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by Published on 2023-02-04 01:11 AM

Class Tuning Incoming - February 7
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve updated the OP with all tuning adjustments in progress for February 7.

Death Knight
  • Blood
    • Heart Strike damage increased by 15%.
    • Blood Plague damage increased by 15%.
    • Blood Boil damage increased by 15%.
    • Death and Decay damage increased by 20%.
    • Shattering Bone damage increased by 5%.
    • Sanguine Ground damage while inside Death and Decay increased to 6% (was 5%).
  • Frost
    • Unleashed Frenzy duration increased to 10 seconds (was 6 seconds).
    • Cleaving Strikes Obliterate now hits 2 additional targets (was 1).
    • Frost Fever damage increased by 15%.
    • Glacial Advance damage increased by 20%.
    • Frost Strike damage increased by 10%.
    • Frostwhelp’s Aid damage increased by 100%.
    • Frostscythe damage increased by 35%

  • Guardian
    • Armor from Ironfur increased by 20%.
    • Reinforced Fur now increases Armor from Ironfur by 15% (was 8%) and Barkskin’s damage reduction by 10% (was 5%).
    • Ursoc’s Fury now grants an absorb shield based on 50% of damage dealt by Thrash and Maul (was 30%).
    • Reinvigoration’s Frenzied Regeneration cooldown reduction increased to 20/40% (was 15/30%).
    • Layered Mane chance to proc increased to 10/20% (was 5/10%).
    • Lunar Beam healing increased by 130% and cooldown reduced to 1 minute.
  • Developers’ notes: We are keeping a close eye on variances in survivability across tank specializations. These changes are intended to alleviate some difficulties Guardian Druids have been experiencing with certain damage types, as well as targeting some underperforming talents which were not delivering meaningful survivability improvements.
  • Restoration
    • All healing reduced by 3%. This does not apply to PvP combat.

  • Preservation
    • All healing reduced by 5%.

  • Beast Mastery
    • Damage dealt by Hunter and pet abilities increased by 5%.
  • Marksmanship
    • Damage dealt by Hunter and pet abilities increased by 5%.
  • Survival
    • Damage dealt by Hunter and pet abilities increased by 5%.

  • Mistweaver
    • All healing increased by 3%.
    • Vivify healing increased by 5%.
    • Clouded Focus now increases healing and decreases mana cost by 20% (was 15%) for Enveloping Mist and Vivify.
    • Peaceful Mending now increases the healing of Enveloping Mist and Renewing Mist by 25/50% (was 15/30%).
    • Spinning Crane Kick Damage increased by 15%.
    • Ancient Concordance increases the chance for Rising Sun Kick to reset by 5/10% (was 3/6%).
    • Lesson of Doubt increases healing and damage by up to 40% (was 35%).

  • Protection
    • Avenger’s Shield damage increased by 10%.
    • Blessed Hammer/Hammer of the Righteous/Crusader Strike damage increased by 30%.
    • Hammer of Wrath damage increased by 15%.

  • Holy
    • All healing increased by 3%.

  • Healing Surge healing increased by 10%.
  • Chain Heal healing increased by 10%.
  • Restoration
    • Healing Wave healing increased by 10%.
    • Healing Rain healing increased by 10%.
    • Overflowing Shores healing increased by 10%.

  • Inquisitor’s Gaze Fel Barrage damage increased 35%.
  • Inquisitor’s Gaze no longer casts Fel Blast.
  • Summon Soulkeeper damage increased 35%.
  • Developers’ notes: Inquisitor’s Gaze and Summon Soulkeeper are not contributing to the Warlock damage profile as much as we’d like. After this adjustment, we’ll continue to watch Warlocks’ overall performance and we will make further adjustments if needed.
  • Destruction
    • Soul Fire damage increased 20%.
    • Incinerate damage increased 5%.
  • Demonology
    • Wild Imp damage increased 15%.
    • Vilefiend damage increased 30%.
  • Developers’ notes: We feel that both Destruction and Demonology could use some improvements to their overall contribution in single-target situations. These adjustments are specifically targeting talents that we feel could be more competitive, while also putting additional power into rotational spells.

