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by Published on 2016-07-02 04:16 AM

Upcoming PTR Journey Changes, Deckard Cain Cosplay Preview

Top Standard Decks for June 2016, July 2016 Season Begins, The Angry Chicken #157 - The One with Chakki

New In Development Video - Auriel, Archangel of Hope Revealed, Gul'Dan Skins & More!

Jeff Kaplan: Control Map MMR Bug Being Investigated, Competitive Progression & Placement Matches, Coin Flip, Competitive Points

Legion PvP Q&A
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hi, this is Brian Holinka and our good folks on the community team asked if I could help address some of your concerns. I understand that it's frustrating when you feel your question didn't get addressed. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we weren't able to address every question that was sent our way. But, we did answer over 25 questions that were submitted on the forum and over twitter. I know people feel like we were repeating information at times, but keep in mind, all of these questions were submitted to us. Someone out there did not know the answer and asked. While many community members are in tune with everything going on in the Legion Beta, a lot of other people are not.

I'll do my best to answer the questions below that you felt were very important but we didn't get to.

Why have there been almost no Blue responses on the beta PVP forum? PVE players get issues responded to promptly, but the PVP players have given massive amounts of feedback and it has all been ignored.
I think it's fair to say we haven't been as active on the PvP beta forums as many people there would have liked. We certainly visited the forums quite a bit, reading the forums as a part of our feedback process. We frequently used information there in our internal discussions and adjusted a number of honor talents as direct result. But it's true that we didn't post there that often. We'll discuss with community how we can better manage that experience for you. We just got really focused on making the game.

Why has PVP tuning been so slow? PVE tuning showed rapid changes, but with only two months left to go issues like melee classes having 100% uptime on ranged have no even begun to be addressed.
There are a few reasons it feels like PvP tuning has been slow. The primary reason is bad communication on our part. We've made PvP specific adjustments to over 80 spells and adjusted the PvP templates on every spec. But we haven't kept everyone up to date on what's been changing. We should have done a better job. The second reason is that our PvP systems are new in Legion. As an example, our PvP stat template system wasn't properly granting the extra stats casters get from their weapon. Unfortunately, this is part of the game development process. Things aren't always working as expected in Beta. Regardless, communication was our primary failing here and we will do better.

With respect to melee mobility specifically, we did discuss that at 1:10 in the interview.

What will be done about rating deflation in rated PVP? Due to dwindling player number players who previously had 2600+ ratings are now fighting over 2100, the loss of players is heavily deflating rating which is tied to how likely good gear is to drop and Blizzard has done nothing.
There is a tradeoff to using fixed ratings for rewards and one of them is that each season ratings are different. We have always seen this across regions. For example, Korea and Taiwan are far smaller than North America and Europe. Achieving high ratings in some brackets there is extremely difficult. For titles like Gladiator, we always use percentages to ensure the prestige of the reward remains the same. But the primary purpose of the rating gated rewards like the Elite gear set is to give players immediate rewards for hitting specific rating milestones. The upside of this system is you can get the rewards immediately, which feels great. The downside is that sometimes those rewards are harder to get. We think it's an acceptable tradeoff.

Looking at the current season data and comparing it with the past two seasons, I don't see the drop off in rating you're talking about. Perhaps some brackets have fallen 50-100 points, but by no means has anything fallen 500 points. That's just not accurate.

Why are completely unrelated spells on the same diminishing returns category? Cyclone and dragon's breath are both under the fear category.
Before the Diminishing Return (DR) system was introduced into WoW, "stunlocking" was a common phenomenon. DR prevented "stunlocking" but it feels crappy to use ability only to see "immune." DR categories were added so a class can use their different crowd control spells to full effect at least once but repeated application would not result in "stunlock."

