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by Published on 2018-11-13 04:55 PM

Hearthstone Dev Interview - C'Thun / Reno / Inspire, Pirates, Spirits in Arena

Hailstone Construct - Drustvar Battle for Azeroth World Boss
The Hailstone Construct is this week's BfA world boss!

LevelTypeSlotNameModel Viewer
355TrinketTrinketDrust-Runed Icicle
355TrinketTrinketPermafrost-Encrusted Heart
355ClothLegsFrostbreath Leggings
355ClothFeetIce-Rimed Slippers
355LeatherFeetIce Stalker Boots
355LeatherWristsChill's End Wristguards
355MailChestHailstone Hauberk
355MailWaistFreezing Tempest Waistguard
355PlateShouldersIce-Carved Shoulderplates
355PlateWaistGirdle of Biting Winds
355PlateHandsGlacial Spike Gauntlets

Weekly Event - Burning Crusade Timewalking
Burning Crusade Timewalking is back this week. Don't forget to check out Black Temple Timewalking during the event! Black Temple awards base item level 355 gear.

PvP Brawl - Temple of Hotmogu
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Enter the Temple of Kotmogu for this fast-paced match. For a whole new twist, players will be able throw the Orb of Power to friendly players in a game of hot potato. Beware, they’ll also gain the debuffs along with the orb so choose wisely. We’re turning things up (to 11) by changing resurrection time to a quick 5 seconds. Who will be able to hold on to the power to claim victory?

Island Expeditions for the Week of November 13, 2018
Old God invasions are added to the invasion possibilities this week! The Island Expeditions for the week are:

  • Rotting Mire with Jinyu
  • Ungol Ruins with Hozen
  • Whispering Reef with Murlocs

Call to Arms: Stormsong Valley
This week's Call to Arms is Call to Arms: Stormsong Valley or Call to Arms: Stormsong Valley. Head to Stormsong Valley with warmode enabled to kill 10 players of the opposing faction. This will reward you with conquest and 75 reputation for either 7th Legion or The Honorbound.

If you capped conquest last week, you can work towards the next reward - a 370 item level Azerite Chest Piece.
by Published on 2018-11-12 07:41 PM

New Card Reveals - Ticket Scalper, Heavy Metal!

MMO-Champion Interview with Alex Afrasiabi and Patrick Dawson
We had the opportunity to talk to Alex Afrasiabi and Patrick Dawson at BlizzCon. Our interview was before the World of Warcraft: What's Next panel, so we couldn't ask about the new content.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Mythic Raiding and Faction Imbalance
    • The team wanted to preserve the concept of server/guild Mythic raiding but also wanted cross realm mythic raiding to happen while the content was still relevant, which is why the concept of the Hall of Fame came into play.
    • The team has corrected racials over the years, but Alex acknowledged that many people gravitated towards Horde in the past because of racials. They don't believe there is a significant difference in faction racial balance today, but they are always looking at ways to solve this problem without just making the Alliance overpowered.
  • Warfronts
    • The team quickly realized that the item level of the rewards given out in Warfronts should not be obtainable by a fresh Level 120. They wanted progression to be incremental and this is why they hotfixed in a minimum item level to queue for a Warfront. They are happy with where it is at now.
    • The Warfront rewards were purposely made slightly better as an incentive for players to do Warfronts because it is new content.
    • The question the team wants to take from the Warfront launch is "Was it necessarily that Warfront rewards were too high or were world content rewards just not high enough?" The answer to this is that world content rewards were probably not high enough.
    • Alex is more interested in using Warfronts as a platform for story.
  • Water Walking Mounts
    • Adding more water walking mounts is something that has been discussed a lot by the team.
  • The War Campaign
    • The War Campaign seems shorter than the Legion campaign because the story is not over. Suramar's story ended after Legion's second patch whereas the War Campaign will span the whole expansion and evolve over time.
    • Sometimes there will be fewer quests, but if the quests given make you feel something or advance the story in a meaningful way, then the team has done their job.
    • Alex believes that quests should still help you have an understanding of what is going on in the story even if you are a player that instantly accepts quests and does them without reading the text.
  • Island Expedition Rewards
    • The team believes that the community has done well with figuring out how Island Expeditions rewards work. They did try something new with the way rewards drop but can't say it's EXACTLY how the system works. They like there to be some sort of discovery involved in the game.
  • Mythic + Dungeons
    • When there is a huge disparity between the difficulty of specific dungeons in Mythic+ the team will address it.
    • Internally, there is a talented team that runs Mythic+ dungeons and provides feedback. Sometimes things get through, but community feedback usually results in a fix.
  • Graphics
    • Multithreading for the renderer has been a long time coming and the team is excited for players to take advantage of the improved frame rates.
    • Internally, they have seen improvements of up to 50% in framerate. Player's experiences will depend on their hardware and software configuration.