Player versus Player
  • Neltharax, Enemy of the Sky now grants 1% attack speed in PvP Combat (was 5%).

Demon Hunter
  • Havoc
    • Restless Hunter (Talent) damage bonus for next Blade Dance/Death Sweep reduced by 40% in PvP Combat.
  • Developers’ notes: We’ve continued to see the potential burst provided by Restless Hunter much higher than we would like, especially in combination with Essence Break and The Hunt.

  • Guardian
    • Frenzied Regeneration healing reduced by 50% (was 62%) in PvP Combat.
  • Developers’ note: This is intended to offset Reinvigoration’s buff noted above.

  • Living Flame healing increased by 30% in PvP Combat.
  • Verdant Embrace healing increased by 20% in PvP Combat.
  • Oppressing Roar increases the duration of incoming crowd control by 30% (was 20%) in PvP Combat.
  • Developers’ notes: This is intended to offset the above noted game-wide 5% healing reduction by targeting abilities that we would like to see more prominent in a Preservation Evoker’s PvP healing profile. Additionally, Oppressing Roar has not been as valuable a talent point as we’d hoped, so we are slightly increasing its effectiveness.

  • Beast Mastery
    • Stormwing Harrier’s Camouflage 4-piece now increases the damage of your next Kill Command by 10% in PvP (was 20%).
  • Marksmanship
    • Rapid Fire damage increased by 15% in PvP Combat.
    • Aimed Shot damage increased by 15% in PvP Combat.
    • Chimaera Shot damage increased by 30% in PvP Combat.
    • Unerring Vision critical strike damage bonus effectiveness reduced by 50% in PvP Combat.
  • Developers’ notes: With the removal of Double Tap, Marksmanship Hunter damage has been lower than we would like to see, so we are increasing several main rotation abilities while decreasing Unerring Vision, with the goal of higher sustained damage.

  • Mistweaver
    • Healing Sphere (PvP Talent) - Now triggers the dispel backlash effects from Unstable Affliction and Vampiric Touch. Healing increased by 320%.
  • Developers note: This change is to have more consistency among dispel effects that are intended to require careful consideration of the risks and benefits of dispelling it. Additionally, we felt that the healing on Healing Sphere has been too weak.

  • Shadow
    • Psyfiend (PvP Talent) healing reduction no longer stacks with similar effects.
  • Developers’ notes: Psyfiend’s healing reduction effects appear mechanically similar to many others, but were stacking with other such effects and each other in a way that was not clearly communicated to players, and yet was having a significant impact on which specializations were being favored and often overperforming in PvP. We are standardizing their behavior to follow the same rules as similar effects.

  • Assassination
    • Vault Delver’s Toolkit 4-piece set bonus Bleed damage bonus reduced by 50% in PvP Combat.
  • Developers’ notes: The 4-piece set bonus for Assassination has been more significant in their damage profile than we would like.
    • Wound Poison (Deathmark version) healing reduction no longer stacks with similar effects.
  • Developer’s note: The Wound Poison (from Deathmark) healing reduction effects appear mechanically similar to many others, but were stacking with other such effects and each other in a way that was not clearly communicated to players, and yet was having a significant impact on which specializations were being favored and often overperforming in PvP. We are standardizing their behavior to follow the same rules as similar effects.

  • Restoration
    • Damage dealt to Earthen Wall Totem caused by damage absorbed by pets is reduced by 90%.
  • Developers’ notes: The intent for this adjustment is to make Earthen Wall Totem feel more impactful as a defensive ability. As we noted, it was being destroyed too quickly in scenarios where teammates have pets.

  • Affliction
    • Unstable Affliction backlash damage increased by 35%.
  • Developers’ notes: After our recent changes to normalize Unstable Affliction’s backlash damage, we’re seeing it get dispelled frequently. Our intent is for dispelling Unstable Affliction to require careful consideration of the risks and benefits and its damage was not fulfilling that.

