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by Published on 2022-12-10 02:42 AM

Class Tuning Incoming - December 13, 2022
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With the launch of Dragonflight Season 1, we’re making some tuning adjustments to classes during scheduled weekly maintenance on December 13.

Tank Specializations

We’ve been taking a long look at Tank survivability as we prepare for the beginning of Dragonflight Season 1. In general, we’ve found that the new talent trees have introduced a lot of power across all classes and specializations. Talents that were once exclusive through systems like the Talent Rows, Legendaries, or Covenants can now be equipped at the same time. Through our recent testing, we’ve determined that the damage done to tanks needs to be increased. While we’re thrilled that players are enjoying playing tanks in Dragonflight and want the role to be healthy, there are some negative effects that can come from tanks being too strong, that we want to avoid. We want healers to play a key role in keeping tanks alive, and tanks shouldn’t be able to easily solo large portions of encounters after the rest of their group have died.

We’re adjusting the damage reduction passives on all of the tanks, effectively increasing the damage tanks take by 10%. We think tanks will still feel powerful after this change, and it will result in a more balanced gameplay experience for all players.

Death Knight
  • Blood
    • Blood Fortification no longer reduces damage taken (was 10% damage reduction).

Demon Hunter
  • Vengeance
    • Demonic Wards Rank 1 and Rank 2 passives have been removed, reducing Demonic Wards total damage reduction to 10% (was 20% damage reduction).

  • Guardian
    • Ursine Adept no longer reduces damage taken (was 10% damage reduction).

  • Brewmaster
    • Brewmaster’s Balance no longer reduces damage taken (was 10% damage reduction)

  • Protection
    • Aegis of Light no longer reduces damage taken (was 10% damage reduction).

  • Protection
    • Vanguard no longer reduces damage taken (was 5% damage reduction).
    • Defensive Stance now reduces damage taken by 15% (was 20%). Damage reduction remains unchanged at 10% effectiveness in PVP.

Damage Specializations

A number of changes below are targeted at reducing the passive healing provided to several DPS specs. While some amount of passive healing can be a perk for some specializations, we think these particular abilities are providing too much benefit, particularly compared to more active options.

Demon Hunter
  • The Hunt now heals for 10%/20% (as Havoc/Vengeance) of damage dealt to the marked target for 20 sec (was 25%/50% for 30 seconds).
  • Charred Warblades now heals for 3% of Fire damage dealt (was 5%).
  • Fixed an issue that unintentionally permitted Fodder to the Flame’s heal effect to crit.
  • Havoc
    • Essence Break damage reduced by 8%.

  • Shadow
    • Vampiric Touch healing reduced to 30% of damage dealt (was 50%).
    • Devouring Plague healing reduced to 30% of damage dealt (was 50%).

  • Leeching Poison’s leech bonus reduced to 5% (was 10%).
  • Assassination
    • Poison Bomb’s chance to trigger reduced to 4/8% per combo point (was 5/10%).
  • Outlaw
    • Dispatch damage increased by 5%.
    • Pistol Shot damage reduced by 6%.
  • Subtlety
    • Black Powder damage reduced by 5%.
    • Fixed a bug that caused Secret Technique to interact incorrectly with Cold Blood.

  • Fel Synergy now causes Soul Leech to heal you for 15% of the absorption it grants (was 25%).
  • Soul Leech now grants shields up to 5% of maximum health (was 10%).
  • Demon Skin now increases Soul Leech’s absorption up to 10% of maximum health (was 15%).

  • Fury
    • Gushing Wound damage and healing reduced by 10%.
    • Bloodthirst damage increased by 1%.
    • Bloodbath damage increased by 1%.
      • Developers’ notes: Bloodthirst and Bloodbath damage has been increased to compensate for the Gushing Wound damage reduction.

Player versus Player

In addition to the above game-wide Tank changes, we felt that certain tank specializations have been over performing in PvP. Alongside this, there were several DPS specializations that had self-healing higher than we were comfortable with. Most of the listed changes listed below are meant to make adjustments to address these concerns.

Demon Hunter

Developers’ notes: With the new talent trees, Demon Hunter Sigils have become stronger than we’d like in PvP, specifically the duration Sigil of Misery, so we are targeting talents that were contributing to that. Additionally, Demon Hunters’ damage in PvP is higher than we have been comfortable with so we are reducing the damage from Essence Break, in addition to last week’s reduction for The Hunt.

