, WoW has a much broader audience than LoL. That's fine. Different strategies work for different games.

My point was that I spent a lot of development time on both Age of Empires and WoW trying to make the games approachable to a wide audience without compromising the game design. I don't have to do that anymore, which is s nice change of pace.

It sounds kind of spiteful to say "a grandma can pick it up." Just throwing that out there
I meant no offense, but I chose that verbiage because "casual" is a very overloaded term. For some players it means that they play say League, but only once a month or so. For other people, casual means they play Candy Crush. For others it means, IDK, that you're unskilled at the games you play with no motivation to get better.

I figured "grandma" would communicate the kind of non-traditional gamer that doesn't usually show up in your League matches. To be fair, they don't show up in WoW that much either, but we would use that term when discussing whether some UI or teaching element was obvious enough.

WoW players seem to think I am dissing WoW. I'm not. I love WoW. But difficulty and accessibility are not the same thing. We spent a lot of effort on AoE and WoW making them accessible for almost any gamer. That was the direction of both games. League is targeted at core gamers and it's really nice to be able to spend all our effort on making the game engaging for them. (Source)
No, you aren't dissing WoW. Instead you are being contemptuous of a large portion of WoW subscribers.
Contempt wasn't what I had in mind. They are just different games. I'm not advocating for WoW to abandon non-hardcore players. (Source)
of course that risks LoL putting off core gamers such as myself that dislike the environment Riot has established in LoL
The best way to play almost any game, including League, is with friends. I really believe that. If your friends are toxic, well... (Source)
and - I dunno. Coming from the console dev world, WoW fails pretty hard on the accessibility front, imo. (pedrothedagger)
Yes, but we spent a lot of effort on making it more accessible. (Source)
is LoL not something that should be able to be accessible?
Not for a broad audience and not for casual gamers, no. Could it be easier to pick up? Of course. (Source)
It's very odd to hear that, because most people (including me) consider LoL very casual.
Games can be played casually without being targeted at casual players. (Source)

Why do you hate my grandma Greg?
It's challenging to be a hardcore gamer and have to constantly put yourself in the mindset of a very casual one. That said, I know some grandmas who raid. (Source)
Sounds bitter.
Bitter? No. It's just nice not to have to worry about attracting casual gamers. (Source)
I'm open to recruiting any grandma's that can heal heroic thok. just saying.
WoW has very hard content. That's not the same as being accessible to a broad audience. (Source)

I love WoW but if not for heroic raiding, I likely would have left a long time ago.
I'm a heroic (mythic) raider. That's how I fell in love with WoW. But they can't sustain the game alone. (Source)

There's a widespread misunderstanding that most people even want to be "brought up." Everyone has the tools and capability to do anything. How many do it? (Bashiok)
We thought in Cata that we could entice players to rise to the occasion to do harder content. But, you know, some players just said that's not why they play the game. More power to them. (Source)

I'd like to know what Blizzard considers to be the big barriers.
Well *I* consider the biggest barrier being it's a 3D WASD game with a movable camera. (Bashiok)
I agree. So does a lot of data. (Source)

Man, I always supported you with WoW changes and felt really bad when you left, but that WoW comment... ouch.
We updated Elwynn Forest twice while I was there to make the game accessible. It was a lot of work. There are very hardcore aspects of WoW but there are also casual ones. Catering to both (or all) is a big challenge. That's all I meant. I earned a reputation for "dumbing the game down" which is bizarre to me. I was countering that supposition. No offense intended.(Source)

I'm reading a lot of comments confusing accessibility with difficulty. Learning to play WoW is accessibility. Raiding is difficulty. WoW's intent when I was there (I can't speak for it now) was to appeal to a wide audience. Developing for a wide audience is very hard. Ulduar (my favorite raid) had two raid sizes (and optional hard modes). After that we added more difficulty tiers to broaden raiding appeal.
Is that something you didn't want to do?
You can argue it exposed more players to the fun of raiding, but might have diminished the psychological reward of doing so. Raids also self nerf over time as players gear up, and we did across the board nerfs as well. So dedicated players would eventually get to see the content. The change was more about whether players deserved to see new content when it was new vs several patches later. (Source)
Adding multiple tiers per raid is more work. Appealing to a broad audience is more work. For once in my career, I don't have to do that. (Source)
People struggled through bad design and confused it with mastery of difficulty.
There also was very little concept of damage meters or optimal rotations in Molten Core. The audience matured. (Source)

What by your experience are the constant things that come up that make learning a game hard?
1) Identifying the goal, 2) Understanding the controls, 3) Realizing where the fun is going to be. I mention that third point because too many tutorials strip away too much fun out of fear of burdening a new player.
Hand held guidance vs joy of discovery and freedom. Can`t have both.
Yes, but you can make the hand held guided part fun. Maybe you can see a dragon even if you have no business fighting one yet. (Source)

Explained another way, when you see a big drop off in players after only a few minutes then they are probably very confused. Players can't usually tell if a game will be fun that quickly, but if they have no idea what's going on, then they may quit. You see this a lot when casual players can't mouse look, a skill second nature to many core gamers. (Source)

Look, you can play a very demanding game casually or invest many hours in a simple iPhone game. WoW appeals / tries to appeal to many gamers who don't fit the traditional gamer mold. League doesn't go after those gamers. Simple as that. (Source)
I can mouse look, play WoW, and adventure games. Dont consider myself (hard)core gamer. Core/casual split seems so limiting
It is very limiting. However, when even game developers watch a brand new player struggle with controls it's eye opening. (Source)

Can you talk one feature you like paper but did not went well in WoW? And one community complain announced b like when tested
Reforging sounded great on paper but just became extra work solved by a website for most players. (Source)

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