Moonkin Festival Micro-Holiday on November 12
Moonkin Festival is today! Head to Moonglade and pick up Moonkin Monitoring from Makkaw.

There is a small quest line that ends with a fight against a group boss that drops Beanie Boomie. Completion of the quest line increases the number of hatchlings that are following you.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Join the celebration of all things Moonkin in Moonglade, November 12!

A new addition to Legion is what we’re calling micro-holidays. Each one is meant to make the world feel more alive without making players feel like they need to participate for big rewards—while still providing some more variety and fun.

Method Interview with Ely Cannon and Morgan Day
Method sat down with WoW devs Ely Cannon and Morgan Day to discuss Battle for Azeroth.

  • Battle of Dazar'alor
    • Boss 2 (King Grong) for Horde is Boss 3 for Alliance. Other than this, the fights happen in the same order.
    • The team may add small scenes to show the other faction raid during the events and bosses, such as seeing them fighting in the distance or Alliance players switching to the Horde perspective and seeing their own characters down with Mekkatorque from the balcony above.
    • The team wanted to justify the encounters with purpose. The reason the Alliance fights the Treasure Guardian is because it makes sense for them to break into the treasury and steal artifacts during a siege.
  • Nazjatar
    • The team poured a lot of resources and time into Nazjatar. It will be an extensively large zone with 5 different environment types that contain full questing and end game content.
  • Mechagon
    • They wanted the dungeon to launch feeling like Karazhan, meaning you know you will spend substantial time in there in a small group.
    • Eventually it will be split into 2 wings for Mythic +.
  • Mythic + Affixes
    • The season two affix Reaping will do the following:
      • Cause all trash mobs killed every 20% of the progress bar (5 times total) to raise and rush your team no matter where you are on the map.
      • They want it to feel scary and creepy. Bwonsamdi will appear and say "rise" and a blood moon will appear in the sky whenever it happens. The dungeon will also get darker.
      • If you lose the timer something interesting also happens, but they don't want to spoil it!
      • You should be able to plan around this affix because it happens at set times.
    • Necrotic will be changed to physical instead of magical to better play to the weaknesses of tanks that heal a lot.
  • Global Cooldown
    • DPS cooldowns were looked at to design them around having more impact or reason to not activate multiple at once. They also are making visual improvements to them to make them feel more epic.
    • Many mobility abilities are being taken off the GCD again.
    • Defensive abilities are still being discussed.
  • Raid Incentives
    • Raids have unique traits not found outside of the raid that do fun and exciting things.

Wowhead Interview with Ion Hazzikostas and Chris Robinson
Wowhead sat down with Ion Hazzikostas and Chris Robinson for some new information!