Over time the number of categories increased to 12 which we consider an unacceptable number. In Warlords, it was reduced to 5 categories: Root, Silence, Stun, Disorient and Incapacitate. Roots, Stuns and Silences are fairly easy to recognize as their behavior is generally the same across all spells. There are a number of spells in the game that remove player control but break on some degree of damage. We did not want all of these spells on a single DR category. For example, Fear, Cyclone and Dragon's Breath are on the Disorient category while Polymorph, Sap and Freezing Trap are on the Incapacitate category. It is not necessary that all of the spells on each DR category are thematically or functionally the same. We primarily placed these spells in their respective categories for gameplay reasons. In some cases it is meant to allow a class to use all of their spells without overlapping DR categories. In other cases, it is meant to disrupt synergies between classes that can chain to much crowd control together. In the case of Dragon's Breath, Mages have Polymorph which is an Incapacitate. Dragon's Breath is a Disorient so that you can cast those two spells one after the other and get their full effect.

We're satisfied with the current assignment of crowd control spells to their respective DR categories, but please let us know if you have any feedback about them.

Why has all stat customisation been stripped from PVP? Players can no longer choose anything about their character's stats.
If you'd like to see my answer to this question, it was addressed at 42:50 in the twitch interview. The short answer is that some stat combinations are problematic for PvP gameplay and we'd like to be able to reign them in. We also feel like Honor Talents can fill the customization gap that has been lost. But we're also open to introducing Honor talents in the future that offer some stat customization. Let us know how you feel about that idea.

Why did you break your promise regarding instanced PVP having a flat power level for everyone? We were told that high rated players wouldn't have a gear advantage over lower rated players, but you've since backtracked and all you've done is remove the ability to customise and left in the gear imbalance.
I apologize if there was some confusion, but I did not make any such promise. I just rewatched the interview where I first discussed the PvP templates with Bajheera during the third NA qualifier cup last year. During that interview, I laid out the system as it is today in Legion including that higher ilevel gear would offer more power and that higher rated players would receive higher ilevel gear. I'm sorry if that message got lost along the way, but I certainly have never misrepresented how the system would work.

Here is that interview for reference:

Why won't PVP templates be active in world PVP? If imbalances are fixed via those templates as you plan, what is the reasoning behind deliberately unbalanced individual interactions in world PVP?
I discussed our reasoning behind why PvP templates do not activate in the world at 40:55. In short, the two reasons were that they would provide a significant power increase for ungeared players and we'd like there to be a place in World of Warcraft where balance is far less structured.

I hope this helps fill in some gaps left by the interview. We tried to answer some questions that weren't really favorable to us like "why aren't you making new battlegrounds?" and "why is all the gear coming from strongboxes?" Many consider the directions where heading on those issues controversial so we wanted to explain our reasoning.

Thanks again for your passion for World of Warcraft and PvP.

Saying they ran out of time is a BS excuse. There is no one putting a time limit on them but themselves. Total copout answer.
Yeah, that meeting probably could have been rescheduled. For what it was worth, it was about how we're handling cheaters, so it was a worthwhile meeting.

They didn't explain why, while doing PvP, even in the open world, the PvP stats won't be available when " the pvp stat templates up your ilvl" and this is exactly how it worked during WoD and how still works.

So no, it does not make sense. They said they might check it for duels, and that's it. But PvP stats while doing PvP quests or PvP related activities in general won't happen because... is not instanced? But duels are ok?

This isn't "baby steps" this is a mediocre decision for a problem they already solved in WoD and has been working wonderfully.

This is a fair critique but there is a fundamental difference. With PvP item level on gear, you must acquire the gear to have its ilevel increased. With PvP stat templates, you do not need to acquire any gear. A player in quest greens would have a PvP stat template activated.

Will the PvP spell multipliers work in WPvP at least?.
Excellent question. Yes PvP spell multipliers work in WPvP.

Legion Pre-Patch - Grouping and Reset Timer Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With Legion on the horizon, we wanted to let you know of an upcoming change that will open up additional grouping opportunities for players. As of the expansion pre-patch, players on North American, Latin American, and Oceanic realms will be able to group together in the open world no matter what realm their party or raid members are on. Players will also be able to see all available groups within the Group Finder, regardless of realm. This update will make it easier than ever for people to play together and group up for adventures like the new World Quests in Legion.