  • Destruction
    • Chaos Bolt damage increased by 40% in PvP Combat (was 15%).
    • Resolved an issue that caused Bane of Havoc (PvP Talent) to deal more damage than intended to targets.
  • Developers’ notes: We’re addressing a bug with Bane of Havoc that was causing Havoc to deal full damage instead of the intended 60%, which is a significant nerf to the spec in PvP. Chaos Bolt has not been as threatening as intended in Dragonflight, so we’re increasing its damage to compensate for the bug fix.
    • Fel Fissure (PvP Talent) healing reduction no longer stacks with similar effects.
  • Developers’ notes: Fel Fissure’s healing reduction effects appear mechanically similar to many others, but were stacking with other such effects and each other in a way that was not clearly communicated to players, and yet was having a significant impact on which specializations were being favored and often overperforming in PvP. We are standardizing their behavior to follow the same rules as similar effects.

  • Arms
    • Executioner’s Precision is now 30% effective in PvP Combat (was 50%).
    • Martial Prowess is now 33% effective in PvP Combat (was 50%).
    • Overpower damage increased by 20% in PvP Combat.
    • Slam damage increased by 40% in PvP Combat.
  • Developers’ notes: We’ve seen Mortal Strike come to represent too much of Arms Warriors’ total damage in PvP. Additionally, it often results in spikier damage than we’re comfortable with, so we’re moving toward an overall rebalance across several abilities.

Patch 10.0.5 Hotfixes - February 3, 2023
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Dungeons and Raids
  • Algeth’ar Academy
    • Fixed an issue causing Echo of Doragosa’s Arcane Missiles to fail to cast.
  • Mythic+
    • Shadowmoon Burial Grounds
      • Bonemaw
        • Quaking will no longer apply to players during Inhale.

Items and Rewards
  • Rare Vintage Arcwine now correctly consumes upon use.

  • The factions of the Dragon Isles have decided to make their overflowing supply bags more lucrative. They are now going to include some Primal Chaos, as well as rarely including a Dragon Shard of Knowledge or Bottled Essence. The tooltips of these caches will be adjusted to reflect this change in the future.

  • Storm’s Fury
    • The map icons for "Storm Warning" will no longer overlap with the event icon, obscuring if the event is active.

Wrath of the Lich King Classic
  • Achievements
    • Alone in the Darkness should now be rewarded correctly to guilds killing Yogg-Saron on 25 player difficulty.

  • Classes
    • Mage
      • Arcane
        • The Arcane Stability talent should now correctly prevent pushback while channeling Arcane Missiles with the Missile Barrage trigger active.

Wrath Classic - Upcoming Adjustments to Retribution Paladins
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

In an upcoming weekly maintenance period within the next few weeks we’ll be implementing the following changes:

  • A new Major Glyph for Paladins has been added to the game: Glyph of Reckoning - Your Hand of Reckoning spell no longer taunts the target and can deal damage to untauntable targets. This glyph can be learned from Inscription Trainers in Dalaran.
  • The Holy Vengeance and Blood Corruption DoT effects from Seal of Vengeance and Seal of Corruption may now be applied by Divine Storm and Crusader Strike, in addition to normal melee hits.

The intent of these changes is to provide a small boost to Retribution Paladin damage via Hand of Reckoning, as well as helping with the ramp time needed to apply the vengeance/corruption DoT. The ramp time needed for this could be frustrating, particularly on fights with regular downtime or a lot of target swapping.

When examining Paladins and determining the approach to take here we had a few goals in mind, which we feel it’s important to elaborate on.

  • Goal - Give Retribution paladins a slight bump to bring them roughly on-par with Fury Warriors right now. Using the end of the previous tier as a baseline, Fury Warriors were also close to the bottom of the meters, but as new, more powerful gear is beginning to be acquired they are beginning to trend upward, and will continue to do so with an increasing pace for the rest of the expansion. We felt that Fury output at this moment and over the next few weeks is a fairly solid baseline for where Ret should be. We also wanted to be very careful not to overbuff Ret now, and cause issues for ourselves in a later tier such as Icecrown Citadel, where Ret has an extremely powerful tier set.
  • Goal – Minimal to zero PvP impact with this change. As it stands now, Hand of Reckoning does not deal damage in PvP or contribute to paladin burst at all in Arenas or BGs, and with this new Glyph, that will not change.
  • Goal – Smooth out the poor gameplay of having to build stacks of Vengeance/Corruption DoT effects when there is downtime or target swapping occurs. This is mostly a quality of life improvement, but it does help Retribution DPS ramp-up time quite a bit which we feel is a net positive.
  • Goal – Don’t make massive mechanical changes to how Retribution plays. Hand of Reckoning is off the GCD and can easily be weaved in between other abilities without adding a lot of mechanical change to how the class plays now. We feel that this is a fairly low-impact solution to provide a bit more output for players that want to opt-into this Glyph.