  • Heritage Armor
    • In regards to the Tauren Heritage Armor, the giant totem on the back is actually the cloak slot.
    • There could be more Heritage sets in the future outside of the ones being created for both the Allied races and older races.
    • The current armor worn by a lot of the Night Elf NPCs is not planned as the Night Elf Heritage Armor, but player feedback could cause designs reminiscent of it.
  • Night Elves
    • The events of the Darkshore quests in 8.1 are setting up future lore and stories for the Night Elves.
    • The Night Elf glaive is currently restricted to Demon Hunters, but a weapon will that silhouette may become available to other classes down the line.
  • Rise of Azshara
    • Blizzard thought it was important to capture the vibe of being underwater while not constantly being underwater.
    • They don't have finalized travel gameplay mechanics for Nazjatar, but it may involve waterfalls and currents.
    • The patch name "Rise of Azshara" is not just a turn of phrase.
  • Darkmoon Faire
    • The Darkmoon roller coaster is a first person POV simulator.
    • The coaster was a passion project from one of the artists. It wasn't initially planned for the faire.
  • Character Customization
    • Glowing eyes for female Worgen are planned.
    • The team is happy that the perma-scowl is gone from the female Worgen model, but still want to iterate further on facial customization for the Worgen.
    • There are no plans currently for straight-backed undead.
    • Adding different undead races to the lineup depends on where the story goes and whether or not they should just be standard members of the Horde or playable characters.
  • Battleground Visual Updates
    • They currently have no plans to update Alterac Valley like they are doing to Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin. These two are much smaller and are part of the rotation for rated play.
  • Allied Races
    • The character slot limit per server will increase with each Allied Race added to the game.
    • The 50 character cap per account will not increase as of now.
  • Mechagon
    • Goblins see Mechagon as a way to salvage and create new lucrative inventions.

WoWChakra and 4Fansites Interview with Morgan Day & Shani Edwards
WoWChakra and 4Fansites sat down with Morgan Day and Shani Edwards to discuss Battle for Azeroth and its future.

  • Azshara's Eternal Throne
    • The team is aware of the challenges an underwater fight presents, but think this raid is a time where they have to create a fight like this.
    • The team looked at the Horde quest that took place underwater for inspiration.
    • The raid designers want to try to create new fights that they have never done yet and this is the perfect opportunity.
  • Story
    • Thrall could possibly make a return in the future, but the team doesn't want to spoil too much.
    • They admit that the Horde got more quests and context for the Uldir raid, but the Alliance might get more intimate context for The Crucible of Storms and Mechagon because they take place in their zones. They are also the ones taking the fight to the Horde in The Battle for Dazar'alor.
  • Allied Races
    • Allied races will be added as they make sense in the story.
    • There are more coming, but the team isn't ready to announce anymore at this time.
  • Warfronts
    • There are currently no new Warfronts after Darkshore to announce at this time, but that is not to say that new ones are not coming.
  • Azerite Armor
    • The team has heard and agree with the feedback that having to unlock the same traits over and over is not fun and plan to use address this. They don't have any specifics to share at the moment, however.
  • Class Stacking
    • It is important that classes have strengths where they shine, but also weaknesses. In the instance of stacking Subtlety Rogues for Zul, the team admits that the raid designers could have simply had damage shields on the adds to deter this in Mythic difficulty, which is something that they have done for the robot adds in the Mekkatorque fight in Dazar'alor.
    • The team liked giving classes time to shine in Uldir that didn't necessarily involve damage, such as mobile classes in the G'huun fight. They then realized that people just stacked Warlocks for it, and kind of negated the original intent, though Warlocks got to shine!
by Published on 2018-11-10 07:20 PM

Upcoming Warlock Changes - Patch 8.1

Enhancement Shaman PTR Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In an upcoming Public Test Realm (PTR) build, several changes are coming for Enhancement Shamans.

We’re adjusting the following talents:

Lightning Shield and Forceful Winds are both popular talents right now, and we don’t want to reduce Enhancement’s overall damage with changes to those two talents, so additionally:

  • The damage done by all Enhancement abilities increased by 5%.

The changes above should help make the different choices on many talent rows much more competitive with each other.

In addition to these changes above, we’re adjusting how many tooltips are generated. This may cause some websites to show that the damage or healing of almost every single Enhancement ability has changed. Do not panic; we are not lowering all of your damage and healing! This will be a behind-the-scenes data adjustment only.

Thank you for testing with us on the PTR!

Eurogamer Interview with Alex Afrasiabi about Sylvanas
Eurogamer sat down with Alex Afrasiabi to discuss Sylvanas and the story of Battle for Azeroth.

  • Having a divided fanbase for a character is a lot more interesting than a one-sided, clearly the right direction path.
  • The goal was to create enough plausible deniability in the actions Sylvanas has committed where she can still have a fanbase.
  • Alex says that her actions are not necessarily out of character as she has been a driving force for many questionable decisions, such as the blight, over the years.
  • He refers to the Wrathgate as being under Sylvanas's orders...?
  • Your choice made to back either Sylvanas or Saurfang will play out over the story and you will find out if you are right or wrong.
  • For the moment, Sylvanas seems to be too well liked to simply kill off.
  • The developerbase and Alex are all fans of Sylvanas as well and making her a raid boss would be a bit of a let down.
  • There is a lot more to Sylvanas's story that hasn't been told yet.