Additionally, reset timers for recurring in-game activities such as daily/weekly quests and raid/dungeon lockouts will be updated to a single unified lockout time of 15:00:00 UTC (8 a.m. PDT / 1 a.m. AEST) for all North American, Latin American, and Oceanic realms. This change will make it more convenient for players, as you will only need to keep track of one reset time. Weekly resets will occur on Tuesdays (early Wednesday mornings for Oceanic realms) at this time.

Legion Pre-Patch - Reset Timer Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As of the pre-patch for Legion, reset timers for recurring in-game activities such as daily/weekly quests and raid/dungeon lockouts will be updated to a single unified lockout time of 07:00:00 UTC for all European realms. This change will make it more convenient for players, as you will only need to keep track of one reset time. Weekly resets will occur on Wednesdays at this time.

Legion Developer Q&A - Thursday, July 7
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Join us live on Twitch Thursday, July 7, as we sit down with Lead Quest Designer Craig Amai for our next live developer Q&A. He’ll be answering many of your questions on Legion Artifacts and the related Class Order Hall questlines.

Feel free to submit any Legion Artifact and Class Order Hall questline specific questions by posting in this forum thread or via Twitter using the hashtag #LegionQA.

We’re really looking forward to getting the chance to dive in and answer as much as we can, so we hope to see you Thursday at 11 a.m. PT!

About the Legion Live Developer Q&As
Every Thursday for the next several weeks, starting at 11 a.m. PT, we’ll be going live on to answer questions submitted by the World of Warcraft community. Each week will feature a different developer, and we’ll be looking for questions that focus on their particular role on the World of Warcraft development team.

On PTR & Beta Stability
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I wanted to thank all of you for being patient while we work to make Beta and PTR more stable; I know latency and disconnects can be frustrating to play through, but it's critical that we hit these roadblocks while we're in the Beta/PTR phase, so our live product can be more stable.

We have made significant progress this week. Some of you had reported consistent latency/disconnects at 9am and 9pm Pacific time; those should be fixed now (thanks so much for the report, this was great info to have).

We've also been pushing a lot of minor, client only builds (without maintenance or downtime). These have been mainly to fix client crashes as we identify causes and fixes, to get things more stable without having to wait days between builds. We'll continue doing that as we find fixes for other high-frequency crashes and asserts.

If you continue to see large latency spikes (1+ second delays on casting spells is a good frame of reference) please post the following information below:

Character Name:
Time (time zones are tricky, just say how long ago it was from the time of your post):
Location in the world (Zone name + subzone name if you have it):

Thanks for helping us test! With your continued help we can get things in a better state so we can all enjoy the game when it goes live.

Raid Testing Schedule - July 1-5
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
On Friday, July 1 through Tuesday, July 5, we will continue our Legion raid testing.

On Friday, we will open up the "Tormented Guardians" Raid Finder wing of the Emerald Nightmare raid. That section includes the bosses Ursoc, Dragons of Nightmare, and Cenarius. It will remain open throughout the weekend.

On Tuesday, we will test two more Mythic Nighthold bosses.

Tuesday, July 5

Tichondrius - Mythic Nighthold
13:30 PDT (16:30 EDT, 22:30 CEST)

Grand Magistrix Elisande - Mythic Nighthold
15:00 PDT (18:00 EDT, 00:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a beta environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the bosses being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Random Item Upgrades
So, my first impression of the explanation for Titanforged is that the probability distribution for item level upgrades follows a geometric distribution that is truncated on the right, which I'll represent at Geom*(p,k) where p is the probability of that process failing (or succeeding, depending on how you define the distribution), and k is the max number of events before automatic failure (related to max unobtainable ilvl, and the base ilvl of the particular item by k=(max-base)/5). Geom*(p,k) has support x∈{0,1,2,...,k}.

My question is a two-parter:
1) Are the probabilities of a each roll individually the same as other rolls before or after it, before truncating at the max obtainable iLvl? This would mean that we can represent the iLvl distribution of an item as Geom*(p,k).
2) If we can represent the ilvl distribution of item n as Geom*(p_n,k_n) and item m as Geom*(p_m,k_m), do we have that for any two items that p_m = p_n? In other words, is the success probability for this system global among all items, or is it individual for the source of each item?