It’s also potentially more important to recognize what are not goals with these changes:

  • Not a Goal – Make Retribution competitive with the highest output specs and classes in PvE. The utility of all Paladins cannot be overstated here and is absolutely a factor to consider still. With access to critical raid buffs, auras, and raid cooldowns such as Aura Mastery and Divine Guardian, all flavors of Paladins have a vital place in any raid composition, and as we’ve previously stated, we are pleased with their overall representation in raids, as a class. We do not want to start seeing Retribution become stacked in raids. Most raid groups that run Retribution Paladins typically include a single Retribution Paladin, and we feel that 1 or 2 is still a good target number to have in each raid.
  • Not a Goal – Embark on an effort to provide ongoing balance to all classes phase over phase. We think its very important to WoW Classic that classes behave largely as you’d expect them to throughout the current expansion without constantly worrying about major design changes altering the feel of the class. This includes having them scale mostly as you’d expect them to. Warriors are a great example of this, and in almost every early expansion of WoW, Warriors start weak and scale exceptionally well with gear. This is especially true in Wrath where Armor Penetration becomes more prevalent and available around the midpoint of the expansion, and gear in the later tiers is more tightly optimized to allow Warriors to lean into their strengths and shine. This sort of ebb and flow feels right for classic and we do not want to change this paradigm, and feel that these adjustments will allow Retribution to stay more relevant now without creating a massive new imbalance or placing them well above where we’d expect them to be relative to other classes and specs during this or future phases.
  • Not a Goal – Bring all of the classes with poor PvE output up similarly. Frost Mages, Subtlety Rogues, Arms Warriors, and Beast Mastery Hunters are all at or below the output of Retribution in PvE and it would be easy to point to this change and say “What about [insert spec here]”. That’s fair, and this very argument was a motivator for us holding off on making changes here. A key argument that swayed us however is that all of those classes have very viable alternatives for PvE DPS, whereas Paladins only have Retribution in this role. All of these specs also have traditionally been viewed as PvP specs, and we are very leery to shift the meta in PvP while chasing a buff to PvE. This is why we went the direction we did for Retribution; as the impact to PvP shouldn’t be large. We’ll continue to evaluate things as time goes by, but we do not have any plans for other similar class adjustments after this one.

As we’ve previously stated, we do not make these changes lightly and we are extremely hesitant to make modifications to the original 3.3.5 designs of classes. We will continue to monitor class representation as we have been, and will make additional adjustments if things start to play out in a way that deviates significantly from how we and other Wrath enthusiasts would expect them to. We also may roll back these changes or make further adjustments if we feel this adjustment went too far. We will continue to be very cautious with changes in general, and will reserve these adjustments for specific situations.

We appreciate all the feedback we’ve gotten on this topic, and the changes we’ve opted to make here were inspired directly by the discussions and suggestions we’ve seen from players. We are thrilled to see how many of you are progressing through Ulduar over the past few weeks, and we hope you are all having as much fun as we are progressing, downing hard modes, and scooping that awesome loot!

Thank you again!
by Published on 2023-02-03 09:16 PM

Cross-realm Mythic Vault of the Incarnates Begins February 14
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With the weekly reset in each region the week of February 14, we will enable cross-realm groups in Mythic difficulty Vault of the Incarnates.

This represents a shift in philosophy that has evolved over the last few raid tiers, where we’ve seen the pace at which the Hall of Fame filled up for both factions become unaligned with the timing that we would have chosen for players at large.