  • Sigil of Misery PvP duration reduced to 4 seconds (was 5 seconds).
  • Concentrated Sigils duration increase value reduced by 50% in PvP combat.
  • Precise Sigils duration increase value reduced by 50% in PvP combat.
  • Extended Sigils duration increase value reduced by 50% in PvP combat.
    • Developers’ notes: In order to display correct PvP values, the tooltip for Extended Sigils will be changed in a future update.
  • Fodder to the Flame heal effect reduced by 40% in PvP combat.
  • Havoc
    • Consume Soul heal effect when consuming a Demon Soul reduced by 60% in PvP combat.
    • Essence Break damage reduced by 20% in PvP combat.

Death Knight
  • Blood
    • Blood for Blood increases the damage of Heart Strike by 30% (was 60%).
    • Shattering Bone damage reduced by 25% in PvP combat.

  • Guardian
    • Moonfire damage reduced by 20% for Guardian Druids in PvP combat.
    • Thrash damage reduced by 20% for Guardian Druids in PvP combat.
    • Brambles damage reduced by 50% in PvP combat.
    • Rage of the Sleeper reflect damage reduced by 50% in PvP combat.
    • After the Wildfire healing reduced by 40% in PvP combat.
    • Sharpened Claws increases the damage of Thrash and Swipe by 10% (was 25%) in PvP combat.
    • Tooth and Claw increases the damage of Maul by 20% (was 40%) in PvP combat .

  • Protection
    • Word of Glory healing reduced by 30% in PvP combat (Protection Paladin only).
    • Light of the Titans healing reduced by 40% in PvP combat.
    • Guardian of the Forgotten Queen cooldown increased to 5 minutes.

  • Fire
    • Combustion can no longer be dispelled.
      • Developers’ notes: We feel that the counterplay to Combustion, a major self-cast offensive cooldown, did not feel appropriate as it was easily dispelled. We are hoping with this change that it will prompt more creative solutions to counterplay the ability. We didn’t want to make this change previously, due to balance concerns, but now feel it is an appropriate time to bring it in line with other major cooldowns.

  • Soothing Darkness heal effect reduced by 50% in PvP Combat.
  • Assassination
  • Hemotoxin (PvP Talent) healing reduction effect reduced to 35% (was 40%).
  • Subtlety
    • The Rotten damage bonus for Backstab and Shadowstrike reduced to 30% (was 50%) in PvP combat.
      • Developers’ notes: Shadowstrike was hitting too hard, leaving minimum room for counterplay for opponents and taking too much damage in a single stun.

  • Fury
    • Bloodthirst now restores 2% of your health in PvP combat (was 3%).
    • Slaughterhouse now decreases healing taken by 3% per stack (was 5% per stack).
    • Slaughterhouse now stacks up to 12 times (was 8 times).
    • Slaughterhouse duration increased to 9 seconds (was 6 seconds).
    • Slaughterhouse duration is no longer refreshed when adding stacks.
  • Protection
    • Shield Charge damage reduced by 25% in PvP combat.
    • Booming Voice now increases the damage you deal by 10% (was 20%) in PvP combat.
by Published on 2022-12-09 10:37 PM

Quest Log Cap Increased to 35
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I really wish they’d increase the amount of quests you can hold at once.
We’ve seen feedback about the quest log cap for a long time, and we agree. It’s time to increase it. With a change coming soon today to all Dragonflight realms:
  • The maximum number of quests that a player-character may have has been increased to 35 (was 25).

Have fun taking on (up to) 10 additional adventures!
by Published on 2022-12-09 07:04 PM

WoW Classic: The Joyous Journeys 50% Experience Buff Returns
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The roads in Northrend are icy and fraught with danger. To help you continue your adventures in Wrath of the Lich King Classic, players will get the benefit of the Joyous Journeys experience buff*, which will increase experience gains by 50% for all players through level 80! It’s a great time to finish leveling a character, create a new one, or invite friends to join you in your adventures.

Players can also visit any innkeeper in the capital cities and Dalaran to turn the experience buff off or on. The Joyous Journey’s experience buff will be available from December 13 through January 16, 2023.