-edited for clarity

This is one of the few cases where we will not be sharing details. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Random Item Upgrades
Just want to drop some feedback from our normal mode Emerald Nightmare regarding titanforged loot. Of course, there's no way for me to really know whether this came down to pure absolutely dumb luck or maybe something is wrong, but in a 25ish man raid after killing all 3 bosses, we came out with 1 single piece of +5 warforged gear and 2 pieces of 890 titanforged gear.

Seems strange that we saw only 1 piece of loot that gained +5 item levels but 2 pieces on back to back bosses that went +40 when the chance of that is supposedly incredibly small. Of course like I said, we could just be so incredibly lucky that we might have to consider buying lottery tickets.

There are definitely bugs currently, and the upgrade rates are not reflective of what you'll see in the final system. Specifically, low-end upgrades like +5 and +10 are comparatively uncommon, while "jackpot" situations like the 890 from Normal that you saw are far, far too common. I'll update this thread when those bugs are fixed, but the philosophies and examples laid out earlier in the discussion are still applicable. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Legion Rare Creature Loot
Thank you for the reports. In next week's beta build, you should once again receive a one-time reward of Order Hall Resources whenever you defeat a rare.

Please note that you will not always obtain a piece of equipment as well, only if that rare has a drop that you can use. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Legion Class Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Frost Mage -- Legion Beta Feedback
An upcoming build should fix a bug that causes Fingers of Frost to not grant the Shatter bonus to Ice Lance, which is currently impacting Frost's damage. We'll continue to review tuning from there. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Outlaw Rogue -- Legion Beta Feedback
While we like having the variance in outcome from Roll the Bones (which is the entire concept of the ability), we agreed that the extreme outlier of the 0-damage Jolly Roger buff often felt bad. We redesigned Jolly Roger into a more typical DPS outcome, and added a survivability buff to Grand Melee, which is now one of the lower-DPS outcomes. That survivability buff may need to be tuned, but is intended to have a similar benefit to the old Jolly Roger. Because this is overall a significant buff to Roll the Bones, we may have to adjust tuning elsewhere; in particular, Slice and Dice will likely have to be buffed again to match it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Subtlety Rogue -- Legion Beta Feedback
You can't fix it with an addon, shadow dance has no interaction with the WoW API, it's literally impossible to recreate its functionality in anyway. Trust me I've tried writing the addon a few different ways.
We do recognize that there is contention around the change we made to Shadow Dance with it no longer using the stealth bar and that it's no longer a macro conditional.

Simply put, we don’t want macros or UI mods to conditionally merge abilities for you (ie, we don’t want you to be able to merge Fireball and Pyroblast in a macro, etc). This is similar to how we no longer allow you to merge Backstab and Shadowstrike. There’s a couple of goals here, but the main one is that these abilities should all feel like they have very firm distinctions from each other, and it’s okay for you to have to press an extra button in order to achieve that.

Subtlety has been a bit of a stand-out in this for some time now, as some have mentioned here, but we want to bring the spec in-line with Legion, so we’ve opted to not allow Shadowstrike to be merged with other abilities through the use of macros. The same goes for Shadow Dance, etc.

I would say that generally the use case of abilities while in/out of combat are very different, and with Rogues we do want to keep the use of the Stealth bar while out of combat to concrete that difference.

Then why did you merge shred/ravage and pounce/rake but not backstab/shadowstrike?
We could have gone that direction, but we chose not to. There are a couple of reasons here, but just to note: Druids have a ton of abilities, and there was little distinction between the abilities you mentioned in general. Feral Druids in particular also do not have any major emphasis on in-combat stealth, so you don't typically use both spells in those pairs intermixed.