We will still maintain a Hall of Fame for this and future raids. To qualify for it in cross-realm groups, you must simply have at least 16 players from the same guild taking part in the raid.

With future raids, we’re looking into a more-scheduled approach for when cross-realm Mythic difficulty becomes available. We want to keep our options open for the timing to vary, since we yet don’t know the circumstances we might observe in the future, but we intend to provide further announcements like this one to give players time to reorganize.

Conquest and Valor to Become Uncapped
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With weekly resets the week of February 14, we will remove the caps on the amounts of Conquest and Valor that can be earned and held by players. They will remain uncapped for the rest of Dragonflight Season 1.

As before, we like how in the early season, these caps reduce the feeling of being left behind for many players when it comes to PvP and Mythic+ gear. However, once several weeks have passed, we want to see players feel free to quickly gear up alts or return to the game after an absence and feel as though they can catch up quickly without hitting caps.

Thank you!
by Published on 2023-02-03 07:34 PM

X-45 Heartbreaker Mount Drop Rate Increase
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The Love is in the Air world event is right around the corner, and we’re sharing the love this holiday season.

We’ve heard your feedback on the frustrations with X-45 Heartbreaker’s low drop rate and feeling the pressure of having to farm the mount by cycling through as many alts as possible every day. From now on, the first Heart-Shaped Box you receive each day across your account will have a greatly increased chance to contain the X-45 Heartbreaker mount.

Any subsequent Heart-Shaped Boxes you earn on your characters after the first each day will drop the mount at the previous, original rate.

Love is in the Air begins on February 6 at 10:00 a.m. PST in all regions. So spritz on your favorite perfume and head to the Shadowfang Keep event dungeon to defeat Apothecary Hummel for your chance at the fantastic flying fuschia fuselage you’ve fancied far too fervently for what seems like forever.

Good luck adventurers!
by Published on 2023-02-03 05:36 PM

Upcoming Bugfix for Battle for Azeroth Level-up Dungeons
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Along with the players who reported this, we found a bug causing enemies in Battle for Azeroth dungeons to scale well beyond their intended difficulty.

With scheduled realm maintenance on Tuesday, we will deploy a fix for the bug and the difficulty of the affected dungeons should become very similar to that of Chromie Time leveling dungeons.

To everyone who reported the state of BFA dungeons: thank you very much.
by Published on 2023-02-03 11:13 AM

Reddit AMA with John Staats - WoW's First Level Designer

World of Warcraft Diary Book 2nd Printing Campaign
John Staats published The WoW Diary, a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of vanilla World of Warcraft back in 2018. He's now running a crowdfunding campaign for a 2nd printing. You can check out the campaign here.

We were able to share a chapter during the Kickstarter for the first printing, and now we're able to share an excerpt from the new Post-Mortem article, Blizzard's Secret Sauce:

Originally Posted by John Staats
"Innovation makes for memorable talking points and feeds into the public’s perception of a visionary genius. People want to believe there are Promethean geniuses like Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs lighting the way. It’s a simple and romantic view. Why gum up the narrative with the minutiae? Who wants to hear about long work hours, internal failures, collaboration, and incremental progress? That stuff doesn’t sell magazines.

A disciplined developer targets a broad audience. Instead of creating features that demand expensive video cards, Blizzard always aims at low-end computers, making games everyone can play. This strategy isn’t exciting or “innovative,” nor does it energize the press, but it results in better sales—yet few studios embrace this attitude. Making games is unpredictable, complicated, and expensive. If executives want to avoid laying off hardworking devs, it’s incumbent on them to ensure their project will make enough money.

The words “proof of concept” means that a pilot feature is popular enough to be feasible. Investing in a better version of it seems prudent. If it’s fun gameplay to kill and loot monsters in an open world, making a game using this mechanic makes sense. If fantasy games outsell science fiction games, it’s logical to make fantasy games. These were the decisions that drove Blizzard toward WoW."

If you enjoyed this excerpt, there are many more like it in my book, The World of Warcraft Diary, written from the lessons learned while making WoW. I am crowdfunding the second printing.

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