*Experience buff not available in modern World of Warcraft®.
by Published on 2022-12-09 04:33 PM

FTC Seeks to Block Microsoft's Acquisition of Activision Blizzard
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a complaint to block Microsoft's proposed $69 billion acquisition of video game developer Activision Blizzard. The regulator alleges that the deal would allow Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles, subscription content, and cloud-gaming business.
Originally Posted by FTC
The Federal Trade Commission is seeking to block technology giant Microsoft Corp. from acquiring leading video game developer Activision Blizzard, Inc. and its blockbuster gaming franchises such as Call of Duty, alleging that the $69 billion deal, Microsoft’s largest ever and the largest ever in the video gaming industry, would enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business.

In a complaint issued today, the FTC pointed to Microsoft’s record of acquiring and using valuable gaming content to suppress competition from rival consoles, including its acquisition of ZeniMax, parent company of Bethesda Softworks (a well-known game developer). Microsoft decided to make several of Bethesda's titles including Starfield and Redfall Microsoft exclusives despite assurances it had given to European antitrust authorities that it had no incentive to withhold games from rival consoles.

“Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals,” said Holly Vedova, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. “Today we seek to stop Microsoft from gaining control over a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets.”

Microsoft’s Xbox Series S and Series X are one of only two types of high performance video game consoles. Importantly, Microsoft also offers a leading video game content subscription service called Xbox Game Pass, as well as a cutting-edge cloud-based video game streaming service, according to the complaint.

Activision is one of only a very small number of top video game developers in the world that create and publish high-quality video games for multiple devices, including video game consoles, PCs, and mobile devices. It produces some of the most iconic and popular video game titles, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo,and Overwatch, and has millions of monthly active users around the world,according to the FTC’s complaint. Activision currently has a strategy of offering its games on many devices regardless of producer.

But that could change if the deal is allowed to proceed. With control over Activision’s blockbuster franchises, Microsoft would have both the means and motive to harm competition by manipulating Activision’s pricing, degrading Activision’s game quality or player experience on rival consoles and gaming services, changing the terms and timing of access to Activision’s content, or withholding content from competitors entirely, resulting in harm to consumers.

The Commission vote to issue the complaint was 3-1, with Commissioner Christine S. Wilson voting no. A copy of the administrative complaint will be available shortly.

NOTE: The Commission issues an administrative complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The issuance of the administrative complaint marks the beginning of a proceeding in which the allegations will be tried in a formal hearing before an administrative law judge.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about how competition benefits consumers or file an antitrust complaint. For the latest news and resources, follow the FTC on social media, subscribe to press releases and read our blog.

Bobby Kotick's Response
In response to the Federal Trade Commission's decision to challenge the pending merger with Microsoft, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has sent a letter to all employees.

In the letter, Bobby addresses the challenge and says that the company believes it will win the challenge, stating that the allegations of anti-competitiveness "don't align with the facts". Bobby also emphasizes the benefits of the merger for players, employees, competition, and the gaming industry as a whole.
Originally Posted by Bobby Kotick

I wanted to provide a brief update on our pending merger with Microsoft. This week the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its decision to challenge the deal. This means they will file a lawsuit to block the merger, and arguments will be heard by a judge.

This sounds alarming, so I want to reinforce my confidence that this deal will close. The allegation that this deal is anti-competitive doesn't align with the facts, and we believe we’ll win this challenge.

Thanks to the hard work by all of you every day, we’re on a strong path, bringing epic joy to players around the world with what I believe are the greatest games in the industry. At the same time, the competitive landscape is shifting, and, simply put, a combined Microsoft-ABK will be good for players, good for employees, good for competition and good for the industry. Our players want choice, and this gives them exactly that. You can read more about the specifics on those points in this update we recently shared with you.

We believe these arguments will win despite a regulatory environment focused on ideology and misconceptions about the tech industry.

Thank you for your dedication and creativity.

by Published on 2022-12-09 03:47 AM

Patch 10.0 Hotfixes - December 8, 2023
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
  • Fixed the timer for completing Three Minutes or It’s Free.