Comparing that to Subtlety Rogues: Backstab and Shadowstrike are both used rotationally, and we opted to not let them be merged. We decided instead to differentiate them as much as possible (replacing Ambush with Shadowstrike), such as by adding the teleport on to Shadowstrike.

but it does beg the question, why is a community manager saying this to us and not a dev themself?
Devs are still here, reading feedback. We're just extremely swamped with polishing things up for the quickly-approaching release of Legion, so enlisted the aid of the CMs to post on our behalf (as they usually do for the majority of WoW's lifecycles anyway). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Focused Rage in PvP
Focused Rage was indeed reduced in PvP combat. It is currently down to 20% per stack in PvP, and this affects both Arms and Prot. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New Comic: World of Warcraft: Legion #1—Magni: "Fault Lines"
The Legion site was updated with this new comic and a new piece of artwork.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
It has been four years since the dwarf king Magni Bronzebeard was cursed as he sought to protect his world, frozen as a solid diamond statue at the center of Old Ironforge. In our new Legion digital comic, "Fault Lines," he emerges from his crystal slumber with a dire warning of dark times to come. But will his daughter, Moira, be able to set aside the pain of her past to forgive Magni and help unite her people?

We invite you to read and download the free comic here, through Dark Horse comics, or experience the action and sound of this tale through the Madefire motion book.

Written by Matt Burns and illustrated by Ludo Lullabi, "Fault Lines" is the first in a series of comics leading up to the Burning Legion's invasion of Azeroth.

Matt Burns is a senior writer on Blizzard Entertainment's Creative Development team. He co-authored the New York Times bestselling illustrated history book World of Warcraft Chronicle: Volume I, among other Blizzard titles.

Ludo Lullabi has more than twenty published works to his name. He has collaborated with Blizzard Entertainment many times, contributing to projects such as the World of Warcraft comic adaptation.

New Comic and Legion Intro
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
To clarify, the return of Magni, Khadgar's visit to Karazhan, the Council of Six, the defense of Dalaran and summoning of Alodi events will take place during the weeks leading up to Legion's launch. Each week, more of the story will be revealed.

Players logging in after Legion's launch will see what you see when you start a new character on the beta today. You will progress from the Broken Shore, through the aftermath and introduction of the Illidari, then immediately get a missive from Khadgar telling you that Dalaran is about to teleport.

Players that missed these stories as they were played out in-game over the pre-launch weeks can request to see them from Archivist Elysiana in Dalaran at any time.

The comic's timeline corresponds to the moment that 7.0 pre-patch goes live. When you log in, you'll see that he's broken out from Ironforge and headed off to parts unknown. You can talk to NPCs down where he used to be to hear about his transformation.

As for players not knowing about the Pillars of Creation - I totally empathize with you on this one.

That said, most players that are lore hounds will log in during the pre-launch and experience the major lore changes as they occur in the world. Forcing players that come back after Legion's launch to go through the FULL gamut of quests, which are lore-heavy and combat-light and take over an hour, felt like it took too much time.

Some players care most about getting to the new content, getting an artifact, and playing with their friends. This was our impetus for making them optional after the launch. The lore is still there, just not required.

Final Boss - Holy Paladin Spec Preview
Final Boss is back with a second round of spec previews.

by Published on 2016-06-30 05:49 PM

Legion Developer Q&A - PvP
This week was the Legion PvP Q&A with Holinka. Next week is Craig Amai with Order Halls and Artifacts.

by Published on 2016-06-29 10:34 PM

Week 4 - We're Totally Prepared

Blizzard has given us some beta keys to help you prepare for The Legion! This week you will need to kill Archimonde (HFC or Hyjal) during the contest to enter.

  • This giveaway is for 500 US/EU Legion Beta keys!
  • This giveaway runs from June 28 to July 4
  • To enter kill Archimonde in Hellfire Citadel (Any Difficulty) or Hyjal during the contest and then log in to the contest site.
  • You will need to log in with your Battle.Net account (It's safe!) so that we can confirm you have earned either achievement.
  • You can be sure that you are entered by checking the contest status page.
  • Winners will be selected by July 5
  • You will need to check the contest status page to see if you have won and claim your key.
  • Winners will have 72 hours to view their key. After that another winner will be selected.

by Published on 2016-06-28 10:06 PM

Legion Beta - Build 22053
Build 22053 was deployed to the Beta realms. There were new items, achievement changes, spell changes, artifact trait changes, and more!

by Published on 2016-06-25 11:13 PM

Legion - Max Camera Distance Reduction
The latest Legion build reduced the amount you can zoom out with the camera.

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