Forbes Interview with Ion Hazzikostas About War Mode
Forbes interviewed game director Ion Hazzokostas about the state of War Mode.

  • There is a relatively even balance of people who play Alliance or Horde.
  • Overall win rates in random battlegrounds are "shockingly even."
  • Epic battlegrounds tend to favor Alliance and the other battlegrounds skew a bit more in the Horde's favor.
  • The ratio seems of win rates is about 54% Horde and 46% Alliance, not including Rated Battlegrounds.
  • The amount of players who utilize War Mode currently skew towards Horde.
  • In Tides of Vengeance, the team is looking into offering some kind of increased rewards for the less-represented faction in War Mode, so the risk and reward are better calibrated.
  • Ion suspects that many Alliance players had bad experiences in War Mode in the beginning of the expansion and have turned off War Mode because of it.
  • The purpose of increased awards is to make up for the risk of being killed by the opposite faction, but they want to keep this on equal grounds, and their hope is that increasing the rewards of the less represented faction will encourage more people to activate War Mode when their faction is at a disadvantage.
  • Ion admits that Beserking is a bit too powerful of a racial ability for some classes and this is why it is receiving a small nerf.
  • Historically, PvP severs have always been more Horde-favored. It might have to do with player identity in the game, such as wanting to be something battle-hardened like an orc.
  • Blizzard is also keeping an eye on class and specialization appearance rates in PvP combat.

The Starting Zone Podcast Interviews WoW Devs at BlizzCon
The Starting Zone Podcast interviewed Chris Robinson, Frank Kowalkowski, Jeremy Feasel and Tina Wang at BlizzCon about Battle for Azeroth! Listen by clicking the banner below!

Technically PvP Blizzcon Interview Podcast
Technically PvP, a World of Warcraft PvP podcast, recently did a Blizzcon interview podcast! You can listen to it by clicking the banner below!

World of Warcraft - Battle for Azeroth Metal Cover by Evil Ducky Production
Evil Ducky Production did a Battle for Azeroth metal cover! Check it out!

by Published on 2018-11-09 08:37 PM

Six Hearthstone Decks From Legend You Should Try This Weekend

Developer AMA Recap, Brawl: Trial Grounds

Upcoming Warlock Changes - Patch 8.1
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
  • In an upcoming build, the Demonic Tyrant will also extend the duration of any demons summoned from the Nether Portal level 100 talent.

Can you clarify something? Will it only extend the duration when Tyrant is cast? As in we need to portal, summon as many as possible, and then Tyrant for it to have any effect? Or can we Tyrant, Nether Portal, and chain summon with the extended duration kicking in as they are summoned? I'm presuming it's the former and not the latter.

The Demonic Tyrant extends the summon duration of all demons that are currently active when the Demonic Tyrant is summoned. Demons summoned after the Demonic Tyrant has been cast do not get the duration extension.

All demons, regardless of whether they were active before the Demonic Tyrant summon, or if they were summoned afterwards, should still benefit from the area damage buff (currently 15%) that the Demonic Tyrant provides while the Demonic Tyrant is still active.

A few more changes you will see in an upcoming PTR build:

On the current live version, there is an issue where pets are gaining bonus Energy regeneration from the Warlock's Haste stat at twice the expected value. This is already fixed in the 8.1.0 PTR build and has been for many weeks now. We have made some adjustments to keep the relative value of your pet similar to what it is on the live version:

  • Felguard, Felhunter, Succubus, and Voidwalker pets have had their damage scaling from the Warlock's Spell Power increased by 15%.
  • Imps have had their spell power scaling from the Warlock's Spell Power increased by 25%.

Another recent change we made was to reduce the duration of the Nether Portal talent from 20 seconds, down to 15 seconds. In an upcoming build, the damage of all demons that can come from the Nether Portal has been increased by 25%.

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