  • Evoker
    • Ancient Flame now also reduces the global cooldown of Living Flame by 40%.
      • Developers’ note: We added this GCD reduction to the Ancient Flame talent so Living Flame can be smoothly cast in quick succession.
    • Devastation
      • Energizing Flame now restores 70% of Living Flame’s mana cost when striking an enemy (was 50%).
      • Living Flame now heals for 30% more and costs 20% of total mana (was 10% total mana).
        • Developers’ note: We want Living Flame to feel more impactful for Devastation Evokers when using it to heal themselves or an ally, but we also want to make sure it can’t be used indefinitely. The Evoker’s mana bar is intended to be a rate limiter on healing, similar to how Healing Surge is for Elemental Shamans for example.
  • Hunter
    • Beast Mastery
      • Fixed an issue where Call of the Wild was making Mend Pet temporarily unusable each time a pet was summoned from Call of the Wild.
  • Warlock
    • Fixed an issue where Profane Bargain was providing too high of shared damage.

Creatures and NPCs
  • Maldraxxus Abominations should now correctly help players above level 60 when adventuring in the Shadowlands.
  • Fixed an issue where Horace “Scalding” Stern would clutter players’ combat logs with his actions.
  • Players can no longer sit on the stools that Miya and her mother Plifa are sleeping on in the Gelikyr Inn. This change will allow them to get the quality of sleep they deserve.

  • Whirling Surge cooldown now resets at the start of each dragon race.

Dungeons and Raids
  • Brakenhide Hollow
    • Bracken Warsourge’s Hideous Cackle chamges:
      • Reduced the duration to 4 seconds (was 7)
      • Increased the cast time to 3.5 seconds (was 2.5)
      • Added stronger visuals to the precast to draw more attention to the cast time so players can more readily interrupt it.

Items and Rewards
  • Fixed an issue where some Tuskarr Fishing Net timers were not decreasing while offline.
  • Fixed an issue where Darkmoon Deck: Watcher was giving a lower Versatility value than expected when triggering the shield.
  • Drakonid Spear is now only useable in the Dragon Isles outdoor content.

  • Fixed issues with multiple incorrect recipe bindings:
    • Technique: Renewed Proto-Drake: Predator Pattern is no longer Bind on Pickup.
    • Schematic: Tinker: Breath of Neltharion is no longer Bind on Pickup.
    • Recipe: Celebratory Cake is now Bind on Pickup.
      • Developers’ Note: Our philosophy for Dragon Isles recipe acquisition is simple - we intend for as many recipes to be tradeable as possible. The main exceptions to this rule are for recipes that come from quest rewards and from renown. There should always be a moment of excitement when you find a recipe, either because it can be sold for a pretty penny or read for your own benefit. We will continue to keep an eye out for and correct recipes that do not align with these goals.
  • Cooking
    • Cooking Seamoth Surprise now correctly has a chance to teach the Great Cerulean Sea recipe (was Thousandbone Tongueslicer).
  • Inscription
    • Technique: Weathered Explorer’s Stave now requires Dragon Isles Inscription 50 to match all other high-end recipes (was 75).

  • Dragonflight Campaign
    • Fixed an issue preventing “Open Orientation” from being available to some alts.
  • Ohn’ahran Plains
    • “Counting Argali” and “Bakar Dream of Lost Argali” should now be significantly easier to complete.
    • Fixed an issue where the Foal’s Training Ability would show when not on the world quest “Low Hanging Fruit.”
  • Thaldraszus
    • Fixed an issue where the beam in use during the “The Once and Future Team” wasn’t cancelling itself if the quest was abandoned.
    • Fixed an issue on “The Once and Future Team” where Timewalker Wardens would sometimes not join the fight against the Colossal Causality.
    • Fixed an issue where Andantenormu was forgetting to rescue Worgen and Zandalari Trolls during “Feels like the First Time.”
    • Added a waypoint for “Catching Up to Chromie.”
    • Adjusted the tooltip for the “Temporal Destabilizing Beam” to show the correct range.
    • World Quests
      • Fixed the “Hydro Tuskarr” so the net is not usable while swimming underwater.
  • The Waking Shores
    • Fixed an issue where Cygenoth could fail to transform if he was stunned during the encounter in “The Shadow of His Wings.”

  • Valdrakken Accord
    • Fixed an issue where the “Fitting In” quest could display rewards that were already owned.

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